Bible Passage: Proverbs 17
Every verse in this chapter of Proverbs contains words of wisdom and it is indeed hard to decide what is important because the fact is… all are very important to me. So I would just pick a few and see if they resonate with you as well…
The Tongue – My One Great Weakness… and Maybe Yours As Well
“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.” (Proverbs 17:1)
“A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.” (Proverbs 17:27-28)
Now tell me frankly, how many of you have been upset by something your parents said that caused you to lose your temper even though you did not want to? How about what you friend or colleague said that upset you enough for you to vent and shout in frustration?
Do you think you are an opionated person? I used to think I was not… but recently I find that when I am surrounded by people who are more critical, or that they talk bad about other people or even me, I somehow catch their bad attitude and also become just as critical and “mimic” their words and find myself even starting to be overly critical about others. This is no excuse and Proverbs 17 serves as a great reminder to me.
Besides the 2 verses I highlighted, there are many other reminders in this chapter to be more peaceful and less quarrelsome.
Let’s see… Verse 17 says “a friend loves at all times.” Now a true friend would not talk bad about you. Instead they would find ways to build you up and help you.
Verse 19 says “he who loves a quarrel loves sin.”
Hmmm…. Our God is a God of peace and Satan is the Father of all lies and deceit. And quarrels often start because of lies and deception. And it is clear – quarrel is not of God. Verse 22 is one of my favourites and I need to remind myself of this today. It says “a cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” It is a reminder that no matter what situation I may find myself in, I am responsible for how I behave and my own attitudes.
I must not allow the attitudes of others to affect how I am and how I behave. Instead, I must have the mind of Christ as my own… be a peacemaker like the Prince of Peace.
What about you today?