The wisdom - and conviction - of Proverbs.

Dennis and I are working through Proverbs with one of our young couples, and we have both thoroughly enjoyed the study. Wisdom overflows from the pages, and practical insight for daily living can be found throughout.
All four of us read the current chapter every day for a week, and then we exchange our thoughts/convictions/encouragement/challenges with each other on Saturday.
Reading the Word together is a fantastic way to bond with others. You can have almost nothing in common and yet - you have everything in common because you share Jesus Christ. What a JOY!

Last week we worked through the 12th chapter of Proverbs and there were several verses that jumped out and grabbed hold of me.
I hope they will be a source of encouragement and a catalyst to drive you into the pages of Scripture to discover the rich treasures buried within!
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.
Wow - if there was ever a verse written that leaves nothing to interpretation, this would be one of them!
Interesting how Scripture equates discipline (which we think of as negative) with WISDOM.
We are fools in our own right – blinded to truth and completely selfish. We need godly reproof to show us the right way. Our flesh is so good at justifying sin and foolishness ... but wisdom destroys foolishness every time!

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
Again, how much more clear could it possibly be?
Excellence is sought – learned – attained. It takes intentional effort to become excellent.
And a wife who pursues excellence is a JOY and HONOR to her husband.
One who shames him, however, is equated with rotting flesh. Yikes.
How can a woman shame her husband? Pettiness, negativity, discontentment, gossip, a foul mouth, argumentative, speaking rudely to him in public, putting him down … oh, how easily the flesh can pull us away from "what should be" and push us towards what should NOT be!
I want to be an excellent wife. I want Dennis to be proud to introduce me as his wife. I want to help him be/do/feel his BEST. And only the Lord can give me the selflessness, patience, discipline, and love to succeed.
I am willing. Help me, Lord!

A man is commended according to his good sense, but one of twisted mind is despised.
Reputation matters! Our choices - whether foolish or wise - are witnessed by others. They hear us proclaim the name of Christ, and then wait to see if our actions match our words.
"Act like what you do matters - because it does!" (One of D's mantras for his students.)

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
This is SO true!
We have all played the part of the fool, in our arrogance, believing we “know it all” and refusing to seek or listen to godly counsel. 
A fool always thinks his ways are the right ways.
But the wise realize and acknowledge their need to listen, learn, understand, and gain more wisdom - knowing it is an intentional pursuit. Wisdom does not just appear - it must be sought! And the Lord promises to give it to us in abundance when we ask.
Praise Him for such a gift!

The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.
Amen - Amen!
"The anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.""It is a man's glory to overlook an offense."
"Even a fool is considered wise when he keeps silent."
Anyone can lose their temper and speak like a rude fool.
It takes humility and a great deal of self-control to hold our tongue!
Especially when we *think* we are right - or - feel entitled to get what we want when we want it.

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
When we speak in the midst of emotion our words are often rash, harsh, hurtful, and cannot be UNsaid.
You can pull a sword out of a body after the thrust, but you cannot undo the damage.
The tongue can lacerate the heart of another with equal ferocity.
But -
The tongue of the person under control - who thinks before she speaks - who considers more important than herself - is WISE - and her words bring comfort and healing to those around her.
Wow. I want to be that woman!
Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
Great verse!
Again - reputation matters! And legacy is built upon reputation.
The truth is not always easy to hear, or speak, but "love rejoices in the truth" and people trust and respect a truth-teller.

Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
Burdens on the backs of our brothers and sisters will always be a reality. But we can bear those burdens with them - and help them get to the Savior so they can dump their sack of sorrows at His feet, and find rest.
Being the one to bring the perfect word - to offer encouragement and hope - to give a hug - pray for the hurting heart ... these things are a privilege and a joy, and it is an honor to be used by the Lord to bring light to the darkness.
How good He was to create the body of Christ!

Proverbs 12. What a wonderful passage of Scripture!

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