Mostly on Relationships
Father, to be with You is to be at home. Thank You for the security of Your love, forgiveness, and wisdom.
Read PROVERBS 27:1-27
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy” (Jas. 3:17 MSG).
Which of us has not felt, to some degree at least, the pain and power of jealousy (4)? Perhaps it was a sharp stab of resentment at someone else’s achievement or, more seriously, that kind of festering anger that constantly draws negative comparisons with what we perceive as the success or fluency, the beauty or popularity of others? Among the wise recommendations included here are some that can guide us along healthier paths. For instance, accept compliments gladly, there’s no need to blow your own trumpet (2). We can encourage people who have a poor self-image, and perhaps a tendency to envy, by showing a genuine and caring regard for them, which can be a means of growth (21). And if envy seems to be our own stubborn sin, we can make sure we have faithful friends who will encourage us to battle against it (5,6).
Proverbs is realistic on all things financial. The injunction of v. 13 is repeated in various forms throughout the book (Prov. 6:1-3; 11:15; 17:18; 20:16; cf. Deut. 24:10-13). Eugene Peterson helpfully translates the verse: “Hold tight to collateral on any loan to a stranger; be wary of accepting what a transient has pawned.” We read this advice in the light of Jesus’ recommendations about loans: “If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you?ﾅlove your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return” (Luke 6:34,35).
The chapter closes with a beautiful little poem in praise of level-headed and thoughtful concern, both for creation and for the well-being of the most humble community members (23-27).
Read ch. 27 again and evaluate your life by its practical teaching. Confess failures and make new resolutions, especially regarding inter-personal relationships.
Lord, may my life today demonstrate the beauty and power of Your love, care and wisdom. May they touch others through me.
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