“Study hard for the tests in your life unless you want to be in God’s summer school.”~TB
Ever notice how the same issues keep coming back like a revolving door? Well, it’s because you’re still struggling with the same trials, refusing to graduate on to the next level. God will never level up a person who’s failing their tests. So, instead of moving on, you’ll be lovingly placed in summer school, where you will experience the same problems in different contexts. Friends, humility in understanding that we’re all flawed goes a long way in overcoming your footholds.
If the chapter you’re on is causing you trouble, reach out to the Almighty tutor so that He can teach you how to pass. Remember that these tests are open book and you can use the Bible on each and every one of them. Of course, this requires you to continually study and crack open the Book in the first place! Pride makes the school of life hard and until you can come from a place of humility and meekness, some tests will keep you held back from where God wants you to go. Don’t get held back, ask the Tutor for help and study from the resources He provides.
Do you want to stay in summer school forever?
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1Again, I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless.
2So I concluded that the dead are better off than the living.
3But most fortunate of all are those who are not yet born. For they have not seen all the evil that is done under the sun.
4Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.
5“Fools fold their idle hands, leading them to ruin.”
6And yet, “Better to have one handful with quietness than two handfuls with hard work and chasing the wind.”
7I observed yet another example of something meaningless under the sun.
8This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, “Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?” It is all so meaningless and depressing.
9Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.
10If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.
11Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?
12A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
13It is better to be a poor but wise youth than an old and foolish king who refuses all advice.
14Such a youth could rise from poverty and succeed. He might even become king, though he has been in prison.
15But then everyone rushes to the side of yet another youth who replaces him.
16Endless crowds stand around him, but then another generation grows up and rejects him, too. So it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind.
“Do your best to be even-keeled as life if full of hills, valleys, and plateaus. The only thing we can be sure of is that God is in the midst of it all.”~TB
Notice the patterns in life, things are always in motion, whether you like it or not. Good things happen, followed by bad things, followed by ok things, and so on and so on. When you rely on the understanding the world tries to give, you will be as helpless and unstable as a leaf in a severe wind. If you seek peace, get to know God. It is that relationship, and that relationship alone that can help you understand the tide of your life.
Instead of fighting the tide, learn to flow with it. God will teach you how to wade in the waters of life if you let Him. This starts by relinquishing what control you believe to have in this worlds. Friends, we control nothing and even the best laid plans can crumble. This shouldn’t scare you, no, instead rejoice in the Truth that the Hand of God is in all things. All things work for Him, so don’t push or pull in your life, but rather, go with the flow.
Are you going with the flow with God?
1For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
2A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.
9What do people really get for all their hard work?
10I have seen the burden God has placed on us all.
11Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
12So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.
13And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.
14And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him.
15What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.
16I also noticed that under the sun there is evil in the courtroom. Yes, even the courts of law are corrupt!
17I said to myself, “In due season God will judge everyone, both good and bad, for all their deeds.”
18I also thought about the human condition—how God proves to people that they are like animals.
19For people and animals share the same fate—both breathe and both must die. So people have no real advantage over the animals. How meaningless!
20Both go to the same place—they came from dust and they return to dust.
21For who can prove that the human spirit goes up and the spirit of animals goes down into the earth?
22So I saw that there is nothing better for people than to be happy in their work. That is our lot in life. And no one can bring us back to see what happens after we die.
“Don’t get so caught up in waiting to act at the perfect moment, because life is happening right now.”~TB
Be careful with whom you listen to or what you tell yourself because half-truths will have you waiting until it’s too late to experience God’s joy and peace. Society, the opposition, and an undisciplined mind will lull you into a false sense of complacency if you don’t know the Truth. Nothing is perfect and everything won’t always come easy, which is why you must till your own soil in all seasons.
If you obsess over tomorrow and dwell on yesterday, you will miss your opportunity to sow your harvest. Avoiding the present will leave you unprepared for famine, keeping you beholden to corrupt leaders. Friends do not be misled. Work today to secure you tomorrow as empty excuses do no cloth backs, feed bellies, or warm houses. God’s Promise is live right now. Walk with Him to remove the scales from your eyes so that you can experience His Will for your life.
