Proverbs 15

Solomon continues sharing his wisdom in Proverbs 15 as he deal with the tongue, wisdom and a good heart.  He level sets all of it with this statement: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good”.  The easiest way to paraphrase that is “God’s not dead, He is surely alive” as the song says from a recent movie.  God is not only alive, but He is watching and paying attention to how we live and the choices we make.  Just understanding and falling under the authority of this statement is powerful.  It in itself is plenty of wisdom for a chapter.  But wait, there’s more.

Words matter.  I lived a good portion of my life believing the age old saying that ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me’.  That just isn’t true.  The first half is – that we can be broken physically.  But the idea that words won’t hurt is a lie.  Not only can they hurt, they have the power to destroy.  “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit….The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools….The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things”.  I’m pretty sure Solomon would agree – what we say not only matters but has the power of life.  We must be careful with our words.

Solomon also reminds us that the words of others are crucial in helping keep us on the right path.  We can cook up our own plans and direction in a vacuum, but that is not a good strategy.  We need people – the right people – surrounding us to give us perspective and help us stay the course.  “Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead. Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed”.  We not only need people to help us plan direction, but to keep us accountable as we walk the journey.  People matter!

He ends reminding us that we won’t always get it right and we need to not only be open to correction, but we also must make course correction to be sure we reach the end game.  “The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. 32 Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence”.  He doesn’t tell us we have to like correction, just that we need to listen and make adjustment based on it.  That is life giving and so critical to our hope of reaching the targets we have in life.  Are you open to God’s input?  He gives it to us in many ways.  We have to remember we are stewards of His plan for our life.  We aren’t, or shouldn’t be the driver.  We should be sitting next to Him, in total alignment with His ways for our life.  That’s how we truly end well!

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