“Fortify your mind like the walls of Jericho, so that you will rely on God’s perfect peace in all of the relationships within your life.”~TB
When you’ve mastered your mind, you begin to understand how truly helpless you are without God. Friends, your foundation has to begin and end with Him. More to the point, loving God above all else is key to loving anyone at all! Experiencing God’s love informs you on how to properly love your brothers and sisters. You cannot truly love someone if you don’t know God’s love. His love is the only infinite and unyielding love there is! Mold your love after the love of Christ and watch how your relationships change. Because God freely loves and forgives, take those same principles and apply them to every relationship in your life. There will be times of mal-intent. There will be times of friendly fire. No matter the case, when God is first in your life, His Truth will reign supreme, giving you the peace and understanding of what it takes to truly love your neighbor.
If you love yourself more than you love God, it will show. But, what does that look like? You love yourself more than God when you allow the influence of external factors dictate your mindset, behavior, etc., overriding your connection to Him. Your mind left undisciplined, will lead you to believe that you are the master and commander of this show. Friends, don’t fall for the lies of your ego and the opposition. The devil knows how to use a weak-minded person and he will use you to cause destruction. Because you are weak, you will gladly participate in his foolishness, as you blindly do his bidding, causing chaos amongst God’s people. Fortunately for us, all things work for Christ and even in your weak-mindedness, God uses it to His benefit. Our strength lies in our weakness because God makes up the difference when we fall short. Remember who loved you first so that you rule your mind accordingly.
Are you giving your weak mind permission to wreak havoc in your life?
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1Unfriendly people care only about themselves; they lash out at common sense.
2Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.
3Doing wrong leads to disgrace, and scandalous behavior brings contempt.
4Wise words are like deep waters; wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook.
5It is not right to acquit the guilty or deny justice to the innocent.
6Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels; they are asking for a beating.
7The mouths of fools are their ruin; they trap themselves with their lips.
8Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.
9A lazy person is as bad as someone who destroys things.
10The name of the LORD is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.
11The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense; they imagine it to be a high wall of safety.
12Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor.
13Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.
14The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit?
15Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge.
16Giving a gift can open doors; it gives access to important people!
17The first to speak in court sounds right— until the cross-examination begins.
18Flipping a coin can end arguments; it settles disputes between powerful opponents.
19An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.
20Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction.
21The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
22The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD .
23The poor plead for mercy; the rich answer with insults.
24There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
“How you handle your trials shows you where your faith is.”~TB
It’s easy to say you love and trust God. Those words sound beautiful and assured. But words have very little meaning without action. To love and to trust in anything means to behave in a manner that backs up your sentiment. Sure, loving God is super easy when things are going your way. But where do you go when you are challenged? Are you still singing His Praises?
It’s very telling where your faith is when your tests and trials show up. The human life experience is filled with detours, trials, bad days, and the like. No one escapes this reality. God imparts wisdom and strategies to those who seek Him. So even in times of extreme frustration, desperation, and despondency, those who connect to Him regularly can endure and prosper. Friends get to know God on a personal level.
In the bad times, does your love for God still ring true or are those words as hollow as your deeds?
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1We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer.
2People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives.
3Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.
4The LORD has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for a day of disaster.
5The LORD detests the proud; they will surely be punished.
6Unfailing love and faithfulness make atonement for sin. By fearing the LORD, people avoid evil.
7When people’s lives please the LORD, even their enemies are at peace with them.
8Better to have little, with godliness, than to be rich and dishonest.
9We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.
10The king speaks with divine wisdom; he must never judge unfairly.
11The LORD demands accurate scales and balances; he sets the standards for fairness.
12A king detests wrongdoing, for his rule is built on justice.
13The king is pleased with words from righteous lips; he loves those who speak honestly.
14The anger of the king is a deadly threat; the wise will try to appease it.
15When the king smiles, there is life; his favor refreshes like a spring rain.
16How much better to get wisdom than gold, and good judgment than silver!
17The path of the virtuous leads away from evil; whoever follows that path is safe.
18Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.
19Better to live humbly with the poor than to share plunder with the proud.
20Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the LORD will be joyful.
21The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant words are persuasive.
22Discretion is a life-giving fountain to those who possess it, but discipline is wasted on fools.
23From a wise mind comes wise speech; the words of the wise are persuasive.
24Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
25There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.
26It is good for workers to have an appetite; an empty stomach drives them on.
27Scoundrels create trouble; their words are a destructive blaze.
28A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
29Violent people mislead their companions, leading them down a harmful path.
30With narrowed eyes, people plot evil; with a smirk, they plan their mischief.
31Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life.
32Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.
33We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.
“Whatever your troubles may be, give it up to God so that He may restore you.”~TB
Every human has a thorn in their side, a struggle they must bear, an affliction of sorts. This flaw is the reality of humanity and also the constant reminder of our need for God. Friends, we are and never will be perfect. Our flesh is too weak, our minds too feeble, our hearts too fragile. A broken spirit will pass on their affliction to the next person, infecting an already frail ecosystem of sick people. Whatever your affliction is, give your burden to the Lord. When you open up in your weakness, whatever you lack, He will make up the difference.
Your affliction does not give you permission to hurt others. While you may have experienced harm, you must not turn around and harm your brothers and sisters. This type of thinking leads to the very broken nation we’re in right now. What good comes from repeating the suffering you endured? If you truly seek restoration and healing, go to our Father in Heaven. His answers are wiser than mere human solutions. They require an open and humble ear. To understand His ways you must read His Words. The study of the Word equips your mind to comprehend and apply the healing that God provides.
Are you ready to give up your afflictions?
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1A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
2The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing, but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness.
3The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.
4Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
5Only a fool despises a parent’s discipline; whoever learns from correction is wise.
6There is treasure in the house of the godly, but the earnings of the wicked bring trouble.
7The lips of the wise give good advice; the heart of a fool has none to give.
8The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but he delights in the prayers of the upright.
9The LORD detests the way of the wicked, but he loves those who pursue godliness.
10Whoever abandons the right path will be severely disciplined; whoever hates correction will die.
11Even Death and Destruction hold no secrets from the LORD . How much more does he know the human heart!
12Mockers hate to be corrected, so they stay away from the wise.
13A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit.
14A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash.
15For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.
16Better to have little, with fear for the LORD, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil.
17A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.
18A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them.
19A lazy person’s way is blocked with briers, but the path of the upright is an open highway.
20Sensible children bring joy to their father; foolish children despise their mother.
21Foolishness brings joy to those with no sense; a sensible person stays on the right path.
22Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.
23Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!
24The path of life leads upward for the wise; they leave the grave behind.
25The LORD tears down the house of the proud, but he protects the property of widows.
26The LORD detests evil plans, but he delights in pure words.
27Greed brings grief to the whole family, but those who hate bribes will live.
28The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.
29The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous.
30A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health.
31If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.
32If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.
33Fear of the LORD teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor.
“A shattered mirror is no longer useful, so leave the pieces and get a new one.”~TB
There will be times in your life where things implode. This could be in the form of family, friends, work, etc. In the moment, it will sting, but before you jump to conclusions, let the dust settle.
Break the Cycle
God’s plan is to free us from bondage and restore our relationship with Him. He will implode circumstances that we need to be ripped out of because He knows we would not willingly leave otherwise. Don’t despair as the shrapnel from the fallout is no longer useful to you.
The broken pieces of the implosion are the image we hide behind to avoid working on our issues. We hide in an effort to conceal our shortcomings while appearing to not have struggles. This facade helps no one as a false testimony is useless. Leave the pieces behind, so that Christ can heal your wounds, freeing you to be who He intended you to be.
Are you done with your false image?
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1To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.
2The LORD approves of those who are good, but he condemns those who plan wickedness.
3Wickedness never brings stability, but the godly have deep roots.
4A worthy wife is a crown for her husband, but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones.
