“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
“The enemy will always attack you in your weakest area. The beauty of this is that you know his strategy.”~TB
The devil’s job is to get you off task, off focus, and offline so that you reject the truth and do his bidding. As such, his sneaky underhanded tactics are visceral, jarring, and strategic. He will use any deceptive practice that is the most effective in getting you to stumble. Now, this may seem discouraging. Your weaknesses and footholds will always be where he’ll hit you the hardest. It’s not his job to make your walk with Christ easy, in fact, it’s the total opposite. While you may experience attacks, setbacks, and discouragement, the devil’s unfair play makes it easy to recognize his strategy. Further, if the devil is messing with you so intensely, know it’s because you’re disrupting his plans for discord and destruction. He’ll never go after the lukewarm, so stand firm in Christ and keep moving.
Knowing how the opposition will attack you is like having his playbook to prepare against his moves. Take stock of your weaknesses, vices, and footholds. Knowing your greatest areas of opportunity is the first step in discerning how the opposition is going to attack you. When you experience opposition of any kind, take a step back, calm your feelings, and observe what is going on around you. Remember who made you and that He is available to help you always. Ask God for help in revealing the playing field and the best plan of action to rise above the opposition’s nonsense. Know that the evil one cannot take your salvation and standing with Christ. The best plan of attack is to acknowledge your weak points, ask God for help, and do the work in improving your walk with Christ. Remember, in times of trouble, double down in your faith and not your own understanding. Though you may stumble, God will not let you fall.
Are you using the playbook or are you falling prey to the oppositions dirty tactics?
Enjoy the reading
1These are more proverbs of Solomon, collected by the advisers of King Hezekiah of Judah.
2It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them.
3No one can comprehend the height of heaven, the depth of the earth, or all that goes on in the king’s mind!
4Remove the impurities from silver, and the sterling will be ready for the silversmith.
5Remove the wicked from the king’s court, and his reign will be made secure by justice.
6Don’t demand an audience with the king or push for a place among the great.
7It’s better to wait for an invitation to the head table than to be sent away in public disgrace. Just because you’ve seen something,
8don’t be in a hurry to go to court. For what will you do in the end if your neighbor deals you a shameful defeat?
9When arguing with your neighbor, don’t betray another person’s secret.
10Others may accuse you of gossip, and you will never regain your good reputation.
11Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket.
12To one who listens, valid criticism is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry.
13Trustworthy messengers refresh like snow in summer. They revive the spirit of their employer.
14A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it is like clouds and wind that bring no rain.
15Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can break bones.
16Do you like honey? Don’t eat too much, or it will make you sick!
17Don’t visit your neighbors too often, or you will wear out your welcome.
18Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow.
19Putting confidence in an unreliable person in times of trouble is like chewing with a broken tooth or walking on a lame foot.
20Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather or pouring vinegar in a wound.
21If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink.
22You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads, and the LORD will reward you.
23As surely as a north wind brings rain, so a gossiping tongue causes anger!
24It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.
25Good news from far away is like cold water to the thirsty.
26If the godly give in to the wicked, it’s like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring.
27It’s not good to eat too much honey, and it’s not good to seek honors for yourself.
28A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.
“So you’re spiritually mature, great! Now, step aside and let others pass theirs instead of trying to do the work for them.”~TB
The longer you spend with God, the more you understand how complex yet simple His love and teachings are. Like a game of chess, it takes a lifetime to study God’s ways. Even still, the wisest of us all will never truly and fully understand the miraculousness that is God. Depending on where you are on the spectrum, God will use you for His purpose, but friends, do your job and nothing more, as we all learn at a different pace.
Everyone goes through trials and tests at their own pace. Some learn faster than others. And some need to retake certain tests before they ace the exam. No person’s journey is superior to another’s, no matter how quickly they learn. If you are a quick learner, be a help and not a hindrance.
Helping others is part of the journey that is being a Christ-follower. This means encouraging the downtrodden, aiding those enduring hard times, and giving mercy to one another. It’s great to help, but when helping turns into servitude, you’re doing too much.
Yes, it’s natural to want to step in so that loved ones do not endure pain. However, everyone needs to go through their own tests so that they can learn the lessons and grow closer to God in the process. When you overstep in “helping” you’re actually hinder the person’s growth and maturity. Assist when necessary and let others develop accordingly.
Is your help a hindrance?
Enjoy the reading
1Don’t envy evil people or desire their company.
2For their hearts plot violence, and their words always stir up trouble.
3A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense.
4Through knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious riches and valuables.
5The wise are mightier than the strong, and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger.
6So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers.
7Wisdom is too lofty for fools. Among leaders at the city gate, they have nothing to say.
8A person who plans evil will get a reputation as a troublemaker.
9The schemes of a fool are sinful; everyone detests a mocker.
