A person is praised according to their prudence,
and one with a warped mind is despised.
Here is an immediate return to the kind of life we are leading. Those who make their life a career to hurt others receive general contempt and when they try to fall in favor with others they never get a drop of sympathy. By contrast, to those who behave wisely there is an immediate reward of praise from the people. We are talking about genuine praise, popular gratitude for living an irreproachable life and for showing love and justice in all things that are undertaken. Many wicked men think they are doing very well because they confuse flattery with praise. They are the subject of deception on the part of those who stick to them in the interests of making a profit and at the same time they deceive themselves because they are quite desperate to receive an affection they never won and never will earn for they do everything wrong. Flattery is nothing but a lie dressed to pose as a compliment.
Seek, then, to live a life based on the heavenly wisdom that comes from God the Father, wisdom that grant us long life, which is more profitable than gold and silver, which is more valuable than rubies, which gives us honor, peace and joy. Want to enjoy this wisdom? She is at your fingertips. Just ask God and he will give it to you, for God gives generously to all without finding fault. In front of you there is a bifurcation: one road leads you down a path of justice that will bring you praise, the other road will take you down the path of evil which can only bring you pain and contempt. Which of the two roads will you choose? Look up to Jesus Christ, stick with him and he will help you stay faithful and on the right track. Only to God be the glory!
A gossip betrays a confidence,
but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.
Gossip is the result of combining two major defects, which are pride and envy. He who engages in gossip is dedicated to his despicable trade motivated by his pride. He considers himself superior to all others and if he finds someone who is better person than him, he immediately dedicates to disqualify the other, spreading all over the place truths and lies, secrets and fabrications, and anything that will cause damage. He who loves to gossip is also encouraged by the envy that is always gnawing at his heart. He can not accept that someone else has more credibility and prestige that him, or that someone else is more respected by all. For such a person the virtues of others are like a slap to his ego. Always beware oh him who brings gossip to you because that person will also disclose to others the issues you consider should be kept private or be considered a secret.
Discretion is a noble virtue that makes his possessor and user to be considered a person reliable and worthy of friendship. Discretion is hard to find. Its two major opponents, envy and pride, are in control of the lives of many who prefer to be guided by their own passions than by the Holy Spirit. Discretion may be exercised only when the person has self-control and we know how spiritually immature is the vast majority of the human race. Where there is gossip there can be no love . My loving mother in law always says: “He who loves, pays heed.” Let us beware, therefore, of giving free rein to our tongue. Remember the saying: “Silence is golden.” Let’s be discrete and we will be a good friend indeed. Only to God be the glory!
The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
Many evil people, not necessarily atheists or agnostics, justify their evil deeds because they supposedly have been done to ensure the welfare of their loved ones. Of course, this is just a demonstration of the pride that reigns in their hearts that makes them think that their loved ones should have more privileges than the rest of humanity. Protected by this false justification they oppress their neighbors and they find ways to place their relatives in strategic positions that guarantee them a high standard of living even if they do not have the skills necessary to fulfill the assigned duties, thus leading them to live in corruption . In order not to feel alone in their spiritual mediocrity they advise others to think the same way they do and say things like, “If it is to feed your children, stealing is not bad.” These people say these things because their crass ignorance keeps them from realizing that all we are, or have received comes from the generous hand of God. Those who justify a bad action will stop at nothing to justify any other wrongdoing. If stealing is not wrong then lying, greed, hate, getting carried away by low passions and killing is not bad.
Let us be clear, nothing, absolutely nothing can justify a sin. The Lord does not need to use lies to carry out his plans and he will not either because this would go against his holiness, honor, glory and existence. As children of God we are constantly going through certain situations whose purpose is largely to learn to trust fully in God. Trying to get out of those situations by means of sin is like copying or cheating on an exam. Can anyone be proud to have gotten high marks in an academic test as a result of a dishonest action? Only evil heart may think so. Let us learn how to depend on God in every situation. If we do we will be serving and pleasing God and he will honor us. Otherwise we will only be giving a bad example and many will take advantage of our failures to discredit God, as if this were possible. God is not too far to save. Only to God be the glory!
For through wisdom your days will be many,
and years will be added to your life.
