Proverbs 14 - This chapter continues to provide more contrasts between wisdom and foolishness in various scenarios. We're in the zone, so let's keep moving.
Observations and Highlights
Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish woman destroys it with her own hands (v1). When you are doing what needs to be done in the right way, you are taking care of what's entrusted to you and you are wise. Some women beat themselves up for working, some for having to be firm with a child, for saying no when they really want to say yes, for teaching tough lessons, for the way they keep house, (perhaps it's not worthy of a picture in "House Beautiful"). Mom guilt encompasses many things but it does not matter; you are building your house and you are wise. Hold on to this thought the next time you feel discouraged.
Leave the presence of a foolish person, when you perceive not in him knowledge (v7). How will you know you are in the presence of a foolish person? Refer back to Chapter 12. Be a person of your convictions; measure what is being said and done. For me, it has to line up with scripture, the person speaking is of sound character, and to a certain degree what is being said makes sense. Foolish speaking may sound really good. That's why the verse says "when you perceive....". Once you recognize foolishness, make the change. There are many folks spouting hot air today; know your foundation, so that you know who to listen to.
There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end is destruction (v12). My father quoted this proverb often. When children reach a certain age they are convinced that they know more than their parents, and as a parent it becomes a bit challenging dealing with this new found "knowledge." We are cautioned to not be headstrong, instead, we are better served by seeking out and listening to wise counsel. Wise counsel can come through many people and sources so seek them out and listen. Listen so that you can prevent heartache.
Hard work brings a profit....(v 23). Hard work brings profit financially and in your growth. Through the effort you put in, you see the rewards and you are motivated to continue working, creating an upward spiral. This concept works in relationships, employment, creative endeavors, sports. It is applicable in all areas of life.
He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding...(v 29). This speaks of patience and self-control. Much of patience is learned and developed as we mature. As a Christian, one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. As you spend time in your relationship with the Lord, you will see evidence of self-control. Believers need self-control because the outside world and internal forces still attack (Romans 7:21-25). Like a vulnerable city, we must have defenses. Self-control naturally leads to perseverance (2 Peter 1:6) as we value the long-term good instead of the instant gratification of the world. Self-control is a gift that frees us. It frees us to enjoy the benefits of a healthy body. It frees us to rest in the security of good stewardship. It frees us from a guilty conscience. Self-control restricts the indulgence of our foolish desires, and we find the liberty to love and live as we were meant to. (Source: http://www.gotquestions.org/fruit-Holy-Spirit-self-control.html) Take a moment to think before you act. It's much better than always having to say sorry later.
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to many people (v 34). On all levels, doing right is powerful! It doesn't make you wimp - it grants favor, it elevates. In the current political climate, it seems as if bad behavior is the order of the day, but according to scripture that won't exalt a nation. Do the right thing, all the time.