Where there is strife, there is pride,
but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
Pride, that love of oneself is responsible for many of the calamities that we see multiplying throughout the land. Because of haughtiness nations have gone to war. Because of arrogance exemplary homes and solid friendships have been destroyed . Because of pride unity is lost along with all the territory which until then had been conquered. Because of arrogance the evils we are suffering today originated over ten generations ago. The proud man has turned away from God and not only he has turned away from him but he even curses his Creator. Because of vanity people are following today after satanic fashions and philosophies that glorify evil and all that is abominable. Because of pride thousands of souls descend to hell every day. The truth is that we know of nothing good that has ever come out of pride. So far, and we do not see why things will change , pride accompanied by deceit has become the favorite weapon of the enemy to attack and make souls to be lost.
Some people are proud to be wise, but this wisdom is earthly, finite and imperfect. Their knowledge is riddled with errors that their pride will not let them discern. With their mistakes they lead others to believe the same lies they have believed and have led them to spiritual failure. All of us have at some point been dominated by fatal arrogance. We all know the kind of mistakes that pride can lead us to without delay. When, then, we will analyze the direction taken by our march? Where do we sit down and rethink our tortuous path and correct the direction of our steps? Only in the word of God we can find guidance and strength to get rid of this terrible and painful burden called pride. Let us , therefore, constantly go to the source of wisdom that is the word of God and our heavenly Father will grant us the spirit of knowledge. Only to God be the glory!
The plans of the righteous are just,
but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.
The wicked do not always look like the villains in Hollywood films. In fact, many of them are cleverly disguised beings full of kindness who offer the world apparently useful tips but in reality are cruel beasts preying on the naive and the reckless. They only seek personal glory and destruction of everything that represents goodness and justice. In their hearts there is no trace of the slightest scruples and doing evil gives them immense pleasure. Their favorite weapon is the weapon of his father, deceit. Those who ignore their trickery quickly and easily become victims of their evil purposes. By contrast, the just enjoy goodness and justice. Their weapons are truth, justice, faith, God’s word and love. Their desire is to continually do good to others despite they are recognized for it or not. Their plans are always aligned with the plan that God has prepared for mankind and the rest of creation.
Do you prefer personal glory or the good of your neighbor? To build or to destroy? Do you enjoy seeing others suffer or feel sincere sympathy for the toils of those around you? Only you can decide for which of the two teams you are going to work. A warning, your nature will always tend to align with the team of the wicked. Their behaviors will always seem to be more fun and exciting. Your natural inclination will pull you away from God. Therefore, you must be very careful for the path of righteousness and justice is narrow and it is very easy to deviate from it. If you still want to join the winning side despite of what your body is asking lean on the transforming power of God that can free you from the bondage of sin, bad behaviors and harmful habits. God is only asking you to act with justice, mercy and humility. This is not much to ask, or is it? Hold fast to Christ and you will know what it means to overcome. To God alone be the glory!
Listen to advice and accept discipline,
and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
Wisdom is available to everyone, but not all have it. There is something very powerful that precludes the vast majority of people from knowing and receiving the wisdom that comes from above. The major obstacle is pride. We always think that our decisions are correct and therefore we would not need the opinion that others might have about them. Even if we are not sure of the decision we make, once it is made it will be our decision and we will not accept criticism from anyone, even if it is clear that we were wrong. In the latter case, our pride is expressed even more strongly as we do not like to admit we made a mistake or having someone pointing out our weaknesses.
The path to wisdom necessarily involves humility. We need humility to acknowledge our mistakes, our shortcomings, our flaws, our shortages and our weaknesses. God wants us to trust him and to let ourselves be guided by his loving hand, but if we think we are self-sufficient and we know every trick in the book we are not going to depend on God until we find ourselves up to our necks in trouble and then perhaps it will be too late. Do you want wisdom? Lower your guard and let yourself be guided by God. Obey his commandments, follow his instructions and do not depart from his side. Only so you will be able to receive true wisdom from above. Humility leads to wisdom and wisdom leads to humility.To God alone be the glory!
Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the pleasantness of a friend
springs from their heartfelt advice.
