Monday, March 14, 2016

A Chapter A Day - Proverbs 15

Look at how far we've come already. There are more contrasts between righteousness and wickedness with a focus on the little things that make a big impact - a soft answer, a wholesome tongue, a merry heart. Some of the larger impacts are highlighted also. Can you believe we're at the midpoint?
Proverbs 15

Observations and Highlights

This chapter starts off with another verse that I've heard quoted many times, particularly in my teens. "A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger (v1)." Or said another way, "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." This verse came back to me when I would have yelled at my children, snapped at my husband, or became sarcastic with a coworker. It has saved me from much grief though I am not perfect. I have done all of the above and recognized after the fact, had I spoken differently I would have had a different outcome. It requires self-control to always give a soft answer.

Another theme in this chapter is - little is much when God is in it. (v 6, 16,17,25,27). This is the title of an old hymn that encourages you to give your best no matter how insignificant you feel or how small the task. When God is in it, there's a blessing.

Don't we love genuinely cheerful people? A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance (v13). Everything flows from within, so make sure your heart is right.

Whenever I'm facing huge decisions in my life I recall v 22 - "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed." It's not wrong to seek out advice, just be sure your sources can be honest and truthful and have your best interest at heart. Counsel means advice or guidance, especially as solicited from a knowledgeable person - so this rules out asking everyone for their opinions. You're not looking for hundreds of opinions, you're looking for additional insight to assist in making a decision. For me, the Bible serves as one of my primary sources of counsel, then my husband, and maybe another person who has some understanding(professional or otherwise) of what I'm thinking about. After all of this, I pray about it, until I have peace on the direction I should take.

Don't be afraid to seek out instruction, it's the beginning of understanding that leads to wisdom. (v 32,33).

One last point - before honor is humility (v33). We all need to submit, whether we like it or not. We submit to laws and rules. At work, we submit to our bosses. At home, we submit to each other (husband and wife). Children submit to their parents. So why not submit to God, and honor his commandments? Start with God first. The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom (v 33).

Read on.

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