Month: January 2020

A wise person seeks the advice and counsel of others

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Proverbs 24

5      A wise man is strong,

Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength;

6      For by wise counsel you will wage your own war,

And in a multitude of counselors there is safety.

 

We live today in a self-made world. Phrases like, “If its to be its up to me” and “Follow your passion” and so many others teach us from a very young age to find what we want to do and to do it. The idea of getting advice is dependent on the situation and if the advice we get does not agree with what we want to do then we are free to ignore the advice and do what we wanted to do. Purchase and payment plans enable us to buy things without advice. Take a moment today and notice what a person of wisdom does with important life situations.

 

The proverb begins with a statement, a truth: “A wise man is strong.” When we consider the strength of a man or a woman we consider whether they are people of wisdom and character. One who lives acting on wisdom is considered one who is strong. But look at the punctuation here, we do not see a period but a comma and then a semi-colon indicating that this is one sentence that requires full consideration to gain full meaning.

 

A wise man is strong, a man of knowledge increases strength, when he uses wise counsel and when he seeks the safety of a multitude of counsellors. (Please read this again.)

 

There is a reason that I do not like to ask others about my ideas or plans, they often criticize my thoughts, change them, or completely throw them away and tell me to start over. Quite frankly, I think my ideas are very good and worth moving forward on; others see problems and holes in my ideas and suggest changes based on their experiences, their studies, and their emotions. So, no, I do not like to ask others to critique my ideas. (The foolish idea that my ideas are good apart from the multitude of counsel around me has gotten me into trouble more than once.)

 

So then, if we are to be people of wisdom and knowledge, we need, yes, we need to ask those around us, those who know us, those who love us, and those who will be stuck with our ideas, for their counsel. Furthermore, a person of wisdom will seek the counsel of others, this is wise behavior.

 

We buy insurance for all types of calamities; this proverb tells us that safety in life comes from asking other people for advice. People of wisdom ask others for counsel and advice before they go to war, before they make life-changes, before they make great mistakes.

 

While the coronavirus continues to spread, we, the ones who believe we will go to heaven to be with Christ, should be the ones showing compassion and confidence to those around us. We should not be foolish regarding our health but we should, using normal cautions, care for those who are in fear. There is a proverb that states, “The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but safety is from the Lord.” Yes, we prepare for the issues around us, and yes we have confidence that God is ultimately in control of the outcome. Pray together for God to use even this outbreak to bring people to His mercy, grace and peace.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

Let’s Take the Opportunities to Choose Wisdom

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Proverbs 24

1 Be not envious of evil men,

nor desire to be with them,

    for their hearts devise violence,

and their lips talk of trouble.

    By wisdom a house is built,

and by understanding it is established;

    by knowledge the rooms are filled

with all precious and pleasant riches.

 

The word pictures described here make an obvious choice for what we really want in life. No one wants violence; no one wants trouble in their houses. On the other hand, all of us want a level of wisdom in our houses, understanding of what is important, rooms filled with precious and pleasant riches. We can envision the difference quite easily.

Once we see the difference, to what degree will we strive to attain the better side of this picture? No one is born wise, for we are born with hearts that are deceived, wills that are selfish, and goals that might take some sin to achieve. We revel in acts of the flesh and laugh at foolishness and sin. So then, how do we transition to gaining wisdom, understanding, and right knowledge?

The first step in change is recognizing that change is needed. Looking back, when you have acted in selfishness, where did it get you? When did you act in envy and trouble to get something you wanted, did you really enjoy what you gained?   Now, what do you need to think and do differently to act in the wisdom that brings security and value? The funny thing about wisdom is this, no one may support your decision to act in wisdom and understanding but everyone will envy the results of your wise choices.

I have read many stories of foolish people who got rich, really rich, but lost it all and ended in poverty and shame. (Not that being poor is shameful, but these people become poor because of their foolishness.) On the other hand, I have known hundreds of average people who sought the Lord’s wisdom and understanding and while living moderately in life had a family that was established and had the precious and pleasant riches of God’s grace to enjoy every day.

 

Two years ago I began the journey toward another degree that would provide the credentials needed to teach on the seminary level. I took a year off of that journey when we moved to Jakarta. In October, I restarted the journey. In the last two weeks of December and into the first week of January, my class assignments on top of my church speaking schedules, took over my life and I was not able to give time to prepare these devotionals. This week and next I am in Louisville, KY taking class. My plan is to get back to writing the devotionals as things get back to normal.  

We had a great Christmas together with our church family and are so happy to be in Jakarta at JIBC. Bobbi and both have completed a year now and look forward to 2020 as we continue to serve with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Have a great day in the Lord,


PS