Archive for February 27th, 2019

Proverbs 19:17-20

In Proverbs 19:17-20 Solomon talks about generosity.  He focuses on those who help the poor.  When we give to the poor (expressing our love and pity towards them), we aren’t wasting our money. It is like lending money to the Lord Himself. It’s hard to know who truly deserves that generosity at times.  Some take advantage of those who are willing to give. “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” God will never be in debt to any man. He will never be in a position where He owes anything as a matter of debt. Therefore, to lend to the Lord is to ensure blessing in return. God will certainly pay back what we give in compassion to the poor. God promises that we will never be the loser for generous and compassionate giving.

Solomon again reminds us of our duty as parents – we need to help our kids do the right things. There is not an endless window of opportunity to train and discipline our children. Age and circumstances limit the opportunity for effective training, so it must be done while there is time to shape their lives. There may come the time when you wish you had done much more to train up your son. “Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.” To fail to discipline your son while he can be molded is to actually work for his destruction. Many parents bring destruction to their children through neglect, not outright abuse. They fail to fulfill God’s plan for them as parents.

Anger can lead to things that will cause damage and carry a severe penalty. Out of control anger brings many problems and costs. Among the fruit of the spirit is self-control – the opposite of anger and wrath, and wisdom does not lead a person to be of great wrath. “A man of great wrath will pay the penalty, for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.” The person who can’t control their anger will run into trouble again and again. To rescue them once isn’t enough, because the problem is more in them than in the circumstances that they blame for their anger. It is better for them to face the consequences of their action and hope they learn something form it.

God placed us in our patch so we can live in community.  And to really leverage that, we need to listen and learn.  God put us among others so we can learn from each other. One of the first marks of wisdom is the readiness to receive more wisdom. A teachable person, one who will listen to counsel and receive instruction, has already made much progress on the path of wisdom. “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” The bad effects of the foolish rejection of wisdom may not be seen for many years. Yet in the latter days of a man or life, it will be clear whether or not they learned wisdom’s lessons and if they did listen to counsel. If you want to be wise later in life, start now. The greatest mistakes I ever made came when I refused to listen to the wisdom around me.

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