10If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.
11Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death.
12Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve.
13My child, eat honey, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to the taste.
14In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short.
15Don’t wait in ambush at the home of the godly, and don’t raid the house where the godly live.
16The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.
17Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble.
18For the LORD will be displeased with you and will turn his anger away from them.
19Don’t fret because of evildoers; don’t envy the wicked.
20For evil people have no future; the light of the wicked will be snuffed out.
21My child, fear the LORD and the king. Don’t associate with rebels,
22for disaster will hit them suddenly. Who knows what punishment will come from the LORD and the king?
23Here are some further sayings of the wise: It is wrong to show favoritism when passing judgment.
24A judge who says to the wicked, “You are innocent,” will be cursed by many people and denounced by the nations.
25But it will go well for those who convict the guilty; rich blessings will be showered on them.
26An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship.
27Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house.
28Don’t testify against your neighbors without cause; don’t lie about them.
29And don’t say, “Now I can pay them back for what they’ve done to me! I’ll get even with them!”
30I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense.
31I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down.
32Then, as I looked and thought about it, I learned this lesson:
33A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—
34then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
“Don’t wait for some miraculous sign to do what God has called you to do.”~TB
When God first reveals the Truth, everything seems miraculous and wonderful. Because you are looking at the world with open eyes you see Him in everything and everywhere. You delight in His presence, singing promises of obedience, forever and ever. Of course, it’s easy to be a babe in Christ; you have yet to begin your walk! It’s a good thing that God’s patient is immeasurable as we humans have a tendency of making promises we cannot keep. Trials and tests have a way of making one weary and jaded, which is why you have to rest and renew your spirit through your 1 on 1 time with Christ.
Time has a way of dulling the senses and if you’re not careful, that fire you once had for Christ turns into a lukewarm complacency. Over time, you begin to look for some magical occurrence to help push you into your calling. Friends, God is still here and He is still working in your favor. Don’t take for granted what He’s done for you. If you find yourself waiting for some mystical happening, talk to Him and pray for a renewal of your faith. Even better, help your brothers and sisters who are in need. We are all one body, so when we help someone else, we, in turn, are aided in our service. Don’t wait for signs to do what you know to be the right thing.
What are you waiting for?
Enjoy the reading
1While dining with a ruler, pay attention to what is put before you.
2If you are a big eater, put a knife to your throat;
3don’t desire all the delicacies, for he might be trying to trick you.
4Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit.
5In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.
6Don’t eat with people who are stingy; don’t desire their delicacies.
7They are always thinking about how much it costs. “Eat and drink,” they say, but they don’t mean it.
8You will throw up what little you’ve eaten, and your compliments will be wasted.
9Don’t waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice.
10Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers; don’t take the land of defenseless orphans.
11For their Redeemer is strong; he himself will bring their charges against you.
12Commit yourself to instruction; listen carefully to words of knowledge.
13Don’t fail to discipline your children. The rod of punishment won’t kill them.
14Physical discipline may well save them from death.
15My child, if your heart is wise, my own heart will rejoice!
16Everything in me will celebrate when you speak what is right.
17Don’t envy sinners, but always continue to fear the LORD .
18You will be rewarded for this; your hope will not be disappointed.
19My child, listen and be wise: Keep your heart on the right course.
20Do not carouse with drunkards or feast with gluttons,
21for they are on their way to poverty, and too much sleep clothes them in rags.
22Listen to your father, who gave you life, and don’t despise your mother when she is old.
23Get the truth and never sell it; also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment.
24The father of godly children has cause for joy. What a pleasure to have children who are wise.
25So give your father and mother joy! May she who gave you birth be happy.
26O my son, give me your heart. May your eyes take delight in following my ways.
27A prostitute is a dangerous trap; a promiscuous woman is as dangerous as falling into a narrow well.
28She hides and waits like a robber, eager to make more men unfaithful.
29Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
30It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns, trying out new drinks.
31Don’t gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is, how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down.
32For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake; it stings like a viper.
33You will see hallucinations, and you will say crazy things.
34You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea, clinging to a swaying mast.
35And you will say, “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t even know it when they beat me up. When will I wake up so I can look for another drink?”
