Proverbs 13:3 – Guard Your Lips

Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. – The Bible, Proverbs 13:3

Some places where else this is discussed:

Prov. 13:2,4; 18:21, 21:23

Theme: Prov 13:2-4 – The Hebrew words translated as “desire”, “appetite”, “life”, and “soul”,  is literally “soul” or “breath” and can refer to the inner desires of people, but also the essence of who you  are. (Reiterated from A Mentor Commentary On Proverbs – John A. Kitchen

My thoughts:

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How often I wish to take back my words -whether they were hurtful, false claims or promises unkept!

This proverb promotes a careful guarding of our lips before we say anything stupid. Whether it’s talking big, a sly joke, or careless words, we are warned our words can be ruinous.

Like a gate of a city that needs protection, our mouth needs to be opened carefully. Let’s protect our lives, reputation, etc., by keeping our big mouths closed.

Thanks for reading!

 

Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Photo Attribution: Erin Riggs Used under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0

Proverbs 12:14 – The Value of Words

From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, and the work of their hands brings them reward. – Proverbs 12:14

A series of proverbs with this same theme:

Proverbs 12:13-25 (excluding 21 & 24)

My thoughts:

Words have value, just as actions have value. Whether that value is uplifting or 34571596115_fb2a7005b9_o.jpgdestructive is in the hands of the speaker. This proverb is positive in nature, encouraging the listener to seek the good in words, just like we seek good in our actions. Often undervalued are the words of a caring parent or teacher. Let’s aim for good fruit.

Thanks for reading! Pete.

Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible.com and is the New International Version. I am using a commentary by John A. Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Photo Attribution: chuchutv online Used under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

Proverbs 12:11 – Chasing Fantasies

Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense. – Proverbs 12:11

Some places where this is discussed in Proverbs:

Proverbs 14:23, 28:19

My thoughts:6699892843_361aa27429_b.jpg

 

Get-rich-quick schemes are so often dependent on the person being so invested no good sense will give them pause. So often it’s just not worth it; the risk is too great. A steady job is much more worthwhile, and while the dividends may be small in comparison to the promised wealth of a scheme, it is the wiser option. May we be diligent in our steady work and not chase fantasies.

Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible.com and is the New International Version. I am using a commentary by John A. Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Photo Attribution: Anant Nath Sharma Used under Creative Commons licence CC BY-N

Proverbs 12:10 – Caring for Animals

The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel. – Proverbs 12:10

Some places where this is discussed in the Bible:

Proverbs 27:23, Deuteronomy 25:4

My thoughts:

Humans need care to thrive, as do 6281748241_8abf80bdaf_b.jpganimals. In order to look after an animal you need some decency and sense of respect for them. In this proverb it’s the one who knows what is right who cares for his animals. The so called “kindest acts” of the uncaring will only harm whoever gets their treatment. Let’s look after our pets, but the people around us need our love, too.

Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible.com and is the New International Version. I am using a commentary by John A. Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Photo Attribution: portable soul Used under Creative Commons licence  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

Proverbs 12:9 – Lacking Bread

Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant than pretend to be somebody and have no food. – Proverbs 12:9

Some places where this is discussed in Proverbs:

Proverbs 13:7

My Thoughts:

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Sophronia and Alfred Lammle

Putting on a show for the masses gets expensive. I’m reminded of the Lammles of Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend. They put on airs in Old England but (in the 1998 movie) were eventually exposed and headed off to Europe to start again.  Oh how we love to appear special or well-off! The proverb argues for a humble life with a reasonable income over a prideful life of wealth without any substance. May we seek the humble life and not put on airs.

Thoughts or questions? 

Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible.com and is the New International Version. I am using a commentary by John A. Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Photo taken from The East Room.

The Righteous Will Stand – Proverbs 12:7

The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
But the house of the righteous will stand. – Proverbs 12:7

What is this proverb saying?
Where people stand before God makes all the difference in this life and the next, this proverb seems to be stressing. The people who reject God and His ways, who go about their business with no regard of Him, are said here to be overthrown completely. They have no sure future, no way, José. What surety do they have if God can call them to account at anytime? No one knows the hour of their death, and there is only judgment awaiting the lost.
The righteous household has no fear of dangers that might befall it. The righteous person’s surety is in God, and they will stand regardless of whatever happens.4991042830_8804605e28_b
While there is an appearance of all people getting hurt and sick or dying at seemingly random times, the point is that the righteous will find safety in God and the wicked have no such promise.

What can we learn from Proverbs 12:7?
What is your trust in? Do you trust wholly in the things of this world, such as money, locks, police or fire-resistant insulation?
Despite the importance of partly investing in these things, it surely is far better to seek and to put your trust in God, the Creator of this world?
We should not fear anything happening to us if our trust is in God. Make sure you and your whole family are made right with God and not even death will be the end to your house. Amen.

