Tuesday, March 29, 2016
A Chapter A Day - Proverbs 29
I inadvertently ruined yet another piece of clothing with bleach this morning. I had a choice in my response - lash out at anyone in my path or learn from this experience (stop wearing things I like when using bleach, or stop using bleach). I decided to learn from this experience by not getting angry and doing things differently in the future. I say this to say, that I too am constantly re-learning and applying the wisdom found in Proverbs.
This relearning happens when you run a long race also. Near the end, you're thinking of all the training you've received and if anything at this point, that you have not tried, will assist you in getting to the finish line. So you may start pumping your arms more, or become more conscious of your posture and your gait. The goal is to finish strong, so you're looking at all the ways to do so. But then you have to get out of your head and keep running.
When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan. The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern (v2, 7). We talked about this extensively yesterday. It seems to be a point worth reiterating because we seem to be easily confused by the merits of righteousness vs. wickedness. Simply put righteous character is always the way to go. The impact is greater when you are in a position of authority.
Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end (v11). Fools do not exhibit self-control as a matter of fact they may gloat in the fact that they are easily angered and do not exhibit discernment in its display. We are all prone to anger, and we've all been around people who vent their rage often; it's like walking on eggshells; it's a storm waiting to erupt. A wise person knows how to handle their anger effectively and how to ultimately bring calm and resolution.
A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother. Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire (v15, 17). Unruly children become unruly adults. If for no other reason, this is the reason to discipline your children. If you won't discipline them as children, laws and society will discipline them as adults. Even though our children grow up to be adults and make their own decisions, it's always a reflection on their parents.
Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them (v 20). An old Jamaican woman I know loves to say, "Tek time." It means to take time, and it means to approach any situation with care. Think before you speak and act.
The accomplices of thieves are their own enemies; they are put under oath and dare not testify (v 24). This brings to mind the old adage - I'll show you who you are by the company you keep. To knowingly join a shady character in their dealing is a huge red flag. You can't cover for a thief and remain innocent. You can't plead ignorance if you knowingly chose to be an accomplice of a thief. Once more we are reminded of the consequences of not choosing our friends and acquaintances wisely.