5The plans of the godly are just; the advice of the wicked is treacherous.
6The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush, but the words of the godly save lives.
7The wicked die and disappear, but the family of the godly stands firm.
8A sensible person wins admiration, but a warped mind is despised.
9Better to be an ordinary person with a servant than to be self-important but have no food.
10The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel.
11A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies has no sense.
12Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot, but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit.
13The wicked are trapped by their own words, but the godly escape such trouble.
14Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards.
15Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.
16A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.
17An honest witness tells the truth; a false witness tells lies.
18Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.
19Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed.
20Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planning peace!
21No harm comes to the godly, but the wicked have their fill of trouble.
22The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.
23The wise don’t make a show of their knowledge, but fools broadcast their foolishness.
24Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.
25Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.
26The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.
27Lazy people don’t even cook the game they catch, but the diligent make use of everything they find.
28The way of the godly leads to life; that path does not lead to death
“Stay connected with God through the Word so you can detect your misfiring fuses.”~TB
Your mind, body, and spirit are like a machine that needs proper care and maintenance. Routinely caring for them requires a balanced diet. When your diet— especially your spiritual diet— is compromised you will blow a fuse, causing the whole operation to malfunction. When your fuse is blown spiritually, it’s easier for a sinful mindset to take root, blinding you from how far out to pasture you’ve gone. If you find yourself in a constant state of chaos, unrest, anger, fear, or any negative mindset, chances are you’ve blown a fuse.
Blowing a fuse is part of the human experience. God knows this, which is why the Bible and reflection are great diagnostic tools to help you see which fuse is blown. Like a diagnostic tool used on a vehicle, hook up to God to see what’s what under the hood of your mind, body, and spirit. When you walk with God on a regular basis, it’s easier to discern which fuse needs more attention than others or which fuse has completely shorted. Friends, remember, we cannot fix a blown fuse on our own, our Father in Heaven. So, connect to Him to replace your blown fuses so that you may operate on all four cylinders.
Is a blown fuse causing problems in your life?
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1The LORD detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights.
2Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
3Honesty guides good people; dishonesty destroys treacherous people.
4Riches won’t help on the day of judgment, but right living can save you from death.
5The godly are directed by honesty; the wicked fall beneath their load of sin.
6The godliness of good people rescues them; the ambition of treacherous people traps them.
7When the wicked die, their hopes die with them, for they rely on their own feeble strength.
8The godly are rescued from trouble, and it falls on the wicked instead.
9With their words, the godless destroy their friends, but knowledge will rescue the righteous.
10The whole city celebrates when the godly succeed; they shout for joy when the wicked die.
11Upright citizens are good for a city and make it prosper, but the talk of the wicked tears it apart.
12It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor; a sensible person keeps quiet.
13A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.
14Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.
15There’s danger in putting up security for a stranger’s debt; it’s safer not to guarantee another person’s debt.
16A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth.
17Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.
18Evil people get rich for the moment, but the reward of the godly will last.
19Godly people find life; evil people find death.
20The LORD detests people with crooked hearts, but he delights in those with integrity.
21Evil people will surely be punished, but the children of the godly will go free.
22A beautiful woman who lacks discretion is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.
23The godly can look forward to a reward, while the wicked can expect only judgment.
24Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.
25The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
26People curse those who hoard their grain, but they bless the one who sells in time of need.
27If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil, it will find you!
28Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.
29Those who bring trouble on their families inherit the wind. The fool will be a servant to the wise.
30The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends.
31If the righteous are rewarded here on earth, what will happen to wicked sinners?
”All things work as God intended, so till your soil, chill out, and be cool.”~TB
Each day presents new opportunities and challenges. You have a finite amount of resources to till the soil and plant the seeds of your future harvest. The devil’s job is to get you off task and he doesn’t play fair or nice. In those moments, you have two options: be cool and plant Godly seeds, or give in to the chaos and plant seeds of discord. While the opposition will lead you to a poisoned well, you make the choice to drink the poisoned water. No matter which path you choose, the results will show your deeds.