Thanks so much for reading! – Pedrozki (Pete)

More Reading:

Check out TWO other posts about surety in God:

Your foundation in life is crucial – On Proverbs 10:24-26

God is an Immovable Foundation- Proverbs 12:3

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Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is either the New King James Version or New International Version. I am using a commentary by John A. Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

The main image is courtesy of Phil’s Hat and the “More Reading” image is courtesy of Vermont Historical Society / both from Flickr – Creative Commons (Attribution License)
If you want, follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Choose Your Solutions – On Proverbs 12:6

The words of the wicked are, “Lie in wait for blood,”
But the mouth of the upright will deliver them. – Proverbs 12:6

What is this proverb saying?

The wicked here are portrayed as willing to use violence to achieve their goals. Their very words betray them as murderous people.

The upright person here displays a wisdom with words that protects. This protection could be for themselves or perhaps for another whom they are speaking for.

In any case, the upright has a way with their words that is wise and delivers them from danger.

The wicked suggest violent and desperate solutions, while the righteous person seeks a careful defense to protect himself or others.

What can we learn from Proverbs 12:6?

First off, it’s okay to defend yourself! Regardless of whatever evil you might get accused of, you know the truth about yourself the best, so use wisdom and speak up and defend yourself. At the very least, you can  present your side of the story.

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In terms of any choice in life we need to make, we should be careful of whose advice we listen to. We need wisdom to discern a godly solution. Man’s wisdom is to seek solutions that are violent, self-serving, or destructive. Seek God and his wisdom.

May our decisions be wise ones that honour God. Amen.

 Thanks so much for reading! – Pedrozki (Pete)

More Reading:

Check out my other posts on the plans of the wicked.

Don’t Follow Evildoers – On Proverbs 1:8-19

How to Think Godly – Proverbs 12:5

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Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is either the New King James Version or New International Version. I am using a commentary by John A. Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Main image is courtesy of Emilio Labrador and the “More Reading” image is courtesy of Vermont Historical Society / Flickr – Creative Commons
If you want, follow my blog with Bloglovin

How to Think Godly – Proverbs 12:5

The thoughts of the righteous are right,

But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. – Proverbs 12:5

A man’s deliberations start in his mind, and then are later spoken, and this proverb deals with two types of men and their different thoughts. The righteous man is said to have thoughts that are right. Before a person like this even acts, they are said to have considered ideas rightly and in a godly way. The wicked person is said to have an opposite way of thinking, one of evil and deceit.

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Where do these different thought-lives come from? Do some people just naturally favour good or evil thoughts?

Well Psalm 14 (links to Bible Gateway) tells us that when God surveys the world He sees only corrupt people on the face of earth, with the exception of His people, the righteous. So this righteousness is found in those who are following God in the way He has said to. Back in that time, that would mean following God as the nation of Israel had been taught.

It follows then that a person’s nature and thoughts depend on their knowledge of and relationship with God. To be declared righteous they need to seek after God’s ways in His Word and trust in His mercy daily.

A person seeking after God probably won’t always have a righteous thought, yet he will love God’s Word and his thoughts will change to be more godly each day.

However, the man who disregards God, who says the LORD does not exist, has no moral obligation or desire to be godly. He will plan to do whatever suits him and furthers his good lot in life. This means he will consider how to manipulate and deceive people in order to get his way.

So what can we learn from this proverb?

God is the source of all goodness, wisdom, and righteousness. If we want to think in a way that honours God and helps our fellow man, we must rely on God’s Word and the Holy Spirit to change us. Seek after God through Jesus Christ, and your whole life will be aligned rightly.

God bless you. Thanks for reading! Pedrozki (Pete)

More Reading:

I’ve written about a similar passage here:  Good Desire, Bad Desire – Proverbs 11:23

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Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is either the New King James Version or New International Version. I am using a commentary by John A. Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Main image is courtesy of Mr Tickle – Wachoo Wachoo Tribe Congressman and the “More Reading” image is courtesy of Vermont Historical Society / Flickr – Creative Commons

The Importance of a Good Wife – Proverbs 12:4

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones. – Proverbs 12:4

A husband may not be responsible for his wife’s actions, but he certainly is seen differently by others in light of her reputation and character. It is a great joy to see a married couple who work together, who highlight the strengths of their spouse and resolve issues well. This proverb speaks of the importance of a good wife and stresses that her character is crucial.

If you were to list what your idea of a good wife would be, what would you mention? The Bible provides a list in Proverbs 31 for us, and I’ll paraphrase some of the things mentioned. Check out the full list here in Proverbs 31:10-31 (the link goes to Bible Gateway). Do these characteristics match up with what you have in mind for a good wife?

