Read through Proverbs in 31 days, Today’s reading is entitled “The Benefits of Wise Words”
Read Proverbs 12 – Pop quiz time – have you ever looked back at a decision and thought “I should have listened to my mother when she told me not to do it?” This could be something as simple as the scar that remains when you grabbed something burning hot or it could be a serious legal infraction that either put you in jail or affected the rest of your life. That is what the focus of today’s reading in Proverbs 12 is all about – listening to and heeding the advice of those who have “been there and done that.” Okay, what has Solomon, the author of most of the chapters in Proverbs, done during his lifetime? He was the wisest man on earth (1 Kings 4:29), he was humble (1 Kings 3:7-12), he had faith in God (2 Chronicles 1:8-12). These are a few things that we would believe to be good about Solomon. Now let’s look at something else – he went against God’s Law and loved foreign women, having 300 wives and 700 concubines. Solomon worshiped their Gods instead of the One True God. The best news of all is that Solomon was still loved by God even as he knowingly transgressed God’s Word. Although we can’t find a specific passage that says “Solomon repented,” we also do not find one indicating that he committed the unforgivable sin of blasphemy. We are all loved by God even when the feeling may not be mutual.
Today we get to ponder on the following points.
- The Lord approves of those who love discipline and learn from others, but He condemns the wicked who hate correction.
- As the murderous words of the wicked lie in ambush, they will die and disappear. The firm words of the godly save the lives of those willing to listen.
- A humble, ordinary life has a much better outcome than pridefully elevating your status while truly starving yourself.
- The wise will stay calm and listen to others, receiving benefits and rewards, but the quick tempered fool will think his own words are the only right way and suffer for it.
- A leader works hard to encourage and cheer others up, while the lazy fall under the weight of worry and become a slave,
Are you noticing some recurring lessons in Proverbs? In order to receive God’s approval and blessings, you should love discipline and learn from the guidance and examples of others. Even when staying in God’s Will, do you always feel blessed? Although some would say that “bad” things won’t happen in your life until you have strayed from God, the scriptures indicate that trials are allowed for spiritual strengthening. Maybe the person who is currently undergoing some tribulation had become complacent in communing with God; it would seem that this is the perfect opportunity to grow in commitment instead of shunning God.
A humble, ordinary life committed to God’s purposes will produce the “firm words of the godly.” As your commitment to Him provides wisdom for those who are willing to hear, those same words and actions will survive across generations as they are an example for others. By staying calm and listening to others, you can direct them in God’s guidance as He provides the proper responses to you. Those who are willing to listen to that guidance will also be willing to yield to correction and prosper instead of “starving yourself.” As we see in the reading today, those “fools” who will argue with everything right and godly accept only their own worldly beliefs and suffer greatly for it. Now it’s time for a bit of introspection – do you consider yourself to be a leader or follower? The likely answer is “that depends” – why is that? We will consider this in terms of jobs around the church. You may be the Senior Pastor, leader of God’s flock at your church. Are you fully versed in web site design, office tasks, working on the lawn mowers, doing repairs around the church? The Senior Pastor may have the top leading role in the church, but he or she will also be a follower in many other areas. Of course, the most important follower role for all of God’s people to accept is following Him.