Thursday, July 14, 2011

31 DAYS TO A WISER YOU: Proverbs Chapter 14

Photo Courtesy of Dean Terry
This is part of a series, studying the book of Proverbs during the month of July, 2011. For more details click here.

In chapter 14, I read of a king begging of all who hear his instruction to guard their reputation.  Starting with verse 1, and continuing on through the chapter, Solomon pleads with doing what's right for rights's sake.  Politician Alan K. Simpson sums it up quite nicely - "If you have integrity, nothing else matters.  If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters."

For all the good that can be said of Solomon - and he is deserving of a ton of great accolades - he also receives some well-deserved criticisms.  His documented marriages outside the bounds of God's will brought him continuous trouble during his reign.  Also, in accumulating his vast wealth, Solomon mistreated his kingdom, both over taxing and overburdening his people. 

In his later years, Solomon wrote a reflection of his life.  This collection is the book of Ecclesiastes.  If you are looking for a book to pick you up on a rainy day, this might not be the place to look.  As he reflected upon his life, he realized that all he did outside of God's will brought him no pleasure, only pain.  Read Ecclesiastes 1:2 - "Everything is meaningless," says the Teacher, "completely meaningless!"  Here was an old man, reflecting upon all that he did not accomplish for God because he was instead focused on himself.      

The struggle to utilize wisdom and knowledge is an ongoing process, even for the wisest of rulers.  So when you struggle to do the right thing, remember that you are not alone.  When it's difficult for you to find time to read the Bible each day, or to converse with the Father in prayer, know that others have the same struggles.

Verse one speaks of a wise woman building her home, and the foolish woman tearing hers down.  Notice these words the Author used - "builds" and "tears."  These are action words - living in the moment.  Not past tense, not future tense, but present tense.  It's an ongoing process.

Which person are you right now - are you building up or tearing down your reputation?    

Key Verse For Me
Proverbs 14:1 - A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her hands.

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. - James D Miles

Related Scriptures
Psalm 34:12-16  - Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies!  Turn away from evil and do good.  Search for peace, and work to maintain it.  The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help.  But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil; he will erase their memory from the earth.

Dear Father, may each moment I still breathe involve me building up others.  May I constantly be advancing Your Kingdom with my words, deeds, and actions.       

So what verse(s) stick out to you and why?

1 comment:

  1. I really like verse 7!

    Stay away from fools,for you won’t find knowledge on their lips.

    Just a good reminder to surround yourself with folsk who influence you positively. :)