Are you with God right now or are you waiting on tomorrow and complaining about yesterday?
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1I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless.
2So I said, “Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?”
3After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world.
4I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards.
5I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees.
6I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves.
7I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned large herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who had lived in Jerusalem before me.
8I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire!
9So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and my wisdom never failed me.
10Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors.
11But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.
12So I decided to compare wisdom with foolishness and madness (for who can do this better than I, the king? ).
13I thought, “Wisdom is better than foolishness, just as light is better than darkness.
14For the wise can see where they are going, but fools walk in the dark.” Yet I saw that the wise and the foolish share the same fate.
15Both will die. So I said to myself, “Since I will end up the same as the fool, what’s the value of all my wisdom? This is all so meaningless!”
16For the wise and the foolish both die. The wise will not be remembered any longer than the fool. In the days to come, both will be forgotten.
17So I came to hate life because everything done here under the sun is so troubling. Everything is meaningless—like chasing the wind.
18I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned.
19And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless!
20So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world.
21Some people work wisely with knowledge and skill, then must leave the fruit of their efforts to someone who hasn’t worked for it. This, too, is meaningless, a great tragedy.
22So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety?
23Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless.
24So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.
25For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?
26God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please him. This, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.
“Be careful when proclaiming to be wise, because eventually you will have to walk your talk.”~TB
It’s easy to learn and comprehend theory. There is no skin in the game. ‘Wise’ people sit around and pontificate meaningless thoughts and ideas, as if it means anything. Wisdumb is the art of over complicating simple truths to appear more intelligent while fooling the naive. Friends, those who are truly wise understand that wisdom comes from failure, practice, obedience, endurance, and a pure love and pursuit of God. Even then, the wise discover what it is to actually be wise, which is no prize at all.
Wisdom can be found in the trenches where God is. It is not an easy endeavor, nor will it bring the contentment most believe it yields. God is the only truth that matters, because all human understanding leads to disappointment and despair. Wisdom is knowing how dumb we are in comparison to our Father in Heaven! So be wise and rejoice that He loves us and takes us back no matter stupid or fallen we’ve become. In practice, the wise learn how foolish they really are!
Have you ‘wised’ up yet?
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1These are the words of the Teacher, King David’s son, who ruled in Jerusalem.
2“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”
3What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?
4Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes.
5The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again.
6The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles.
7Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea.
8Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.
9History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.
10Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new.
11We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.
12I, the Teacher, was king of Israel, and I lived in Jerusalem.
13I devoted myself to search for understanding and to explore by wisdom everything being done under heaven. I soon discovered that God has dealt a tragic existence to the human race.
14I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind.
15What is wrong cannot be made right. What is missing cannot be recovered.
16I said to myself, “Look, I am wiser than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. I have greater wisdom and knowledge than any of them.”
17So I set out to learn everything from wisdom to madness and folly. But I learned firsthand that pursuing all this is like chasing the wind.
18The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.
“God will release you from your bondage, but you must leave your mindset of captivity.”~TB
Vital lies occur when you tell yourself not to expect better ot that your chains aren’t so bad. When you’ve felt trapped for prolonged periods of time, a survivalist mentality sets in. In times of trouble, many rely on their own understanding and not God’s, often doing more harm than good! Don’t lean on your broken thinking unless you wish to remain enslaved. Friends, God did not call you to live in fear or captivity. In order to move past the wilderness, you have to throw off old behavior and cling to the Truth.
The Israelites took 40 years instead of 11 days because they did not trust in the Lord nor did they abandon their old ways. The wilderness is no longer a physical desert, but a negative cyclical spiral within the mind. In Christ you can overcome this, but you must face your reality. Ask yourself, how long with you allow a broken mindset hinder your reliance on Christ? What could you accomplish if you stepped out in faith and left your chains? God has set you free, but you must act on it. If you do not know where to start, ask Him and He will show you.
Are you letting broken chains hold you in the wilderness?
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1The sayings of King Lemuel contain this message, which his mother taught him.
2O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows,
3do not waste your strength on women, on those who ruin kings.