“Seek God’s Counsel to search the motives of your heart, because a determined mind can make the case for any argument.”~TB
When you allow someone else to inform your relationship, or lack there of, with Christ, you’re relying on secondhand information. Like listening to the rumors about someone you don’t know, the information you are receiving may be distorted or false. For this reason, you must test everything you hear against the Truth, which is written in the Bible.You don’t need a middle man to find Christ. Yes, getting insights from wise people is well and good, but friends, you must test the wise because they are human too. More to the point, fleshly people will always give their take on how to compromise the Truth. In these “modern times” many are quick to split hairs, diluting the truth to circumvent obedience. If you’re looking to justify your actions, you don’t have to look hard to find a consenting viewpoint. For the best and accurate information go straight to the source
Cite Your Source
If you find that the people you seek counsel from give you questionable advice, cross reference that intel with the Truth of the Bible. Applying the wisdom found in the Bible is the only way to get the honest intel. In order to achieve this, you must always check the motivations of your heart. When your motives are pure humility is a byproduct. Even when we screw up, there is the call to return to the Lord. When your motives are wicked, you find ways to justify your wickedness, placing the blame externally instead of taking responsibility of your actions. The Living Word does not change, even as humanity changes from generation to generation. When you carefully study the Word with an open and honest heart, you will find that the information applies to your life in every stage you’re in. We are called to continually study the Word not for obedience’s sake, but for the eternal wisdom that it provides. The Bible teaches you relational wisdom. If you allow him, God will share the Truth with you.
Are you acting on Bad Intel because you refuse to do your own Biblical research?
Enjoy today’s Reading
1Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.
2The rich and poor have this in common: The LORD made them both.
3A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
4True humility and fear of the LORD lead to riches, honor, and long life.
5Corrupt people walk a thorny, treacherous road; whoever values life will avoid it.
6Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
7Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.
8Those who plant injustice will harvest disaster, and their reign of terror will come to an end.
9Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor.
10Throw out the mocker, and fighting goes, too. Quarrels and insults will disappear.
11Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend.
12The LORD preserves those with knowledge, but he ruins the plans of the treacherous.
13The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion out there! If I go outside, I might be killed!”
14The mouth of an immoral woman is a dangerous trap; those who make the LORD angry will fall into it.
15A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness, but physical discipline will drive it far away.
16A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty.
17Listen to the words of the wise; apply your heart to my instruction.
18For it is good to keep these sayings in your heart and always ready on your lips.
19I am teaching you today—yes, you— so you will trust in the LORD .
20I have written thirty sayings for you, filled with advice and knowledge.
21In this way, you may know the truth and take an accurate report to those who sent you.
22Don’t rob the poor just because you can, or exploit the needy in court.
23For the LORD is their defender. He will ruin anyone who ruins them.
24Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people,
25or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.
26Don’t agree to guarantee another person’s debt or put up security for someone else.
27If you can’t pay it, even your bed will be snatched from under you.
28Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers set up by previous generations.
29Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people.
“Don’t create a massive process to process forgiveness, love, and acceptance.”~TB
When you regularly walk with God, you will notice how quickly He is to forgive us when we screw up. He doesn’t read a list of past offenses, He simply acknowledges your repentance and moves on. We know this, yet we still hold the offenses of our peers to a higher standard. How arrogant and how foolish! God doesn’t beat us up because He knows that in order for you to grow, you must be given the space and grace to do so. When you look at a person, in the same way, failing to acknowledge their growth or change, well, that says more about you than the other person.
I admit, there are times where I get annoyed with my dad when he advises me to move on from offenses. In my frustration, I’d rather wallow in my “rightness” rather than extend the same space and grace that God gives me on a daily basis. I humbly laugh at my misguided nature and continually ask God to improve my resilience in that area. I’ve come to realize that my dad is not trying to diminish/erase my experience, but rather, he’s encouraging me to love people as God loves me. I share this with you to say, whatever the offense, whatever the reason, right or wrong, move on. God gives credit where credit is due, and we all reap what we sow, good or bad. So let God do the judging.
Are you letting a convoluted process hinder your walk with Christ?
Enjoy the reading
1The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD ; he guides it wherever he pleases.
2People may be right in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their heart.
3The LORD is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.
4Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin.
5Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
6Wealth created by a lying tongue is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap.
7The violence of the wicked sweeps them away, because they refuse to do what is just.
8The guilty walk a crooked path; the innocent travel a straight road.
9It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.
10Evil people desire evil; their neighbors get no mercy from them.
11If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded become wise; if you instruct the wise, they will be all the wiser.
12The Righteous One knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked; he will bring disaster on them.
13Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.
14A secret gift calms anger; a bribe under the table pacifies fury.
15Justice is a joy to the godly, but it terrifies evildoers.
16The person who strays from common sense will end up in the company of the dead.
17Those who love pleasure become poor; those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.
18The wicked are punished in place of the godly, and traitors in place of the honest.
19It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.
20The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.
21Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22The wise conquer the city of the strong and level the fortress in which they trust.
23Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.
24Mockers are proud and haughty; they act with boundless arrogance.
25Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin, for their hands refuse to work.
26Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!
27The sacrifice of an evil person is detestable, especially when it is offered with wrong motives.
28A false witness will be cut off, but a credible witness will be allowed to speak.
29The wicked bluff their way through, but the virtuous think before they act.
30No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the LORD .
31The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD .