A feeling of achieving a state of extreme happiness. What could be more exalting than that? Well as we’ll discuss today, the answer is achieving it by lifting up others.
I want to thank you all for being here today. Whether you’ve followed this series or if this is the first time you are joining us. We are involved in a 31-week 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.
We are continuing forward as we have now met up with week 19 of our extended odyssey. Our search and rescue mission for wisdom.
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.
Last week our discussion centered around the idea that “Wisdom = Life”.
Everyday it seems we find more and more people who need to consider Proverbs 18-2: “Senseless people find no pleasure in acquiring true wisdom, for all they want to do is impress you with what they know.”
Constantly we are bombarded with messages from self-proclaimed experts who want to fill our heads with their so-called beliefs, whether or not they actually believe them.
As the same verse is translated in the N I V, “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions”.
Too often the talking heads are just spouting off for a ratings point, a click, another faceless follower or a random thumbs up irregardless of what the potential impacts of their rants may be.
It’s our responsibility to be aware of that and remain vigilant. To guard our minds and hearts from their manipulative, divisie chatter and focus on true enlightening wisdom. It’s our choice what we choose to accept or not, so we need to make our choices wisely.
Choosing our words carefully and learning when and what to share, or not is a requirement. It’s our responsibility, as verse 21 reminds it is one that can not be taken lightly nor should it be ignored.
“Your words are so powerful that they will kill or give life, and the talkative person will reap the consequences”.
Now we’ll further consider the search for justice, truth and wisdom as we continue today with our study of Proverbs Chapter 19.
Today’s reading is titled as:
It’s better to be honest, even if it leads to poverty,
than to live as a dishonest fool.
The best way to live is with revelation-knowledge,
for without it, you’ll grow impatient and run right into error.[a]
There are some people who ruin their own lives
and then blame it all on God.
Being wealthy means having lots of “friends,”
but the poor can’t keep the ones they have.
Perjury won’t go unpunished,
and liars will get all that they deserve.
Everyone wants to be close to the rich and famous,
but a generous person has all the friends he wants!
When a man is poor, even his family has no use for him.
How much more will his “friends” avoid him—
for though he begs for help, they won’t respond.[b]
Do yourself a favor and love wisdom.
Learn all you can,
then watch your life flourish and prosper!
Tell lies and you’re going to get caught,
and the habitual liar is doomed.
It doesn’t seem right when you see a fool
living in the lap of luxury
or a prideful servant ruling over princes.
An understanding person demonstrates patience,
for mercy[c] means holding your tongue.
When you are insulted,
be quick to forgive and forget it,
for you are virtuous when you overlook an offense.
The rage of a king is like the roar of a lion,
but his sweet favor is like a gentle, refreshing rain.
A rebellious son breaks a father’s heart,
and a nagging wife can drive you crazy!
You can inherit houses and land from your parents,
but a good[d] wife only comes as a gracious gift from God!
Go ahead—be lazy and passive.
But you’ll go hungry if you live that way.
Honor God’s holy instructions
and life will go well for you.
But if you despise his ways and choose your own plans,
you will die.
Every time you give to the poor you make a loan to the Lord.
Don’t worry—you’ll be repaid in full for all the good you’ve done.
Don’t be afraid to discipline your children
while they’re still young enough to learn.
Don’t indulge your children or be swayed by their protests.
A hot-tempered man has to pay the price for his anger.
If you bail him out once,
you’ll do it a dozen times.[e]
Listen well to wise counsel
and be willing to learn from correction
so that by the end of your life
you’ll be known for your wisdom.
A person may have many ideas concerning God’s plan for his life,
but only the designs of God’s purpose will succeed in the end.
A man is charming when he displays tender mercies to others.
And a lover of God who is poor and promises nothing
is better than a rich liar who never keeps his promises.
When you live a life of abandoned love,
surrendered before the awe of God,
here’s what you’ll experience:
Abundant life. Continual protection.[f]
And complete satisfaction!
There are some people who pretend they’re hurt—
deadbeats who won’t even work to feed themselves.[g]
If you punish the insolent who don’t know any better,
they will learn not to mock.
But if you correct a wise man,
he will grow even wiser.
Children who mistreat their parents
are an embarrassment to their family and a public disgrace.
So listen, my child.
Don’t reject correction
or you will certainly wander from the ways of truth.[h]
A corrupt witness makes a mockery of justice,
for the wicked never play by the rules.[i]
Judgment is waiting for those who mock the truth,
and foolish living invites a beating.
Take a moment to reflect, and then we’ll begin to break down some of today’s concepts.
Again today’s chapter is like a greatest hits album. These are wise sayings attributed to Solomon, a man many consider among the wisest to ever live.
His love for wisdom, both gaining it and sharing it came from his deep abiding love for his fellow man. It was his desire that those in his kingdom live meaningful happy lives. That’s why many of his teachings deal with everyday living, like relationships, practical matters, and how to deal with obstacles.
In verse two of today’s readingbhe makes this point very directly, “The best way to live is with revelation-knowledge, for without it, you’ll grow impatient and run right into error”.
This passage takes our understanding of knowledge to a different level. It goes beyond information or just knowing something. Revelation-knowledge is more than an intellectual comprehension of something. It is wisdom gained directly from the Source. It is the realization of truth coming directly into your heart from God. When you truly know something you must embrace it in your heart. Our minds will play tricks on us, even try to deceive or mislead us.
When God puts it in our hearts, we can trust it and should live it. Should you choose not to, as Solomon cautions in verse three, “There are some people who ruin their own lives and then blame it all on God”. Nothing good can come from that. Being wise involves the free acceptance of personal responsibility for our choices and thoughts.
The attitudes and beliefs we have are not anyone else’s doing.
So as verse eight instructs, “Do yourself a favor and love wisdom. Learn all you can, then watch your life flourish and prosper!”
Among the wisdom for daily living we gain by studying this chapter is in verse 17, “Every time you give to the poor you make a loan to the Lord. Don’t worry—you’ll be repaid in full for all the good you’ve done”.
This is a concept that we also hear elsewhere in the Scriptures. While we should never give with the intent to only do so in order to receive, or in other words, only give with a heart that asks, ‘what’s in it for me?’. However the Lord did say giving has its rewards.
This includes when giving is difficult, plus as noted in Isaiah 61-7, this repayment comes on many levels, “Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours”.
A sentiment that echoes in the Book of Joel Chapter Two, verse 26, “You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you;…”
Now one other bit of caution here, never give to show off either. When humility is not part of the equation and pride takes over, the benefits of giving are withheld.
So it’s best to follow the model shared in Matthew 6-2, “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”
Summing up our discourse for the is edition of “Becoming Today”, we can reread verse 20, “Listen well to wise counsel and be willing to learn from correction so that by the end of your life you’ll be known for your wisdom”.
Let your legacy be one of having always been “Becoming”. Allow the future generations to see you as a giver, an imparter of wisdom and a lover of God, and as verse 21 reminds when we are we are on the right path along this shared journey:
“A person may have many ideas concerning God’s plan for his life, but only the designs of God’s purpose will succeed in the end”.
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 19 weeks 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.
Thank you again for joining us on this edition of “Becoming Today”.