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Proverbs 17: 27 & 28

27Wise are those who restrain their talking;
    people with understanding are coolheaded.
28 Fools who keep quiet are deemed wise;
    those who shut their lips are smart.

Do you ever talk too much? Say the wrong thing? Stick your foot in your mouth? I constantly find that if I try to respond back quickly to someone’s joke or teasing, I tend to say something that is ruder than what I would usually say.  Then I’m embarrassed, apologetic, and ashamed of how I made that person feel. If I wait and think my response through, then I’m usually nicer and sometimes can just skip a response after all. Taming your tongue is a very difficult thing. Read James 3:1-11, it shows us the importance of what we say and how we say it. If we make it a point to always speak kindness and love, then it becomes easier to train our brain away from saying evil things.

 

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commit

Proverbs 16: 3

Commit your work to the Lord,
    and your plans will succeed.

Psalm 37:5

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him, and he will act.

Same verse, two different places. Subtle differences, but same meaning.  What does it mean to commit your plans to the Lord? Does it mean your Friday nights? Does it mean your lunch hours?

or

Does it mean your career, your relationships, your housing, your prayer life?

Why is it good to commit your work to the Lord? What would happen if you didn’t?

How would it change our day to day living if we were committing our way to God?

God can read our hearts…

Proverbs 15: 9-11

9 A life frittered away disgusts God;
    he loves those who run straight for the finish line.

10 It’s a school of hard knocks for those who leave God’s path,
    a dead-end street for those who hate God’s rules.

11 Even hell holds no secrets from God
    do you think he can’t read human hearts?

Sometimes I feel like I can outsmart God. Like God won’t necessarily know if I do something I shouldn’t or not do something I should. Most often, I rationalize it. “Well, I don’t have any cash,” when I pass by a homeless person with a sign. This scripture reminds me that God reads my heart. Whether my actions are good or bad, my heart needs to be right. I have to be honest with God about my mistakes because God knows them anyway.

How do you hide from God? What do you hide from God?

peace

Proverbs 14: 30
A peaceful mind gives life to the body,
    but jealousy rots the bones.

I think I need this reminder that keeping my mind peaceful, keeps my body healthy. Sinful things like jealousy, sloth, greed, gluttony, vanity, lust, wrath can all affect my emotional, mental, physical and spiritual health. They can eat away at my well-being, tempt me to do harmful things to my body, and confuse me on right/wrong. As Galatians 5 says: The fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control.

If we keep those in mind, we can keep a healthy body and soul.

God, please keep me filled with the fruits of the spirit. Amen.

 

Hope.

Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (New Revised Standard Version)

 

Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick,
    but a sudden good break can turn life around. (The Message Version)

 

I’m always intrigued by different translations – open your Bible and see if your verse is the same or different. I think reading different translations can help us get more out of the passage.

This verse is so true for me. When I don’t have a goal or something to look forward to, life can get monotonous. But having something to hope for, look forward to, and work towards keeps my spirits high.

Where are you today? Are you feeling disappointed? Or are you experiencing desire fulfilled?

What can you do in your current situation to instill that hope that keeps your spirits high?

God is always with you and through that promise, there is hope in the future – whatever it may hold.

what did you just say?

Proverbs 12:3
Careful words make for a careful life;

    careless talk may ruin everything.

“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” I heard this numerous times growing up, but didn’t know it related to scripture. I thought it would just get you in trouble. Which is true, but another translation says “Those who guard their mouths preserve their lives, and those who open wide their lips come to ruin.” Both translations seem to allude to the fact that what you say can affect your life.

Do you agree? Has this ever happened to you?

Take note of what you say for the next hour or day. Listen & remember if you were speaking nicely and got positive results or were speaking negatively and got negative results.

Use your research to make your decision.

 

a cheerful word.

Proverbs 12:25
Worry weighs us down;
    a cheerful word picks us up.

How often do you ask someone how they are doing and the response is “busy” or “stressed”?
And what is your answer?  “me too” or “not as busy as me” and then you list all the things you have to do.
This proverb is a gentle reminder that we are overwhelmed, busy, stressed about things that we are trying to control. But offering a cheerful word to someone who responds with “I’m stressed” or “busy!” is the kinder thing to do.
Practice doing that this week. Make your initial response when someone asks you how you are a cheerful word. Be a reminder to others that life is a beautiful thing and God created us for more than stress and busywork.  (Matthew 6:25-34)

pigs?

Proverbs 11:22
Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout, is a beautiful face on an empty head.

This reminds me that if I don’t live as a mindful, caring, loving, intelligent human being, then my actions are as prominent as a gold ring on a pig’s snout. That the sheer shock of seeing that jewelry on a creature covered in muck and hair would be comparable to my empty-headed actions.

“Lord, help me not be an empty head.
Help me share your love through kindness, generosity, wisdom,
and always strive for your will.
Amen.”

 

 

Let Go of Control; Let God’s life flow

Fr. Richard Rohr is a wise theologian and has the ability to speak clearly about messy things. In light of the end of the semester when finals, papers, projects, goodbye’s, and summer plans can be messy, he reminds us about how futile worrying is.

It is true that you are not in control, and it is also true that “For all your worrying, you cannot add a single moment to your span of life” (Luke 12:25).

If we cannot control the biggies—life and death—why should we spend so much time trying to control all the lesser outcomes? Call it destiny, providence, guidance, synchronicity, or coincidence if you will, but people who are connected to the Source do not need to steer their own life and agenda. They know that it is being done for them in a much better way than they ever could. Those who hand themselves over are well received, and then the flow happens through them, with them, and in them.

When you think you deserve, expect, or need something specific to happen, you are setting yourself up for constant unhappiness and a final inability to enjoy or at least allow what is actually going to happen. After a while, you find yourself resisting almost everything at some level to try to remain in total control. I think this pattern is entirely common and widespread.

Only when you give up your preoccupation with control will you be able to move with the divine flow. Without all the inner voices of resistance and control, it is amazing how much you can get done and not get tired. Giving up control is a school of union, compassion, and understanding. It is also a school for the final letting go that we call death. Practice giving up control early in life. You will be much happier and much closer to the truth, to the moment, and to God—none of which can be experienced when you presume you can be in control anyway.

Adapted from Adam’s Return: The Five Promises of Male Initiation,
pp. 161-163  Fr. Richard Rohr

after Easter – connecting Proverbs to Jesus.

Proverbs 10:12

“Hate stirs up conflict,

but love covers all offenses.”

How do you see this in your life?  Do you know people who stir up conflict? Do you know peaceful people that use love to settle drama?

How can we be reminded of this while in the moment?

After Easter, we can use this passage to look back at the story. How did hate stir up conflict for the Roman government? And for Jesus?

How did love cover all the offenses? Jesus covered the hate with love. Love for us and love for all.

Pray this week that you can be thankful for Jesus’ love and show it to others.