4It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine. Rulers should not crave alcohol.
5For if they drink, they may forget the law and not give justice to the oppressed.
6Alcohol is for the dying, and wine for those in bitter distress.
7Let them drink to forget their poverty and remember their troubles no more.
8Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.
9Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.
10Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.
11Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
12She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
13She finds wool and flax and busily spins it.
14She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar.
15She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
16She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.
18She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.
19Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.
20She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.
21She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes.
22She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants.
25She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
26When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.
27She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.
28Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her:
29“There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”
30Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.
31Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
“Don’t be dismayed when trouble comes your way because God will use a breakdown to help you breakthrough your footholds.”~TB
Understand that bad things don’t only happen because you’ve done something wrong. In fact, there are many lessons to learn when failure or opposition occurs. In your struggles, you can learn how to fully rely on God and not man made alternatives that help numb your suffering. Your relationship with God is the most important relationship you will have and learning how to trust Him in all areas of your life requires enduring situations of all kinds. God is with you in the good times, the bad times, and the in between. Your breakdown strips away all of the distractions and disruptions that keep you from fully walking with God.
Facing trials that make you fall on your face is a humbling experience. But friends, humility is the best tool that you can possess! Humility teaches you that you cannot live this life alone. Humility shows you that God is necessary and not optional. While He will never make you choose to know Him, if you study your breakdowns, trials, stumbling blocks, you will soon realize how much you need Him. Once you realize that Truth, you begin to rejoice in getting to know Him. An authentic relationship with Christ is not duty bound, but a joyful connection that comes from being one of His. Take comfort in your breakdown to experience the breakthrough that is Christ.
Are you breaking through your breakdown?
1The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh contain this message. I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God.
2I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense.
3I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One.
4Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down? Who holds the wind in his fists? Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak? Who has created the whole wide world? What is his name—and his son’s name? Tell me if you know!
5Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.
6Do not add to his words, or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.
7O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die.
8First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.
9For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the LORD ?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.
10Never slander a worker to the employer, or the person will curse you, and you will pay for it.
11Some people curse their father and do not thank their mother.
12They are pure in their own eyes, but they are filthy and unwashed.
“God promised a peaceful life, not a perfect life, so it’s important to understand the difference.”~TB
When you follow the world too closely, it can lull you into a false sense of how life is “supposed” to go. Society tells you to follow certain practices, go to school, get a job, buy a house, join the HOA, build a family, etc. These rules seem fine because it gives you a sense of “what to do”. However, these superficial guidelines can make the blind feel a false sense of control or security that lies outside of God. Ironically, what this world teaches you is not rooted in Biblical principle, because the only guaranteed thing in life is God and nothing else. Blindly following this “checklist life” will bring you disillusionment and discontent because this path is the exact opposite of what Christ teaches.
The Impossible Quest for Perfection
Yes, it is important to be part of the community. Yes, one must have a job and educate themselves. None of these goals are inherently wrong. That said, life in this world is a journey and not a successive one at that. The world teaches you that life happens in an upward slope. The Bible teaches you that hills, valleys, and plateaus are normal. If you take the world’s guidelines to heart, prepare for a depressing reality because perfection is impossible! At least, for humanity. Just look at Job, Jonah, Joseph, David, and all of the stories in the Bible. Friends, even God’s favorite people in the Word faced trial after trial, setback after setback, before they experienced any kind of success. And, even after they achieved great things, they still faced opposition. So friends, do not strive for perfection, or the picturesque falsehoods of the world. Strive for peace, which can be found in the teachings of the Lord.
Your life does not have to be perfect to experience God’s perfect peace. No, this type of peace comes from a deep and lengthy time with God Himself. Friends, we cannot learn all that Christ has to teach us unless we take the necessary time to spend sitting at His feet. Through God, you learn that life is messy. Through Him, you learn that He controls all. And, if you rely on His wisdom, you will see that He is in the midst of all facets of your life. Know that He is always an umbrella when life and opposition bring inclement weather. Spending time in His presence strengthens your understanding that the world is a broken and misguided place and that you need to possess the lens of Christ in order to see through the falsehoods. So the next time you’re feeling down because life isn’t perfect, ask God to teach you how to sit in perfect peace.