You can only fake your results for so long. Don’t forget that wheat and tares grow together and cannot be distinguished until harvest time, so don’t be fulled by growth. Come harvest time, God will show you whether you’ve been cool or not. Just because you have not yet reaped your harvest— good or bad— does not mean that God is not watching. If you’re cool, He will reward you. If you’re not, well, you reap what you’ve sown. Perhaps if you repent and let God work in you, He’ll hook you up in the next season. So be cool, honor God, and do your work.
Are you being cool yet?
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1Wisdom has built her house; she has carved its seven columns.
2She has prepared a great banquet, mixed the wines, and set the table.
3She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come. She calls out from the heights overlooking the city.
4“Come in with me,” she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says,
5“Come, eat my food, and drink the wine I have mixed.
6Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment.”
7Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.
8So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you.
9Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more.
10Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.
11Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life.
12If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.
13The woman named Folly is brash. She is ignorant and doesn’t know it.
14She sits in her doorway on the heights overlooking the city.
15She calls out to men going by who are minding their own business.
16“Come in with me,” she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says,
17“Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret tastes the best!”
18But little do they know that the dead are there. Her guests are in the depths of the grave.
“Rejoice in the fact that we get to serve a loving and merciful God.”~TB
A “have to” mindset is where you look at life’s tasks with a tedious and duty-bound attitude. In your mind, things just happen to you and you simply react. This lens makes the viewer see things in such a twisted light, it’s no wonder why people struggle to build a relationship with God! Spending time with God is not a chore nor an obligation. Friends, no one is holding a gun to your head. If something in your life sucks, change it. If you cannot see the joy in choosing to follow Christ, check your mindset, or quit pretending. No joy can come from a forced relationship. If you don’t want to know God, then don’t. Just stop pretending like you’re doing Him a favor with your bogus actions.
When you understand all that our Father in Heaven has done, is doing, and will do in your life, you can’t help but have a change in perspective. You’re “have to” mindset shifts into a “get to” viewpoint because you know the price that was paid for you. What once seemed like a chain weighing you down is now a joyous and love-filled activity. Know that God loves you and seeks to have a restorative and everlasting relationship with you. His love is unfailing and unyielding, so be glad you get to experience it. Take the time to cultivate an honest and personal relationship. His wisdom brings joy, peace, and contentment. How wonderful it is to get to know Him!
Are you leading a “get to” or “have to” kind of life?
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1Listen as Wisdom calls out! Hear as understanding raises her voice!
2On the hilltop along the road, she takes her stand at the crossroads.
3By the gates at the entrance to the town, on the road leading in, she cries aloud,
4“I call to you, to all of you! I raise my voice to all people.
5You simple people, use good judgment. You foolish people, show some understanding.
6Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you. Everything I say is right,
7for I speak the truth and detest every kind of deception.
8My advice is wholesome. There is nothing devious or crooked in it.
9My words are plain to anyone with understanding, clear to those with knowledge.
10Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold.
11For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.
12“I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.
13All who fear the LORD will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech.
14Common sense and success belong to me. Insight and strength are mine.
15Because of me, kings reign, and rulers make just decrees.
16Rulers lead with my help, and nobles make righteous judgments.
17“I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me.
18I have riches and honor, as well as enduring wealth and justice.
19My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold, my wages better than sterling silver!
20I walk in righteousness, in paths of justice.
21Those who love me inherit wealth. I will fill their treasuries.
22“The LORD formed me from the beginning, before he created anything else.
23I was appointed in ages past, at the very first, before the earth began.
24I was born before the oceans were created, before the springs bubbled forth their waters.
25Before the mountains were formed, before the hills, I was born—
26before he had made the earth and fields and the first handfuls of soil.
27I was there when he established the heavens, when he drew the horizon on the oceans.
28I was there when he set the clouds above, when he established springs deep in the earth.
29I was there when he set the limits of the seas, so they would not spread beyond their boundaries. And when he marked off the earth’s foundations,
30I was the architect at his side. I was his constant delight, rejoicing always in his presence.