The abundant stupidity that is present in the great majority of people has always been an inexhaustible mine of inspiration for comedians. It is enough to mention the vast amount of jokes whose characters are Polish, Irish, Newfies, etc., with our apologies to the people with these demonyms. Although from a humorous point of view it is quite funny, from the spiritual point of view it is very sad and unfortunate. At every turn there are people who are killed or seriously injured by acting in a stupid or foolish way. Foolishness and poor judgment are the reasons why these people now suffer or lie to rest somewhere in a cemetery. However, the responsibility for acting foolish lies solely with each individual who has voluntarily decided to act that way by paying attention to what his nature tells him. His nature, being corrupt and sinful, can only recommend this person to behave silly and insolently.
Wisdom has been calling all these people in various ways and by different means and all who heeded her call were able to benefit with many blessings. Those who have ignored her call have fallen into severe suffering or are about to do. The word of God has always been available for continuous reading and a systematic study of it will increase our wisdom. However, mankind has chosen to live by the foolish ideas of modern and postmodern philosophers that only bring anguish and despair upon themselves. If you love life you should act with wisdom. James, the brother of the Lord Jesus, wrote: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” What are you waiting to ask for what is within your reach? Remember that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Only to God be the glory!
How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.
For me it is difficult to hide it and so I dare to publicly confess it: I like the dolce far niente (‘sweet doing nothing’,) ie inactivity. But that does not mean I spend a lifetime doing nothing. In fact, thank God I have much work to do and to this activity I dedicate at least 40 hours per week. This, above all, to maintain balance between family and work, in addition to other activities which, according to the usually accurate view of my beautiful better half, I dedicate too much time. One knows when we are allowing the flesh to guide our steps and our agenda, so we must never ignore the warnings of God’s Holy Spirit who dwells within us alerting us to get back to work. We better listen to Him because He is our Counselor, in fact, he is the best counsel that can be found in the universe and beyond, if it were possible to live outside the universe. We also need to be clear that we can not spend the whole time as if we were in frantic activity very similar to the washing machine spin cycle. God created both work and rest and to maintain a balance between these two categories of activity is a demonstration that we have received God’s wisdom, that one that comes from above.
It is likely that in most activities you will find yourself at either end of the spectrum, whether you work hard or do nothing at all because you are “resting.” Towards which of the two extremes you lean? Neither extreme is good. The optimum level is to keep a stable balance between these two positions so we can live in an integral way. Seek, therefore, the center of balance and let’s keep it as long as possible. You will have a better quality of life and your family will thank you for it. Only to God be the glory!
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
The kings of old used to make a banquet after having achieved victory in battle. At the banquet the enemy king who had been defeated was placed at the foot of the table where the winner ate as an act of humiliation to the loser and hence as a gesture of exaltation of the victor. Anointing the guest of honor with perfumed oil was another way of exalting him, and the availability of wine to gladden the guests to the celebration speaks of joy and satisfaction for being able to carry out the task successfully. In this portion of the famous Psalm 23 King David tells us that the foundation of his success is the power of God and that only to him he owes the privilege of celebrating victory over his enemies.
Have you recently achieved success in the tasks you have undertaken? If so, have you recognized that everything you achieved was because you had God’s help? and if you did not have any success, was it because you did not depend on God, but of your own strengths and abilities? The word of God tells us to commit to the LORD whatever we do, and he will establish our plans, that is, he will ensure that everything is brought to fruition. If we depend on our own strength, two things will happen. First, we will utterly fail and second, we will feel faint because our forces are limited, especially when compared to those of our formidable enemies. Conversely, if we depend on God two things will happen, one is that we will win by decisively defeating our adversaries and the other is that we did not have to use our own energy because God took care of everything and in the best way possible. Which of these two options do you prefer? Only to God be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged anointed, cup, enemies, God, head, Jesus, life, oil, overflow, prepare, presence, table
How useless to spread a net
where every bird can see it!
These men lie in wait for their own blood;
they ambush only themselves!
The fate of those who have decided to pursue a life of crime and perversion is announced and will come in due course. It is quite possible that those who do wrong are aware of what awaits them for their wrongdoing and yet little they care about their eternal future. They continue to act maliciously causing all the damage they can do to achieve their personal goals in this world. Not only they will do all the evil they may cause bu they will also invite those who do not act like them to accompany them in their outrages. They believe that if all do wrong their responsibility will be diluted in the collective responsibility. They do not understand that the judgment that will come is a personal one and saying that the wrong they did is no different from the bad that others will not work as an excuse or mitigating factor to reduce their sentence.