What is stopping you from living in perfect peace?
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1Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery.
2When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.
3The man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but if he hangs around with prostitutes, his wealth is wasted.
4A just king gives stability to his nation, but one who demands bribes destroys it.
5To flatter friends is to lay a trap for their feet.
6Evil people are trapped by sin, but the righteous escape, shouting for joy.
7The godly care about the rights of the poor; the wicked don’t care at all.
8Mockers can get a whole town agitated, but the wise will calm anger.
9If a wise person takes a fool to court, there will be ranting and ridicule but no satisfaction.
10The bloodthirsty hate blameless people, but the upright seek to help them.
11Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.
12If a ruler pays attention to liars, all his advisers will be wicked.
13The poor and the oppressor have this in common— the LORD gives sight to the eyes of both.
14If a king judges the poor fairly, his throne will last forever.
15To discipline a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.
16When the wicked are in authority, sin flourishes, but the godly will live to see their downfall.
17Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad.
18When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.
19Words alone will not discipline a servant; the words may be understood, but they are not heeded.
20There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks without thinking.
21A servant pampered from childhood will become a rebel.
22An angry person starts fights; a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin.
23Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.
24If you assist a thief, you only hurt yourself. You are sworn to tell the truth, but you dare not testify.
25Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety.
26Many seek the ruler’s favor, but justice comes from the LORD .
27The righteous despise the unjust; the wicked despise the godly
“God uses detours to take you to the place you were meant to be.”~TB
Don’t be dismayed when your plans are altered, or negative experiences change your destination. God uses those moments to place you where you can be of good use. Though we make plans, God will steer us where we ultimately need to be. So when detours arise, rejoice in where God sends you. Know that His plans are infinitely more Devine and accurate than your own.
Humans a egocentric in that we want what we want, when we want it. Fortunately for us, God knows what we need. A detour may seem inconvenient, but God may be using that moment for you to uplift and encourage a brother or sister in need. Do not forget that we are all part of one body and God will use of to help each other. So when changes arise, you are in the right place, just consult God for the mission. Chances are you’re being called to serve a greater purpose.
Are you in the right place or is everything an inconvenience?
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1The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.
2When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.
3A poor person who oppresses the poor is like a pounding rain that destroys the crops.
4To reject the law is to praise the wicked; to obey the law is to fight them.
5Evil people don’t understand justice, but those who follow the LORD understand completely.
6Better to be poor and honest than to be dishonest and rich.
7Young people who obey the law are wise; those with wild friends bring shame to their parents.
8Income from charging high interest rates will end up in the pocket of someone who is kind to the poor.
9God detests the prayers of a person who ignores the law.
10Those who lead good people along an evil path will fall into their own trap, but the honest will inherit good things.
11Rich people may think they are wise, but a poor person with discernment can see right through them.
12When the godly succeed, everyone is glad. When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding.
13People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
14Blessed are those who fear to do wrong, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.
15A wicked ruler is as dangerous to the poor as a roaring lion or an attacking bear.
16A ruler with no understanding will oppress his people, but one who hates corruption will have a long life.
17A murderer’s tormented conscience will drive him into the grave. Don’t protect him!
18The blameless will be rescued from harm, but the crooked will be suddenly destroyed.
19A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty.
20The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble.
21Showing partiality is never good, yet some will do wrong for a mere piece of bread.
22Greedy people try to get rich quick but don’t realize they’re headed for poverty.
23In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery.
24Anyone who steals from his father and mother and says, “What’s wrong with that?” is no better than a murderer.
25Greed causes fighting; trusting the LORD leads to prosperity.
26Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe.
27Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.
28When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding. When the wicked meet disaster, the godly flourish.
“The opposition can take things from you, but he cannot take your salvation.”~TB
Like a thief lying in wait for the opportune moment, he will try and steal your peace and joy by any means necessary. His main goal is to get you to feel as though God isn’t with you. Friends, don’t turn your back away from God when you are going through tough times. Remain calm and learn all you can in your trials so that you grow from the experience.