31And how happy I was with the world he created; how I rejoiced with the human family!
32“And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful.
33Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it.
34Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home!
35For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD .
36But those who miss me injure themselves. All who hate me love death.”
“Stop looking to people, places, or things for things that only God can give you.”~TB
Every single sin– all the way back to the original sin– is rooted in one basic premise: trying to fill a need outside of God’s will. People look for love, comfort, possessions, revenge, etc. in all the wrong places! The world will tell you it’s ok to shack up with your partner. The devil and your untamed flesh will wholeheartedly agree! Your anger may encourage you to kill someone. Trust me, the opposition will egg you on and then taunt you when you are punished for your crime. Bottom line, nothing good comes from humans arrogantly operating outside God’s will. There are too many dumb outliers in the hands of man that will lead you astray.
Humans are very needy creatures. We need shelter, food, air, love, support, exercise, coffee (well, some of us), the list goes on and on. Like I said, we’re very needy! When you seek a relationship with God, you will find that in one way or another, He will provide these things for you. The problem is, you’re fighting the world, your flesh, and the devil, which can often temporarily blur the path. This is especially true if you are undisciplined in your walk with Christ. If you are ruled by these three things, you believe that man-made solutions will fulfill you. Friends, no person, place, or thing can give you what you need. In fact, chasing man-made solutions will continually leave you feeling empty. The temporary fix then becomes an addiction of sorts because you need more of it each time you run out. Stop trying to supply your own needs. Seek God first.
God is the ultimate provider and if you let Him, He will fulfill every need and then some! God’s love and wisdom are graciously given to those who honestly seek Him. When you understand this fundamental truth, you can then clinically look at your behaviors, thoughts, and deeds. Take a step back and ask yourself, “why am I doing this?”, “does this align with God’s will?”, “Am I relying on my own flawed thinking to justify my sinful behavior?”. Then, ask God for the right answers. In one way another, He will teach you how to discipline and tame your flesh so that you learn to turn to Him in all aspects of your life. Through discipline, the vices and temptations you struggle with cannot enslave you because you know Who gives you what you need. Give all things to God and He will give you everything you need.
Are you relying on God to fulfill your needs?
1Follow my advice, my son; always treasure my commands.
2Obey my commands and live! Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.
3Tie them on your fingers as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.
4Love wisdom like a sister; make insight a beloved member of your family.
5Let them protect you from an affair with an immoral woman, from listening to the flattery of a promiscuous woman.
6While I was at the window of my house, looking through the curtain,
7I saw some naive young men, and one in particular who lacked common sense.
8He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman, strolling down the path by her house.
9It was at twilight, in the evening, as deep darkness fell.
10The woman approached him, seductively dressed and sly of heart.
11She was the brash, rebellious type, never content to stay at home.
12She is often in the streets and markets, soliciting at every corner.
13She threw her arms around him and kissed him, and with a brazen look she said,
14“I’ve just made my peace offerings and fulfilled my vows.
15You’re the one I was looking for! I came out to find you, and here you are!
16My bed is spread with beautiful blankets, with colored sheets of Egyptian linen.
17I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning. Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses,
19for my husband is not home. He’s away on a long trip.
20He has taken a wallet full of money with him and won’t return until later this month. ”
21So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery.
22He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap,
23awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life.
24So listen to me, my sons, and pay attention to my words.
25Don’t let your hearts stray away toward her. Don’t wander down her wayward path.
26For she has been the ruin of many; many men have been her victims.
27Her house is the road to the grave. Her bedroom is the den of death.
“Do not put your brothers and sisters on a pedastal, as they require the same mercy and grace from God as you.”~TB
Even the wisest most disciplined follower of Christ does not compare to the perfection that is God. As such, do not place them in the same category. Each person who has been chosen to share the Lord’s wisdom is still a mere mortal. They bleed, feel, fail, achieve, in the same manner as anyone else. When they fail, as they will, you must give them the same space and grace as God gives to you.
