The writer of Proverbs contrasts the wise (‘wisdom is found in those who take advice’, v.10b) and fools (‘fools detest turning from evil’, v.19b). It is not surprising that we experience conflict. In particular, in this passage we see two examples:
‘Pride only breeds quarrels’ (v.10a). One of the most draining experiences of life is quarrelling – whether in a marriage, among friends, with colleagues or in the church. Here we see that one of the causes of quarrels can be pride. If you are willing to admit your mistakes and wrongs with humility, you can avoid a lot of quarrels.
Another key is listening carefully to one another: ‘Arrogant know-it-alls stir up discord, but wise men and women listen to each other’s counsel’ (v.10, MSG).
‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick’ (v.12a). Or as The Message puts it, ‘unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick’.
This is another kind of attack that is sickening. When a vision we have had for something is held up or our plans are delayed because of some attack or let down, disappointment makes the heart sick. We do battle with our own plans and our circumstances.
On the other hand, there is nothing more satisfying than persevering and seeing some part of your vision fulfilled. ‘A longing fulfilled is a tree of life’ (v.12a). ‘A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul’ (v.19a).
In the midst of all the attacks of life there are moments of great joy, fulfilment and satisfaction.
Lord, in the midst of the challenges, help me to run the race with perseverance with my eyes fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1–3).
There are many similarities between Judas and Peter. Both of them let them down Jesus. Yet there are also crucial differences between the two men. Peter responded to failure in the right way. Judas did not. As Paul writes, ‘Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death’ (2 Corinthians 7:10).
Let us respond as Peter did and we can have a great future ahead of us in the service of Jesus.
Lord, thank you that you were bound in order to liberate me from my sins, guilt, shame, addictions, fears and failures. When I fail, help me always to turn back to you in ‘godly sorrow… that leads to salvation and leaves no regret’.
Lord, give me a soft heart that is open to listening to your words and obeying them. Thank you that in obeying them there is great reward. Help me today not only to listen to your life-changing words but also to put them into practice.
#dailydevotion #Christlikeness #momentswiththeLord
Life is not a competition that you have to win. It is not supposed to be a rat race. Life is a huge privilege and an opportunity. God has trusted you with gifts and abilities, which he wants you to use. Use them or lose them. He is faithful to us and he expects us to be faithful to him.
Lord, help me to be faithful and to use the gifts and abilities that you have given to me. Thank you that when I reach out to the least and the last, I encounter you.
Lord, I know that you can do all things and no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
Help me to have humility about the secret things that I cannot know and to be confident about the things that I can know.
Lord, help me to avoid passing superficial judgments on other people. Give me wisdom and sensitivity towards those who are struggling with life. Help me to fix my eyes on the one true leader, Jesus Christ, to come under his Lordship, follow his example and be a good influence.