Monday, July 18, 2011

31 DAYS TO A WISER YOU: Proverbs Chapter 18

Photo Courtesy of Arindam "mak" Ghosh


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

Theme
There are several verses in chapter 18 that deal with how we relate to other people, specifically those people we call friends.  Dictionary.com defines a friend as "a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard."  That's very specific as to what takes an acquaintance to the highest level of regard in our lives - to be called a friend.  

Let's look at some of the rules Solomon presents to us as it relates to having or being a friend: 

  1. Verse 1 - It looks like if you want to be considered friendly, or have friends, you must care for others and not yourself.  That's so obvious that it's common sense, yet how many of us overlook this most basic step?
  2. Verse 2 - Seems like you need to listen to others versus constantly talking about yourself and looking like a fool.  This concept also ties in to Proverbs 17:28 - Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.    
  3. Verse 6 - Playing off of verse 2 - Constantly spouting off about yourself versus listening to others only leads to a war of words, which could, in turn, grow to a beat-down if you aren't careful.
  4. Verse 14 - An unhealthy body can be dealt with, but what about someone who has had their spirit crushed by someone close to them?  The damage can be irreparable.  Look back at yesterday's blog by clicking here - do you lift people up or crush them?
  5. Verse 19 - After having crushed your friend's spirit, now what?  Because of you, there's harm that out there seperates the two of you.  Was it really worth it?
  6. Verse 24 - Have you noticed the progression here, intensifying with each passing verse?  Are you a destructive "friend", or a true friend who loves like a brother?    
Key Verses For Me
Proverbs 18:24 - There are "friends" who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

Quote
Only a life lived for others is worth living. - Albert Einstein
A true friend is one who overlooks your failures and tolerates your successes.  - Doug Larson

Related Scriptures
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 - Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.  Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?  A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Prayer
Oh Father, help me be the friend to others that I seek to find.    

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

3 comments:

  1. Shellee DonatienJuly 18, 2011 at 8:26 AM

    Words kill, Words give life
    They're either poison or fruit--you choose.

    The Message

    Recently I have been the target of some malicious gossip and had the unfortunate experience of overhearing it. I did confront them and regretfully not as I should have. The situation has made me doubt if my place of employment is where the Lord wants me.

    My journey now is to continue seeking His Will in my life and to forgive...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I loved verse 12:

    Haughtiness goes before destruction.
    Humility precedes honor.

    Just a great reminder to become and REMAIN humble.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Verse 24 "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
    There is a saying that goes "Gather friends like flowers." We acquire friends across the years for the beauty we feel we see in them. But many will wither and die. There are different kinds of flowers. Some bloom only once. Others come back year after year for us to enjoy. A true friend will bloom for you over and over bringing the beauty you seek and need in good times and bad. Choose to be that flower that people want planted in their heart.

    ReplyDelete