When you experience setbacks that come from the evil one, rest assured that these attacks are temporary and they will pass. In times of great trial, lean on the word for comfort. The Bible is filled with stories of men and women who have endured trying times and great opposition. What comfort it is to know that our experiences are no different from those before us!
Whatever the opposition attempts to steal, God will redeem and then some. Christ is the ultimate defender and protector, so when evil comes against you, there’s no need to fight. Be still and know that your Creator is in control. Our own defense or vindication does not hold a candle to what Christ can do for us. So when evil tries to take, remember who redeems and what He was decided cannot be changed.
Are you remaining still and allowing God to work in your life?
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1Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring.
2Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth— a stranger, not your own lips.
3A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the resentment caused by a fool is even heavier.
4Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous.
5An open rebuke is better than hidden love!
6Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
7A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.
8A person who strays from home is like a bird that strays from its nest.
9The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.
10Never abandon a friend— either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.
11Be wise, my child, and make my heart glad. Then I will be able to answer my critics.
12A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
13Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt. Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.
14A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning will be taken as a curse!
15A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day.
16Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or trying to hold something with greased hands.
17As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
18As workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat the fruit, so workers who protect their employer’s interests will be rewarded.
19As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.
20Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied, so human desire is never satisfied.
21Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised.
22You cannot separate fools from their foolishness, even though you grind them like grain with mortar and pestle.
23Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds,
24for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be passed to the next generation.
25After the hay is harvested and the new crop appears and the mountain grasses are gathered in,
26your sheep will provide wool for clothing, and your goats will provide the price of a field.
27And you will have enough goats’ milk for yourself, your family, and your servant girls.
“It’s difficult to walk with Christ with tons of baggage so leave behind the unnecessary items to lighten the load.”~TB
Unforgiveness and internalized trauma can cloud your mind, allowing the opposition to use these painful experiences to cloud your judgment and relationship with Christ. Friends, life is tough, and no one walks away unscathed. So when bad things happen, as they will, remember that God is in control and will use any situation for good. While going through trials and tribulations, take a step back, calm yourself and remember His goodness.
When you’re traveling with God, carry on with a spirit of gratitude, mercy, and joy, so that in whatever you endure, you can see God’s hand in your situation. The devil will try and get you to turn your back on the Truth— God’s Victory is already sealed. The worst he can only do is ruffle your feathers, and friends only you can allow the evil one to get under your skin. So in times of struggle, frustration, and discouragement, chuck your bags and leave only with the carry-on items that bring you closer to God.
What baggage are you holding onto that’s slowing down your walk with Christ?
1Honor is no more associated with fools than snow with summer or rain with harvest.
2Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim.
3Guide a horse with a whip, a donkey with a bridle, and a fool with a rod to his back!
4Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are.
5Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.
6Trusting a fool to convey a message is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison!
7A proverb in the mouth of a fool is as useless as a paralyzed leg.
8Honoring a fool is as foolish as tying a stone to a slingshot.
9A proverb in the mouth of a fool is like a thorny branch brandished by a drunk.
10An employer who hires a fool or a bystander is like an archer who shoots at random.
11As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.
12There is more hope for fools than for people who think they are wise.
13The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion on the road! Yes, I’m sure there’s a lion out there!”
14As a door swings back and forth on its hinges, so the lazy person turns over in bed.
15Lazy people take food in their hand but don’t even lift it to their mouth.
16Lazy people consider themselves smarter than seven wise counselors.
17Interfering in someone else’s argument is as foolish as yanking a dog’s ears.
18Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon
19is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking.”
20Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.
21A quarrelsome person starts fights as easily as hot embers light charcoal or fire lights wood.
22Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.
23Smooth words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a clay pot.
24People may cover their hatred with pleasant words, but they’re deceiving you.
25They pretend to be kind, but don’t believe them. Their hearts are full of many evils.
26While their hatred may be concealed by trickery, their wrongdoing will be exposed in public.
27If you set a trap for others, you will get caught in it yourself. If you roll a boulder down on others, it will crush you instead.
28A lying tongue hates its victims, and flattering words cause ruin