What’s Your Address?

No, I’m not really interested in your house number. Nor is this some kind of online phishing scam, rather on this edition of Becoming Today, our combined quest for truth, enlightenment and wisdom may reveal exactly where we are living.

However, first I want to take a moment and recognize the historic nature of this day. 

In the US this is a government holiday that for many years was ‘celebrated’ as Columbus Day. For centuries our schools taught that this was because of the claim that Christopher Columbus “discovered” America. 

Not only would it seem illogical that you can discover a continent that is already inhabited, but also he never stepped foot in what became the United States. In fact his boots never touched North American soil. He actually landed in the Bahamas where October 12th is celebrated as “Founders Day”. 

Now for the first time some truth is being restored to history and overtures for healing are being made as today is the first officially recognized observance of “Indigenous People’s Day”. You can read the proclamation from President Biden here

As someone of native ancestry, I welcome this. As the President noted, “Our country was conceived on a promise of equality and opportunity for all people — a promise that, despite the extraordinary progress we have made through the years, we have never fully lived up to”. 

A very “Becoming”step should we as individuals, a society and a nation choose to accept our responsibilities to live up to these promises. 

Personally I have a very complicated relationship with the original observance of Columbus Day. Before we began the practice of federal holidays being observed on a Monday close to the actual event, it was celebrated on the 12th of October, which is also my birthday. I’ll share some of this history and my observations tomorrow.

Now lets return our focus to the wise matters immediately at hand.

We are continuing, now on day 14 of our extended odyssey, having undertaken a search and rescue mission for wisdom.

When the Bible keeps talking about the same thing over and over,that’s  because it is important.   That’s why Solomon continues  on the themes  of loving wisdom and treasuring her.  

Along with that we choose to understand that honoring the commandments of God will prevent us from making complete messes of our lives. They are our service, protection and give us life, joy, and everlasting blessings. Which we’ll explore  next on this edition of “Becoming Today”. 

Understanding that enlightenment is within our reach we shall seek and find the knowledge and inspiration necessary to uplift, support and enhance our collective journeys as well as our own personal paths. 

I want to thank you all for being here today. Whether you’ve followed this series for the past two weeks or if this is the first time you are joining us. We are involved in a month-long study of wisdom as taught in the Book of Proverbs. If you’d like to know more about The Passion Translation and why we are using it for this undertaking, you can find a recap near the end of today’s conversation.

Saturday we spent our time together discussing, “Living Wisely”, and looked at Proverbs 13, highlighting verse 12, it delves into another important aspect of our shared journey; hope:

“When hope’s dream seems to drag on and on, the delay can be depressing. But when at last your dream comes true, life’s sweetness will satisfy your soul.”

We all desire what we want, when we want it yet should realize if it truly is something worth having it will come at the right time. It is these times of waiting that too often we can become discouraged or even depressed.

However that is only possible if you choose to allow it. Now I’m not saying there are not medical reasons that cause depression, nor am I discounting the need for individuals to seek help if they are experiencing this, but we can help keep ourselves from falling prey to depressing thoughts.

We can choose to be uplifted and not wallow or dwell in the negative. This is achieved by remaining hopeful

Hope is far more than a wish. Real hope is a belief. A firmly held understanding and commitment to believe that things can and will get better, and “life’s sweetness will satisfy your soul.”

Hope is an action. It involves us accepting the responsibility to empower it daily. It is a sincere motivation to always be “Becoming” and live expectantly. 

This expectation involves our willingness to without reservation embrace the idea that something good is going to happen? When? Suddenly…. Quickly…. Soon… Now!

I pray that each of you decide to be “Becoming Today”. To hang on to hope, cause it to blossom. To be full of hope and  ever expectant of good things and better days to come allowing for you to accept more joy to come into your lives. 

Remaining hopeful,being teachable and receptive to new understandings is  where we’ll pick up today with our study of Proverbs Chapter 14.

Earlier I asked what was your address, now let’s find out together as we read this chapter, if you qualify to live in:

The House of Wisdom

Every wise woman encourages and builds up her family,

    but a foolish woman over time will tear it down by her own actions.

Lovers of truth follow the right path

    because of their wonderment and worship of God.

    But the devious display their disdain for him.

The words of a proud fool will all come back to haunt him.

    But the words of the wise

    will become a shield of protection around them.

The only clean stable is an empty stable.

    So if you want the work of an ox and to enjoy an abundant harvest,

    you’ll have a mess or two to clean up!

An honest witness will never lie,

    but a deceitful witness lies with every breath.

The intellectually arrogant seek for wisdom,

    but they never seem to discover

    what they claim they’re looking for.

    For revelation-knowledge flows to the one

    who hungers for understanding.

The words of the wise are like weapons of knowledge.[a]

    If you need wise counsel, stay away from the fool.

For the wisdom of the wise will keep life on the right track,

    while the fool only deceives himself

    and refuses to face reality.

Fools mock the need for repentance,[b]

    while the favor of God rests upon all his lovers.

10 

Don’t expect anyone else to fully understand

    both the bitterness and the joys

    of all you experience in your life.

11 

The household of the wicked is soon torn apart,

    while the family of the righteous flourishes.

12 

You can rationalize it all you want

    and justify the path of error you have chosen,

    but you’ll find out in the end that you took the road to destruction.

13 

Superficial laughter can hide a heavy heart,

    but when the laughter ends, the pain resurfaces.

14 

Those who turn from the truth get what they deserve,

    but a good person receives a sweet reward.[c]

15 

A gullible person will believe anything,

    but a sensible person will confirm the facts.

16 

A wise person is careful in all things and turns quickly from evil,

    while the impetuous fool moves ahead with overconfidence.

17 

An impulsive person has a short fuse and can ruin everything,

    but the wise show self-control.[d]

18 

The naïve demonstrate a lack of wisdom,

    but the lovers of wisdom are crowned with revelation-knowledge.

19 

Evil ones will pay tribute to good people

    and eventually come to be servants of the godly.[e]

20 

The poor are disliked even by their neighbors,

    but everyone wants to get close to the wealthy.

21 

It’s a sin to despise one who is less fortunate than you,[f]

    but when you are kind to the poor,

    you will prosper and be blessed.

22 

Haven’t you noticed how evil schemers always wander astray?

    But kindness and truth come to those

    who make plans to be pure in all their ways.[g]

23 

If you work hard at what you do,

    great abundance will come to you.

    But merely talking about getting rich

    while living to only pursue your pleasures[h]

    brings you face-to-face with poverty.[i]

24 

The true net worth of the wise[j] is the wealth that wisdom imparts.

    But the way of life for the fool is his foolishness.[k]

25 

Speak the truth and you’ll save souls,

    but in the spreading of lies treachery thrives.

26 

Confidence and strength flood the hearts

    of the lovers of God who live in awe of him,

    and their devotion provides their children

    with a place of shelter and security.[l]

27 

To worship God in wonder and awe

    opens a fountain of life within you,

    empowering you to escape death’s domain.[m]

28 

A king glories in the number of his loyal followers,

    but a dwindling population spells ruin for any leader.

29 

When your heart overflows with understanding

    you’ll be very slow to get angry.

    But if you have a quick temper,

    your impatience will be quickly seen by all.

30 

A tender, tranquil heart will make you healthy,[n]

    but jealousy can make you sick.

31 

Insult your Creator, will you?

    That’s exactly what you do

    every time you oppress the powerless![o]

    Showing kindness to the poor is equal to honoring your maker.

32 

The wicked are crushed by every calamity,

    but the righteous find a strong hope

    in the time of death.[p]

33 

Wisdom soothes the heart of the one with living-understanding,

    but the heart of the fool just stockpiles stupidity.

34 

A nation is exalted by the righteousness of its people,

    but sin heaps disgrace upon the land.

35 

A wise and faithful servant receives promotion from the king,

    but the one who acts disgracefully

    gets to taste the anger of the king.[q]

Take a moment to reflect, and then we’ll begin to break down some of today’s concepts.

So looking at this chapter entitled “The House of Wisdom” as a desired address, an up and coming zip code or that Shangri La you’ve always dreamed of, we immediately find three reasons on why this would be a good place to live.

For it’s promoted as a place where “Every wise woman encourages and builds up her family”, “Lovers of truth follow the right path”, (hopefully our shared one of “Becoming Today”) and is an environment that fosters safety and security as, “the words of the wise will become a shield of protection around them”.

And verses one through three also note that not choosing to live there has some drawbacks, “ but a foolish woman over time will tear it down by her own actions”. The “it” referenced here is her house, meaning not the physical dwelling but her family and loved ones. And instead of receiving the security of wise words, opting to live the opposite  ensures, “the words of a proud fool will all come back to haunt him”.

Moving forward we hear a common sense statement as verse 10 is translated, “Don’t expect anyone else to fully understand  both the bitterness and the joys of all you experience in your life”

We can never truly know what is in the heart of another, While we can empathetic towards their pain or circumstances none of us are exactly alike so our understandings will always be slightly different. As will our expectations, reactions and attitudes towards them. 

In seeking residence at the House of Wisdom we can then only choose to live righteously. To be accepting, caring and guided by the Golden Rule. Always being “Becoming” by treating others with the same kind of respect we would like to be treated with ourselves. 

Doing so is an action, the result of a decision, and our choices do have definite responses, as is outlined in verse 14, “Those who turn from the truth get what they deserve, but a good person receives a sweet reward”.

The next line then reinforces the importance of knowing who we are talking  with and where we are getting our information from. Verse 15 notes, “A gullible person will believe anything, but a sensible person will confirm the facts”.

I am often amazed that here in the Information Age, with so many sources of knowledge available, how little time many people spend on researching organizations and groups they choose to align themselves with.

One example is a group that calls themselves “One Million Moms”. Wow you say. A million mothers coming together, but in truth the “movement” has no members. Zero, nada, not one. It’s a public relations scheme that has one staffer assigned to it on the behalf of an organization that is designated as a hate group and classified as a group that is involved in the “propagation of known falsehoods” and the use of “demonizing propaganda”. 