  • Her husband trusts her and her actions. (vs. 11)
  • She does good, not evil. (vs.12)
  • She purchases materials and makes clothes. (vs.13)
  • She is an early riser in order to serve he family. (vs.15)
  • She is a profitable land investor. (vs. 16)
  • She has strong arms. (vs.17)
  • She cares for poor and needy people. (vs.20)
  • Her actions help make her husband famous. (vs. 23)
  • She speaks with wisdom and kindness. (vs.26)
  • She fears the LORD. (vs.30)
  • Her deeds are praised. (vs. 31)

Does anything in this list make you uneasy? I’m slightly scared of this type of woman! Surely only men are supposed to strengthen their arms? However King Lemuel, the writer of Proverbs 31, and highly influenced by his mother, thought differently (“The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him:” – Proverbs 31:1).
Unlike our world’s idea of a wife having a demeaning role in the home and in society, Proverbs portrays an extremely positive and powerful picture of a married woman who is godly and wise. This woman has strength in many areas. She supports her husband’s work and makes him the talk of the town. People assess her, nudge the lucky husband, and say, “You did well with her, buddy! (or say it under Facebook pics of her!)”
The proverb we are looking at in 12:4 speaks of this type of woman crowning the head of her husband. This crowning seems to speak of honour, headship, and glory – all things that lift up the husband in the eyes of his community. He is truly blessed 2334811445_29e4083a9c to have such a wonderful wife, who supports him and doesn’t supplant his authority. The opposite type of woman mentioned has intent to cause unrest and pain to her husband. Her actions bring his status among the community into disrepute, since, as the argument goes, what wise man would have married her? A man whose wife constantly makes unwise and spiteful decisions will find his efforts to get anywhere in life severely held up. The proverb speaks of the shameful wife rotting her spouse’s bones. He is hampered in his efforts to flourish in life.
In a world where self-purpose is all important this ideal stands in clear contrast. This excellent wife is satisfied with bringing about God’s and her husband’s glory by excelling in all things in her area of service.
I certainly want to seek such a woman for marriage; as of October, 2013, I’ve yet to marry.
What can we learn from this?
One thing we learn at least is the importance of whom we choose to marry. They will be our closest companion and will help us in our work/ministry. If our spouses seek to be destructive it will be easy as pie for them to bring us down. Your spouse will know you better than anyone else. If, however, they are godly and servant-hearted, your spouse will know how best to serve you. Choose wisely. Peace be with you.

Thanks for reading! – Pedrozki (Pete)

More Reading:

Proverbs speaks of this topic elsewhere: Proverbs 18:2
I’ve written about a similar passage here: Guaranteeing, Honour, and Forgiveness – Proverbs 11:15-17 (verse 16)

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Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is either the New King James Version or New International Version. I am using a commentary by John A. Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Main image courtesy of Kwadwo Kwarte and the “More Reading” image is courtesy of Vermont Historical Society / Flickr – Creative Commons

God is an Immovable Foundation- Proverbs 12:3

A man is not established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous cannot be moved. – Proverbs 12:3

 

Reading this verse do you feel, as I felt, that this doesn’t initially seem to be true in life?

We see dictators rise and flourish. We see corrupt businessmen take charge of companies. We see the easily persuaded fooled by schemes.

Since this proverb is God’s Word, however, we have to take it seriously. Lets try to understand what it’s saying and how it can apply to our world.

The basis of what a man believes affects his whole way of living. If he serves the God of the Bible, his trust will be in the ways of God, and his efforts will be for God’s glory.

An idol-worshipper, as in anyone who rejects God, will be engaged in a similar way with his god.

This proverbs seems to be saying those who seek to build security in life without God will have unsure footing. Those who live by God’s Word are promised a grounding that is sure.

I find the man who rejects God ends up finding there is a lot of uncertainty in life and clings to anything that promises to provide security. I’ve seen people trust in Science, their reason, a rampantly evil lifestyle, drugs, or even insurance. As much as they claim they are content and have no worries about death, when pressed I find they may honestly admit to the weakness of such gods.

The person, however, who trusts in the infallible, immovable, and all-powerful God, will claim that although life has it’s uncertainties, their life is secure in God, and it is Him whom they will live and die for.

So can an unbelieving person flourish here on Earth? Well, I believe it is possible, but they’re striving against the wisdom and law of God, on which His creation is built upon. They are bound to fall and time will tell whether that will be in this life or the next.

 

6827018401_9ed80646f4_zWhat can we learn from this?

God is the firm foundation on whom we put our trust. Any other ground is unstable and temporary.

If men have great success in gathering wealth and building godless empires, we have to trust that God laughs at their efforts, as He’s laughed throughout the ages at men doing just that. Egypt fell. Babylon fell. Persia fell. Rome fell. Nazi Germany fell. It is only by God withholding his judgement that such people can still stand nowadays.

We can know that trusting in anything but God is folly and idolatry. See Jeremiah 11:11-12 for what God said to disobedient and distrustful Israel.

Read also Isaiah 31:1-3 here:

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
who rely on horses,
who trust in the multitude of their chariots

and in the great strength of their horsemen,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
or seek help from the Lord.
Yet he too is wise and can bring disaster;
he does not take back his words.
He will rise up against that wicked nation,
against those who help evildoers.
But the Egyptians are mere mortals and not God;
their horses are flesh and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out his hand,
those who help will stumble,
those who are helped will fall;
all will perish together. (NIV)

Thanks for reading! Pedrozki (Pete)

Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is either the New King James Version or New International Version. I am using a commentary by John A. Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Image courtesy of  mikebaird / Flickr – Creative Commons