They say that with age comes wisdom and last month I just turned 25. 25! Can you believe that? It’s like I’m no longer 24, but seriously, when I realized that I’m already 25 it just dawned on me that I have to leave my childish ways behind. Well maybe not all, but I believe that it’s a sign that I should take more responsibilities and act more maturely than before. Twenty-five, that means that I’m living on silver years. When you’re 25 there’s a lot of things that’s expected of you, and I think that especially with the field that I am going to go into, a lot will definitely be expected of me (a scary thought if I imagine the responsibility involved).
With all those things being said, I choose to accept the responsibilities and the tasks that will be laid before me. The funny thing is that God is really the one who’s setting me up for this. Every month, I start with a new book in the bible and what I’ll do is just focus on that book for a whole month for my quiet time. I usually do a random sampling of the bible that I’m about to read and viola, guess what book God gave me: Proverbs. Now that I’ve mentioned it, with the many times I’ve done that random sampling of books to read, the book that comes out almost always turns out to be very very timely in that season (must be coincidence (yeah right!)).
To cut my long blog short, I’ll just go straight to the point. After reading the book of proverbs and meditating on it for a whole month I’ve gotten tons of insights with this book (that’s how amazing this book is). Here are my main takeaways after a month’s worth of quiet time:
Wisdom in Relationships
1) The Value of Holding your Tongue
The tongue has the power of life and death means it can be used for good or for the bad. The tongue has been mentioned in the bible quite a number of times and it just goes to show how powerful this small thing is. The book of James compares the tongue to a rudder that has the power and the potential to move even a ship as big as the titanic. The tongue is very powerful, can you imagine it’s potential? Kind words, encouragement, praise can uplift someone’s spirit in an instant while degrading, insulting, slanderous words can definitely tear someone down.
Are you keeping a tight reign on your tongue? Are the words that are coming out of your mouth pleasing to God? Are you speaking words of encouragement or words that tear down? Think about it, most relationships get destroyed because of the words that comes out of our mouths. Keep a tight reign on it! Control your tongue and don’t let it just say whatever it wants to say at the spur of the moment!
The tongue has the power of life and death.
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. Proverbs 10:19
A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. Proverbs 11:12
Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue. Proverbs 17:28
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21
He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity. Proverbs 21:23
I love it when proverbs compares a quarrel to a dam that breaches. Imagine a dam that breaches, do you think you’ll be able to stop the overflow of that dam once it starts to breach? No. So before starting one, or getting involved in a quarrel flee from it. In the end quarrel just leads to offense most, if not all of the time. Many times I’m tempted to quarrel and therefore say nasty things, however what will I get from that? I know that if I quarrel, at the end it’ll just hurt my relationships with others.
Do you often quarrel? This can be related to the first topic which is holding your tongue. What do you do when you sense a quarrel emerging? Do you drop it immediately or do you indulge yourself with it by pouring out your emotions to seemingly useless chatter?
Drop a dispute before it breaks out.
Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. Proverbs 17:14
He who loves a quarrel loves sin; he who builds a high gate invites destruction. Proverbs 17:19
It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel. Proverbs 20:3
3) Covering Offenses
We’ve all been offended before one way or another. Sometimes when we get offended, we harbor bitter feelings towards other people or sometimes we just ignore the person completely. What offense does is it causes unforgiveness, bitterness, anger and the like. What do you do when you get offended? The natural response is for us to feel the things I’ve just mentioned above. The book of Proverbs, however, says that it is possible to overlook an offense. Forget about it, act as if it never happened. Forgive and forget. If we do so, relationships can be salvaged and possibly even restored.
Have you been offended before? What did you do about it? You are not your feelings, you can choose to feel a certain way, you can choose to overlook offense and promote love.
He who covers an offense promotes love.
He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9
A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11
4) Patience vs. Temper
Patience, a lot of people are weak at this and there’s a good reason why we don’t want to have patience. The word patience in its original language means this: long suffering. Who’d want that? Hello? Anybody in their right mind would say that patience is not very appealing. But the apostle Paul says and describes the Love is Patient (1 Cor. 13). The first word used to describe love is the word patience. So to love is to be patient! Ok so maybe at this point you’re not yet convinced, the good thing is the book of Proverbs informs us the value of patience in our lives.
Just look at the verses below: with patience rulers can be persuaded, a patient man has great understanding, a patience man can calm a quarrel and at time a patient man is better than a warrior.
Do you see the value of patience for your life? Have you been patient lately in school? In the office? At home? Hope and pray that you’ll see patience’s value in our life. 🙂
Better a patient man than a warrior
Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone. Proverbs 25:15
A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly. Proverbs 14:29
A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. Proverbs 15:18
Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city. Proverbs 16:32
No one likes to be rebuked. Rebuke is defined by google as: to express sharp disapproval or criticism of someone. Ouch! Have you ever been rebuked before? I know I have and it’s not a very pleasant thing I must admit. Rebuke, although it is not pleasant, is a method of separating the fool from the wise. You see because, a rebuke is only and should only be given if someone is clearly in the wrong. If someone is in the wrong then a rebuke should be made. Jesus’ wasn’t afraid to rebuke the pharisees because they were clearly in the wrong at times. Thus for us it should be the same, however a rebuke should be given in the context of love and wanting to see that person grow and not commit the same mistake again. Now if the rebuke has been made, then here’s where the rubber meets the road. Check and see if that person who was rebuked responded right or not because that will see the condition of that person’s heart. If that person responds right and receives the life-giving rebuke in humility then you know that you are walking with the wise. If, however and hopefully not, that person resents it and in return insults you then that person, sad to say, will be labeled as a mocker or a fool.
Now with you, would you rather be called as a mocker or a fool? If someone rebukes you when you are clearly in the wrong will you respond in humility or resentment? Will you learn from your rebuke no matter how painful or will you resent it and keep on repeating the same things again? Rebuke sometimes is difficult however it is necessary for us to grow in the right direction. Rebuke separates the fool from the wise.
Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.
Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. Proverbs 15:31
A rebuke impresses a discerning person more than a hundred lashes a fool. Proverbs 17:10
Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence; rebuke a discerning man, and he will gain knowledge. Proverbs 19:25
“Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse. Proverbs 9:7
Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Proverbs 9:8
I’d love to continue and finish the whole blog however it’s getting very late and the blog is already a bit too long. Hope you’ll read the second part of my blog which focuses primarily on Wisdom with our Work.
To be continued.