I will repeat the verse again, “A gullible person will believe anything, but a sensible person will confirm the facts”.

As we near the end of Proverbs 14, we find some reassurances about cultivating kindness and working on “Becoming” the best we can and were intended to be.

In verse 22, we are asked, “Haven’t you noticed how evil schemers always wander astray? But kindness and truth come to those who make plans to be pure in all their ways”. 

Con men and wanna be ‘prophets” come and go. They have their 15-minutes of fame, then either fade away and are sentenced to time away in a penal institution. But those who truly live righteously and in service of others are known , respected and cherished for decades, their lifetime and in many instances generations that come far after they have ascended. 

So how do we work to be part of the latter? Verse 23 reminds us it takes just that work. Effort, dedication and perseverance. “If you work hard at what you do, great abundance will come to you. But merely talking about getting rich while living to only pursue your pleasures brings you face-to-face with poverty”.

Then summing up today’ conversation I’ll point to verse 24 as a reminder of how we receive what we earn, “The true net worth of the wise is the wealth that wisdom imparts. But the way of life for the fool is his foolishness”.

Truth, understanding, enlightenment and wisdom are all very “Becoming” traits. They empower us to grow and learn to be who we truly were intended to be. Which in turn enables us to continue moving on, with our momentum fully powered forward and upward.

I hope you have enjoyed the first two weeks, yes 14 days already of this odyssey. Plus there is much more to come.

As always I encourage you to actively participate. Please post your comments, questions, suggestions or concerns below. This is a safe space to share and there are protections in place to keep spammers out. I will respond to all who choose to participate. 

If you do not feel comfortable sharing below, remember you can always reach out privately through the easy to use form on our Contact page.

I pray each and every one of you enjoys a safe and blessed day. Then join us tomorrow as we continue our proverbial search here along this shared  journey we call “Becoming Today”. 

For those that have been here for a while I hope some of the repetitive nature of these posts is not too distracting. Not only are some of these points to remind us of our focus this month, it is also designed to also be welcoming.

We never know when a fellow traveler may walk along with us, or need to take a diversion. 

This is especially true since I have no idea what algorithm directed you, what search method may have pointed in our direction or how many of you find us on any given day. Therefore it’s necessary to recap some of the outline for our combined purposes. 

I appreciate your patience and understanding, so I’ll now mention we’ve come to that point in this conversation and if you’ve already heard this, then you can skip the next few paragraphs and pick up with the next image.

Now for those of you listening to the podcast I know that makes no sense, since you can’t hear any of the beautiful graphics we create each day, so you’ll just have to listen along; again… (insert audible giggle here) understanding that I’m laughing with you not at you.

As I am apt to do, even if you have studied Proverbs before, our undertaking may be a bit different, as we’ll be adding some passion to it. 

I am being called to focus this teaching around the The Passion Translation® book of Isaiah and New Testament with Psalms, Proverbs, and Song of Songs translated from Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic texts.

Done so by  Dr. Brian Simmons who believes the” message of God’s story is timeless; the Word of God doesn’t change. But the methods by which that story is communicated should be timely; the vessels that steward God’s Word can and should change. 

Also I’ll remind you that the footnotes referred to are available below and include underlined study links.

Footnotes

14:7 As translated from the Aramaic.

 

14:9 Or “Fools mock guilt [or guilt offering].” The Septuagint is “The house of the transgressor owes purification.”

 

14:14 As translated from Hebrew manuscripts. The Aramaic is “a good man will be filled from the awe of his soul.”

 

14:17 As translated from the Aramaic. The Hebrew is “and a crafty schemer is hated.” The Greek Septuagint is “a sensible man bears up under many things.”

 

14:19 The Hebrew phrase literally means “they will come [or bow] at the gates of the righteous.”

 

14:21 Implied in the Hebrew parallelism. The Hebrew phrase here literally means “your neighbor.”

 

14:22 Both the Aramaic and the Septuagint insert a verse here that is not found in the Hebrew: “The followers of evil don’t understand mercy and faith, but you’ll find kindness and faith with those who do good.”

 

14:23 As translated from the Septuagint.

 

14:23 There is an additional verse found here in the Aramaic that is missing from the Hebrew text: “The Lord Yahweh heals every sickness, but evil speaking makes you sick [harms you].”

 

14:24 Or “the crown of the wise.”

 

14:24 The Aramaic word translated here as “foolishness” can also mean “insanity.”

 

14:26 To live as a passionate lover of God will bring benefit even to your children.

 

14:27 Or “empowering you to turn from the deadly snares.”

 

14:30 Or “A heart of healing is the life of the flesh.”

 

14:31 Or “slander the poor.” Every human being is made in God’s image, including the poor.

 

14:32 As translated from the Masoretic Text. Our strong hope is that our lives will continue in the presence of God in the resurrection glory. Both the Septuagint and the Aramaic read quite differently: “but the righteous have a refuge in their integrity.”

 

14:35 As translated from the Hebrew. The Septuagint reads “and by his good behavior shame is removed.”

The Passion Translation®. 
Copyright © 2017, 2018, 2020 by Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc

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