“How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? If you would have responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.” Proverbs 1: 22-23
Ouch! Words can sting! No one likes being called simple or a fool. Bear in mind, however, that in Proverbs a “simple one” or fool does not denote someone’s mental abilities; it reflects one’s character deficiencies. The simple or fool is not a stupid person, but one who is rebellious, quick to anger, lazy, etc. He or she cannot differentiate between right and wrong and will not listen to or follow true wisdom, which is God’s Word.
The moment we feel our wisdom is higher than or our judgement is better than God’s, we become prideful fools and simple ones. Don’t run the risk of having God’s grace and mercy turn from you by letting the court of public opinion cause you to stray and accept wrong as right. You will oftentimes find yourselves at odds with friends, neighbors and even family when you choose to follow God and not the world. Don’t let the fear of ostracism sway you from the straight and narrow path. God is with us. Remember, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12).
God bless you.
“Let a righteous man strike me – it is kindness; let him rebuke me – it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it.” Psalm 141: 5
Unjust criticism destroys but constructive criticism builds. Don’t let your pride keep you from sound instruction given by a righteous person. You may not like it – no one likes criticism – but take it for what it really is: someone taking the time to share with you his or her experiences for the sole purpose of strengthening you in your faith, in your profession or whatever area in your life that is in need of correction. So, don’t refuse constructive criticism, keep quiet and humbly accept it. It is as David wrote in Psalm 141:5 – kindness.
May the Lord be with you today.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. He kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4: 31-32
Are you at odds with someone today? Forgive him or her. Easier said than done, but forgiving someone is the hardest and simplest thing we can do to heal broken relationships. Pride may not let you want to take the first step, but take it. Don’t hold on to your hurt and anger. It’s unhealthy physically and spiritually. The way we live our lives can either please God or grieve Him. Don’t live a life that grieves our Father. Live in love with one another.
May the Lord be with you.
“For wisdom will enter your heart,and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.” Proverbs 2:10-11
The June 21, 2010 Our Daily Bread devotional centers on wisdom and discernment. The suggested reading for the devotional is Proverbs 2: 6-20. This chapter in Proverbs exhorts us to pray for and develop wisdom and discernment in our lives. After reading the selection in my Life Application Study Bible, I reviewed the notes that clarify certain verses. In the notes for vv 16-17, the Life Application Bible defines what an adulteress is and explains that two of the most difficult sins to overcome is pride and sexual immorality.
One sentence in the clarifying notes on these verses, stood out to me: Pride appeals to the empty head; sexual enticement to the empty heart. The statement about pride convicted me. One definition of pride is a a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit or superiority whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc. In one of my previous postings, I shared my current employment situation. Despite management’s attempts to make me comfortable and include me in decision-making, I have held on to the feeling that they are doing so with ulterior motives. I have been feeling that I deserve more for the time I have given them these past years. I have been distrusting because of my past experiences with corporate takeovers and layoffs. I have written and re-written my resignation letter. Long story short, I have been making myself miserable. My position may very well end; but being bitter won’t change it. In fact, my bitterness and pride may very well be keeping me from my blessings. I need to stop leaning to my own understanding and pray for wisdom and discernment. And stop being so empty-headed!
Is there an area of your life where you, too, are being empty-headed? Take a moment to pray over your situation. Our understanding is limited, God’s vision is everlasting. Don’t let your pride keep you from God’s blessings.
May the Lord continue to watch over you and keep you.