Proverbs 27 has Solomon sharing lots of wisdom around relationships and people. But he kicks off this chapter with this: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring”. This truth contains enough for us to ponder for some time. The reality is, we have no idea what tomorrow brings. It is not in our control. It is not something we can know. God alone is in control of the future, and while we will never know what that future has in store, we can know the One who holds that in His hand. We need to remember that life is precious and needs to be lived fully today!
He goes on to challenge us not to let pride get in the way of living well. Pride happens when we think more highly of ourselves than we should. “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips”. Some of us want to create the PR story of our life rather than living life in a way it shouts that by how we live. Far better for us to live life in a way that brings honor and glory to God in a way that others see, not that requires us to explain or promote ourselves.
He talks about the importance of relationships again. We need people close. “Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away”. We can’t impact each other nearly as much if we aren’t together and don’t spend time being close to those around us. There is power in relationships, “the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel”. We need to seek out and listen to the wisdom and knowledge of people around us. That counsel can save us much heartache if we only listen.
But relationships, the right relationships, are not merely a party. “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another”. We need to provide accountability for one another. Left to our own desires, we’re going to struggle to stay the course. We have to be willing to have awkward conversations and call each other out when we get off the road and into the weeds. “Better is open rebuke than hidden love”. Most of us aren’t willing to go there. We want peaceful and easy, not necessarily the hard and important challenges about how we live. But God’s going to deal with the dross. “The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and a man is tested by his praise”. We’ll all be tested. Far better to live with people who will challenge our decisions and life to make sure we align with God.