Let us not be convinced by these people to pursue evil purposes. Our destination is the heavenly country where the throne of God and the Lamb is. Our heritage is love, joy and peace in God’s presence for eternity. Our future is assured by Him who gave His life for us on a Roman cross. We have nothing to do with darkness or with the people who hide in them to satisfy their appetites and passions. Eternal life awaits for us and weeping and gnashing of teeth in eternal punishment awaits for them. Let’s look at the future with confidence and act with gratitude and loyalty to Him who rescued us from darkness to bring us into His marvelous light, our beloved Lord Jesus Christ. Only to God be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged ambush, birds, blood, Christianity, God, Jesus, joy, love, net, peace, wisdom
Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes
will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.
Disobedience is something extremely dangerous. But worse is to show defiance and pride when one is reprimanded. You can have lots of knowledge but if you do not have humility to admit mistakes, especially when it is others who see your faults, yours is nothing but a complete lack of wisdom. Rejecting a rebuke is but a vulgar show of the pride that nests in the depths of our hearts. This pride is a sign that we do not want to walk in the fear of God. By contrast, arrogance is what separates us from the path of life to lead us into the footsteps of doom. Some modern philosophies and others which are not so modern teach that we must listen to our hearts. This really only applies if ours is a heart transformed by God. Otherwise, we would end up being guided by our sinful nature which opposes God and everything that has to do with His authority.
Have you been rebuked recently by something you know you’re doing wrong? How did you respond to the warning? Did you accept it willingly or else turned it down to go along with the pride of your heart? Only God is perfect. No one else is. So it is more likely that we commit many faults. The idea is that we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us through the transformation by the renewing of our mind and the wisdom that only he can give us to learn how to make fewer mistakes every day. The recognition of our mistakes is the first step toward transforming our lives, for how to correct what we think we are doing right? Always seek God’s guidance through His word and heed the rebuke that comes from those who truly love us. Only to God be the glory!
A faithful person will be richly blessed,
but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.
A characteristic of human nature is the uncontrollable desire to accumulate property and wealth. What seems to have begun as a simple but necessary self-preservation instinct, storing supplies for the days of scarcity, is uncontrollably unleashed in a compulsion for the accumulation of wealth, which goes beyond what we really need to live a comfortable and secure life. The prevailing economic style of our consumer society takes full advantage of this weakness of character and we get bombarded with advertising and promotion of lifestyles that only a few can achieve and maintain. Competitiveness, which has also been instilled from our earliest infancy is combined with this merciless advertisement attack to make us bend our knees before the despicable idol of money . Every way we look at it we lose because our own forces are nothing compared with the strength of the message that the world uses to control our lives.
The Lord Jesus warned us: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” The apostle Paul complemented: “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” The times of shortage we have been given are not for us to endeavor to leave them but to learn “what it is to be in need, and to know what it is to have plenty. To learn the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” These things also happen to us so that Christ’s power is perfected in our weakness. Let us, then, be forever grateful for the circumstances we have to live, for God has everything under his perfect control and everything that happens to us is for our own good. Only to God be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged blessed, Christianity, eager, faithful, God, love, person, punishment, rich, riches, wisdom
The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and whoever protects their master will be honored.
The word of God is very clear when addressing a subject, therefore it should not be a surprise the accuracy and simplicity with which it addresses the most important issues of our lives. Two of these issues are work and stewardship. In these two subjects the word of God establishes and reinforces the concepts that should guide the life of God’s children. Work and stewardship are functions assigned to man from the very beginning of the existence of the human race. Our father Adam was assigned various tasks by the Lord in the garden of Eden so that he was not idle. Man was given the task of dominating the earth and multiply himself to put it into submission. God also placed man in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. Additionally, Adam was in charge of naming all the animals that God had created. Regarding stewardship it is clear that the task of cultivating and keeping the garden refers to this aspect. Even after Adam’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden he was in charge of working the ground from which he had been taken.
Our Lord Jesus Christ made reference to these two issues very strongly by means of the parables he used to teach people about the kingdom of God. Among these parables we can refer to the parable of the gold coins and the parable of the wicked tenants. In both parables Jesus spoke of the importance of stewardship and work. The apostle Paul also commented at length the issue urging everyone to work, not to be idle and to be always expectant and in readiness for the return of the Lord. Let us not ignore, then, in view of these teachings and exhortations to live a holy life dedicated to the tasks the Lord has entrusted to us. In due time the Lord will reward us with honor for the loyalty and commitment we have shown in carrying out the works which he prepared from before the foundation of the world for us to do. Only to God be the glory!