Proverbs: Chapter Fourteen

Since I’m a day behind, I am only going to pick my favorite five verses from this chapter. Feel free to talk about your favorite in the comment section below.

More Proverbs of Solomon…

v.23 “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” Yep, it’s true y’all, if you just talk about doing something…it won’t make it  happen! DOING something makes it happen. Whether you are wanting to save for a house, learn more about God, get healthier, finish your work, learn the piano, or whatever it might be, action is the only way to get things done. That being said, for some reason, when I read this I thought of something I read in Renee Swope’s book A Confident Heart. I’m currently doing her online Bible study on her book and this week we are in chapter nine and it’s all about worry {I highly recommend stopping by her lesson on worry: CLICK HERE}. On page 163 of her book, she shares a quote from one of Max Lucado’s books called Come Thirsty:

When have you solved a problem by worrying about it? Imagine someone saying, “I got behind in my bills, so I resolved to worry my way out of debt. And, you know, it worked! A few sleepless nights, a day of puking and hand wringing. I yelled at my kids and took some pills, and–glory to worry–money appeared on my desk.”

Just like only “talking” about what needs to be done will NOT make it happen…neither will worry! Worry only adds wrinkles to your forehead and an ulcer in your stomach, it has no power to change a situation. I LOVE how Renee puts it: Worry Only Robs Rest from You,” pg164. I could go on and on with this, but we need to get back to Proverbs…

v.29 “A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.” This chapter contains quite a few verses which talk about thinking before you act. Ok, this is different than talking about something and not acting on it as we talked about above in v.23. This is about not thinking something through and acting foolishly or rashly. For example, my husband and I want to buy a house, so we save money. We look at a few houses and walk into one we both LOVE, but instead of looking past the surface and inspecting the way it was built, checking out the plumbing or wiring, perhaps checking out the neighborhood it’s in {Does it have good schools?}, we just buy the house. Later things start to go wrong in the house that take a great deal of money to fix. We could of avoided these issues if we had only taken the extra time to check things out. {Don’t worry, this was just an example, we actually live in a condo.} It’s important to think through what we plan to actually do!

v.13 “Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.” Masks. That’s the first thing I envision when I read this verse. There are so many times when all of us have forced a smile on our face when, in fact, we are falling apart inside. In this age where face to face interaction ends up just being a Facebook post, it’s even easier to force that smile, to wear that mask. Tone and emotion is lost or easily manipulated through the words we type. We lie through our cute emoticon teeth. Posting little smiley faces when inside we’re begging you to ask us how we are, but even when you do…we chicken out and just say we’re “fine,” secretly hoping you won’t believe us. We’ve made it easy for ourselves to be inauthentic with the world, fearing that if they knew just how badly we were falling apart, our “friends” will leave us, most of whom we’ve probably never met and will never meet in real life. Our real world friends, like us, get caught up in what’s going on Facebook/Twitter/Pintrest when they’re away from the computer, so we set up our phones to notify us when something new is shared…and we care more about that little ding, than the person two feet in front of us. Let us help one another be more authentic, allow others to be real. How? Don’t settle for “fine,” dig deeper, put away the phone the computer, when people share what’s really going on simply listen first…sometimes that all a person needs. I recommend reading this post by Melanie called The “I’m Fine” Masquerade.

v.30 “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” I like Sheryl Crow‘s song Soak Up The Sun. It’s fun, up-beat and great to drive to with the windows down along the beach. There’s a lyric in the beginning of the song that says, “It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got!” When we are happy with the things we have, find joy in what we already possess, home, car, spouse, clothing, technology, or whatever, we can be at peace. However, when we start looking at what we have and desire the things of others, envy starts eating away at our hearts. When this happens we will never be satisfied with what we have, it will be like pouring water into a sieve, no matter what we have…it will never be enough. This is why God gave us commandments against coveting, not to punish, but to protect us from allowing envy to rob us of the joy found in the blessings God has given us. I may prefer to drive a Competition Orange 1974 Ford Mustang Cobra with two black racing stripes down the center {hubba-hubba}…but my green 2007 Saturn Vue is what I need…and in my price range.

v.31 “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” There are so many in need all around the world, but there are also many in need in our own country. Odds are you know at least one person who has been in need. Yes, there are different kinds of need, but this verse is specifically talking about having the things needed to survive; food, water, clothing, shelter, and security. This doesn’t mean you have to hand money to every person you see on the street corner. There are community organizations set up to help those in need. We have a place called LifeNet4Families which can buy $5 worth of food for every $1 my church donates; talk about multiplying loaves and fish! Money isn’t the only thing we offer this organization. Once a week, I bring 6-7 very eager middle school students to LNF and they spend about 30min vigorously packing boxes with food for families in need. We have 6 groups who rotate, which gives you an idea of just how excited these kids are to serve! The groups keep track of how many boxes they pack and tally them up on the board, it’s a healthy competition to see who can work the fastest to help these families {AWESOME!}. We have other kids who get together once a month on a Sunday and during our 8:00am service they make sandwiches, writing little notes of encouragement on a label for the bags; our pre-schoolers even make labels for the bags!! After we worship together at 9:30am, we load up our sandwiches and any donated items, and head out to LNF to hand everything  out to the homeless. Other adult volunteers go in during the week and help in the soup kitchen. It doesn’t matter what age you are, there is always something you can do to help those in need!

Lord, Thank You for Your Word! Word that reminds us that we need to let down our guard, to be real with those around us, to not worry and take action, but to think about what we are going to do and above all, help those in need! Open our hearts to those around us who are in need, those who work hard, but it’s just not enough, or those who feel trapped in the life they have made for themselves. Fill us with Your love and compassion, just as Your Son showed love and compassion for us. Amen.

What verse from this chapter spoke to your heart? I would love for you to share with us by leaving a comment below.

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2 thoughts on “Proverbs: Chapter Fourteen

  1. Thanks for linking over! Love what you shared here Heather! The verse that stands out to me is v.29 “A patient man has great understanding – so often when I pray for patience, God has shown me that what I need is understanding — of the person who I’m having a hard time being patient with or the situation that is making me crazy. When I ask God for understanding from His perspective it gives me so much more patience because I know He is working in the timing or circumstances.
    I was writing a devotion on this topic months ago and never finished. Maybe I”ll dig it up today. 🙂

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    1. Oh I do hope you will be able to dig that up and finish writing it to share! It’s so true too. We lack patience because we fail to offer understanding and give someone the benefit of the doubt. Instead, we jump to conclusions about their character, never really taking the time to understand where they’re coming from, or what’s going on in their lives. We’re all guilty of doing this. I look forward to reading your devotion when you get done with it :)!

      ❤ Heather

      Like

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