If you view those in power as better than yourself, you run the risk of judging them harshly when they misstep. Yes, those who are placed in positions of leadership, teaching, and the like, must be held to a higher standard. However, this does not mean perfection. Human nature dictates that no one will live a perfect life. The judgment of their shortcomings is not for you or me. God is the ultimate judge and will always rule in a perfect manner.
One of the reasons why people are so willing to idolize those they consider to be wise is because it’s a great excuse to not do the work. Friends, the wise are not a substitute for our Father in Heaven. They are mouthpieces at best and examples of what not to do at worst. When you rely on someone else’s relationship/connection to Christ, it’s easy to fall into complacency, thinking that listening to them abdicates the need for you to go to God. Don’t lean on them as they are human. Instead, tap into the direct connection with God so that you know where to place your faith.
Are you avoiding Christ by putting humans on an unrealistic pedestal?
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1My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen carefully to my wise counsel.
2Then you will show discernment, and your lips will express what you’ve learned.
3For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil.
4But in the end she is as bitter as poison, as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
5Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.
6For she cares nothing about the path to life. She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it.
7So now, my sons, listen to me. Never stray from what I am about to say:
8Stay away from her! Don’t go near the door of her house!
9If you do, you will lose your honor and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved.
10Strangers will consume your wealth, and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
11In the end you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body.
12You will say, “How I hated discipline! If only I had not ignored all the warnings!
13Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers? Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors?
14I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace.”
15Drink water from your own well— share your love only with your wife.
16Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone?
17You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers.
18Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.
20Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman, or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman?
21For the LORD sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes.
22An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him.
23He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.
“Make a decision and stick with it, because a double-mind cannot properly follow the Lord.”~TB
Reconcile Your Path
Saying you’ve accepted Christ is one thing. Walking the path is another. If you decide to accept the gift of salvation, be bold and follow through on that decision. People fall into traps because they say one thing but do the opposite. This happens because you are looking around at everything else when really you should focus your attention on God. Your relationship with God influences every aspect of your life, develop it first and the rest will follow.
Being disengaged in your relationship with God is like trying to pull yourself out of quicksand to no avail. When you are double-minded– practicing opposing behaviors– your mind becomes trapped, unable to free itself from a loop of negative/evil thinking. Friends, nothing good comes from a corrupt mind, as your actions and behaviors will soon mirror your destructive thoughts. Making evil choices is like a poisoned well, where your misdeeds leak onto all who encounter you. To be free of this trap, ask God for help.
Follow the Leader
Like Red Riding Hood, everyone strays from the path, getting into tricky situations. Fortunately, God is the wisest of them all, and no amount of quicksand is too difficult for Him to free you. Experiencing this freedom requires you to follow God, the leader. Though this path is narrow, it is clear, and simple to follow. Understand that simple and easy are not the same thing, as you must decide in everything you do to follow Christ. Be sober in your judgment and decisions and you will find peace in God’s path.
Are you upholding your decision to follow the path or is quicksand a better option?
Enjoy the reading
1My children, listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgment,
2for I am giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from my instructions.
3For I, too, was once my father’s son, tenderly loved as my mother’s only child.
4My father taught me, “Take my words to heart. Follow my commands, and you will live.
5Get wisdom; develop good judgment. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.
6Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you.
7Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.
8If you prize wisdom, she will make you great. Embrace her, and she will honor you.
9She will place a lovely wreath on your head; she will present you with a beautiful crown.”
10My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life.
11I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths.
12When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble.
13Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.
14Don’t do as the wicked do, and don’t follow the path of evildoers.
15Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way. Turn away and keep moving.
16For evil people can’t sleep until they’ve done their evil deed for the day. They can’t rest until they’ve caused someone to stumble.
17They eat the food of wickedness and drink the wine of violence!
18The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.
19But the way of the wicked is like total darkness. They have no idea what they are stumbling over.
20My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words.
21Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
22for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.
23Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
24Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech.
25Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
26Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.
27Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.