Posts Tagged ‘advice’

Proverbs 12: If You Love Learning

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The school in which I teach has a front portico with seven columns as a direct, overt message that we seek knowledge. (See Proverbs 9.) The school motto is: Veritatem prosequimur – Pursue truth. For an institution of learning, the image of Wisdom building her house is apt. Today we explore several verses from Chapter 12 as we reflect on the value of taking advice.

If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it—
    how shortsighted to refuse correction!

Acceptance of a valid critique is a sign of strength rather than weakness.

You can’t find firm footing in a swamp,
    but life rooted in God stands firm.

Building our spiritual house on Christ is a sign of our confidence in The Word.

The words of the wicked kill;
    the speech of the upright saves.

The gossip of bad people gets them in trouble;
    the conversation of good people keeps them out of it.

Sharing The Word with others is an invitation to the Spirit.

Fools have short fuses and explode all too quickly;
    the prudent quietly shrug off insults.

Living The Word brings us fortitude rather than fear.

Evil scheming distorts the schemer;
    peace-planning brings joy to the planner.

No evil can overwhelm a good person,
    but the wicked have their hands full of it.

Living as Jesus teaches is a sign of courage rather than submission.

Prudent people don’t flaunt their knowledge;
    talkative fools broadcast their silliness.

Sharing The Word in the Spirit is a sign that the Kingdom of God is here. The Kingdom of God is now.

When we compare other translations of these verses, we find that a love of learning is essential for workers in the Kingdom.

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Proverbs 11: Losing and Finding Our Way

Monday, July 31, 2017

We often stumble when our circumstances are positive; lack of stress or worry tempt us to believe that life holds no traps or obstacles. Yet despite the positive environment, we might easily lose our way.

God hates cheating in the marketplace;
    he loves it when business is aboveboard.

When our comfort zone shrinks, we look for assurance and predictability. It is all too easy to run toward the familiar as we look for advice and consolation. Yet despite our care and attention to detail, we still might easily lose our way.

The stuck-up fall flat on their faces,
    but down-to-earth people stand firm.

In all circumstances, in all days and at all times, it is important to maintain open and honest communication with our creator. The writers of Proverbs prepare us for both easy and difficult days, for both tranquil and troubling nights.

The integrity of the honest keeps them on track;
    the deviousness of crooks brings them to ruin.

The verses in this post are from THE MESSAGE translation of Proverbs. When we compare this translation with others, the practical advice of Proverbs shows us how we might prevent the dangers that arise when we lose our way.

A thick bankroll is no help when life falls apart,
    but a principled life can stand up to the worst.

When we spend time with this advice, we discover that we are never alone, and we will never truly lose our way.

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Proverbs 3:13-35: True Wealth

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Intellectually we know that the gifts of silver and gold are fleeting; the profits of the world do not go with us and do not last beyond this life; yet we often yearn for the comfort and independence of wealth, fame and power. Proverbs bring us a different perspective, reminding us wisdom is more precious than coral . . . her paths are peace . . . she is a tree of life.

Wisdom’s advice and counsel are imperative if we expect to live in harmony with others and with creation. Do we hope to live securely, handling our frustrations, overcoming hurdles? Then Proverbs direct us. When we wear advice and counsel as an adornment around our necks, we go securely on our way, our feet never stumbling. When we lie down, we need not fear. When we rest, our sleep will be sweet. Honor is our inheritance and we never know shame.

Wisdom is the perfect companion, and is the only true wealth we need pursue.

When we compare various translations of these verses, we have the opportunity to discover, and appreciate, our true wealth.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012 – 2 Chronicles 10 – Ignoring Advice

Sometimes the advice we receive from others is worthless; sometimes it is pure gold.  The difficulty in life is to discern when to heed which words.  This can be resolved when we decide to draw on God’s wisdom  as our primary source of advice, and then allow the words of our family and friends to fill in the gaps of what we believe to be God’s message.

We may have difficulty hearing the Word within; if so, we may want to practice the art of listening a bit more until we have formed well-trodden spiritual pathways to God and back.

We may have difficulty feeling the Word of God resonate within; if so, we may want to practice feeling empathy for those unlike us a bit more until we have taught our hearts more of God’s language.

We may have difficulty expressing  the Word of God to others; if so, we may want to find a trusted friend who will serve as a sounding board for our thoughts.

We may have difficulty witnessing to the Word of God in a public way; if so, we may want to spend time with Scripture to see how others have done so through the ages.

Communication in any form does not come easily.  It takes practice.  Finding trustworthy sources of wisdom of any kind is a challenge.  It takes persistence.  Acting in a manner that matches our beliefs for any reason is difficult at best.  It takes authenticity.  Speaking in a way that calls others to Christ in any way is complicated.  It takes fidelity.  Listening in a way that leads us to good, solid decision-making is taxing.  It takes endurance

All of this patience and compassion is too much for us humans, we say, and yet . . . we know what happens when we take the advice that suits us at the moment but does not challenge us.  We know what happens when we ignore God’s call and go our own way.  We know what happens when we are silent or when we do not act when and as we ought. 

The choice before these young men in today’s Noontime is clear.  We see their example.  Do we follow it?  Or do we follow Christ? 

Written on September 15, 2010 and posted today as a Favorite.

Click on the image above to find a Daily Bible Reading Plan, or create one of your own by beginning with Acts . . . but read each day . . . and listen . . .

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