How Can This Be True? (Proverbs 12:21)

At first glance, this passage seems to indicate that evil events will not happen to just people.  From my own personal testimony, I can give countless examples of how people did evil to me or evil events came into my life.  As I quickly surveyed just people in general, I spanned evil happening to just people from the Apostles martyrdoms to present day when people have lost loved ones due to sin, crime and injustice.  How can this verse be true?

Many times in Scripture and in particular passages in Proverbs, the complete truth can be determined by reading the text in context or as in the middle chapters of Proverbs, read the latter portion of the verse.

There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief. (Proverbs 12:21)

The passage is providing for us the promise that as just people live their lives and make decisions, they will not fall into evil or as the latter part of the verse says, mischief.  Those who walk with the Lord, will be guided by the same as they live their lives.  They will not be allowed to stumble and stagger in darkness, but will have the light of his presence and scripture to light their path and to guide their footsteps.

So if I want to be free from falling into evil, I must walk with the Lord, allow him to inspect my life and removed that which is not just, seek his face as decisions must be made and rejoice in the promise of his goodness and protection.

Pride and Shame (Proverbs 11:2)

Why is it that pride and shame go together?  Is their some mystical connection?  I think not.  Shame is the emotional condition experienced by a person who made and recognized a wrongful or poor act and sees it as a reflection of what they are.  

As children, we experienced shame.  Our shame usually involved life events such as elementary school toileting accidents, disappointing others, failing tests, not being faithful to others in relationships, etc.  Some of these events of shame can be related to our abilities, but others come from pride.  Think about pride and shame?

When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)

Shame comes to the proud, because they are destined to make wrong actions and decisions.  They are destined because they are blinded to truth which would enable them to make right decisions.  What blinds them from truth is pride. 

Pride causes people to downplay the help and wisdom of others. It leads them to trust in their inflated ability instead of recognizing the abilities of others.  Pride blinds because it is selfish.  It wants to be right and to take complete credit for success.  Because of their pride, these people are destined to experience shame.  What is sad is that more than likely, they will blame their shameful condition on the inabilities of others and not recognize that their plight was of their own making.

To keep this from happening to you, heed to the wisdom of the scriptures.  Seek advice from those who demonstrate wisdom and humility.  Through prayer, seek guidance from God.  And finally, strive to make right decisions and not just be right.  When right decisions are made, praise the wisdom and efforts of those involved who enabled you to make the right decision.

God Gives and Calls (2 Peter 1:3)

God gives and calls.  He gives us salvation’s promise and calls us to believe.  He gives us commandments and calls us to obey.  However, he also gives us ability and a calling.

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (2 Peter 1:3)

God has given us the whole of what we need for life along with its problems and loyally living for God.  He has called us to have a God glorifying testimony (glory) and an ability to face life and it’s challenges (virtue).

The divine power that we need comes from knowing God: not knowing facts about him, but a knowledge that comes from interacting with him.  Your knowledge, which will be your enabling, comes form your experiences with God.  The more you experience him, the more strength you have and the less you experience, the less strength you have.

Start each day looking for God’s hand and handiwork in your life. Make sure that you praise him for what you recognize and experience. Having this interaction is both pleasing to him and empowering for you.

Wisdom (Proverbs 9:12)

The wisdom that you gain is for yourself.  You will be the beneficiary of your wisdom an no one else.  You may strive to pass wisdom along to others, but in order for them to benefit from wisdom, they must accept it for themselves.

If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.  (Proverbs 9:12)

Just as spiritual growth is solitary, so likewise is wisdom. Seek daily for wisdom from God’s word.  Pray and ask God to provide you with wisdom.  If he corrects you in your life, yield to his correction and receive the instruction of wisdom.  If you do these, your inner life will feast on the goodness of the Lord.

Trust or Lean? (Proverbs 3:5)

Man’s understanding is contrary to God’s way.  When facing a trial, difficult situation or even a decision to make, we will face two persuasions: God’s way or ours.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)

God wants and expects us to run to him for refuge and not to support ourselves with our reasoning or understanding.  Instead of leaning on our reasoning for support, he wants us to lean on him.

In this day of self help and positive thinking, we constantly face this proverbial fork in the road.  Today as you face life, what will your response be?  Will you support yourself or will you go to God for refuge?

Mercy and Truth (Proverbs 3:3)

Our attitude towards the law will determine whether or not we forget the law and commandments.  If we desire them and their benefits, our hearts will be inclined to guard God’s laws and commandments, but if we seek the world and its vanity, we will forget or mislay them.

Mercy and truth may come to us, but they will not stay with us unless we hold onto them.  If we do not bind them about our necks and write them upon our hearts, they will depart.  When mercy and truth depart, their blessings leave with them.