Since ancient times it is well-known that certain stimuli produce pleasurable feelings. Nobody can deny the profound impact that music causes in both mind and body. Today’s music has become a multibillion dollar industry of which we can hardly make abstraction. Likewise flavors and the combinations of these aimed at stimulating the palate have led to the remarkable development of the culinary industry by highlighting the concept of “gourmet” as something very refined. The visual arts positively or negatively impact our sense of sight and our touch is constantly stimulated by changes in temperature or the extremes swings of it. Finally, the sense of smell and our ability to associate certain aromas with different moods has led to the equally successful perfume industry and with markedly less success ─no wonder─ to the alternative medicine of aromatherapy. Certain fragrances produce a state of great comfort and hence a great price has to paid to acquire and enjoy them, even though many of these smells are freely available in nature.
Likewise, friendship is something truly pleasant to the mind. Our friends are a constant source of joy and support, especially when circumstances become adverse. In the same way that certain perfumes are a sweet fragrance to our smell, the relationship with our friends produce a highly positive effect on our hearts. Let us, therefore, have many friends at all times and let us act as the friends we are. Remember that our Lord said: “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”  But to be a friend of Jesus we must be obedient: “You are my friends if you do what I command.”  So with obedient hearts let us share God’s love with our friends at all times . To God alone be the glory!
 John 15:15
 John 15:14
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged advice, Christianity, friend, God, heart, heartfelt, incense, Jesus, joy, life, perfume, pleasantness, Proverbs 27
Listen to advice and accept discipline,
and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
If error did not exist, correction and advice would not be required. Nobody is born learned and everybody’s lives are a constant learning process. Only a fool would say that he no longer has anything to learn. A phrase generally attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt says: “You have to learn from the mistakes of others. You won’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” The experience of others, transmitted through advice or a word of rebuke is very valuable for us to avoid repeating the same mistakes others have made. It is our pride that prevents corrections and the advice given to us from being transformed into useful lessons to increase our knowledge and wisdom. In fact, pride leads us into folly, because only a fool would think to ignore a wise teaching. The word of God tells us: “Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice” and Scripture also reminds us that: “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.”
Let us not act with pride when we are corrected or receive advice, thinking that we know everything and that there is nothing else we need to know. Let us listen carefully to what we are being told and let us analyze where we were wrong and how we can use correction to improve our behavior and performance. To do otherwise will only sink us further into our own mistakes and will prevent us from progressing towards spiritual maturity; we will certainly be trapped into our own folly. Augustine said: “To err is human; to persevere in error is diabolical.” Let us seize correction and advice so that instead of doing what pleases our enemy, we can truly do what pleases God. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged accept, advice, Christianity, correction, discipline, faith, God, hope, Jesus, justice, life, listen, love, peace, Proverbs 19, righteousness, spirituality, wisdom
Like apples of gold in settings of silver
is a ruling rightly given.
Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold
is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.
Conflict typically is the product of misunderstandings. Misunderstandings in turn, stem from lack of communication. Lack of communication may be caused by fear of hurting someone’s feelings. Fear of hurting susceptibilities often comes from bad experiences in which we have hurt others when our words were said with neglect. What we need to consider is whether those words that have hurt others were intentional. If the original intention was based on a genuine love, we should not worry about the situation they could have had caused. If the intention was to hurt, then we have an issue of sin that we must acknowledge and bring to our Heavenly Father in prayer so that we are forgiven. If speaking out is necessary, love can not remain silent. Our words of encouragement should always be pronounced with the purpose of building up and not destroying. Even if our intentionally kind words cause harm, we must pronounce them as long as we are sure that they come from a true heart and sincere love.
Now let’s get on the side of the recipient. How have we taken the things someone else has said? Have we received them with humility, knowing that they will help us grow or, on the contrary, have we taken them as an aggression which deserves a forceful response from our side? If our attitude as recipients of the message is not a conflictive, we may greatly benefit from the advice. If instead, we are always on the defensive, whatever we hear will be understood as an attack and the fire of conflict will be kindled. Remember that love “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” Let us, therefore, stay alert so we do not get caught in the traps of the enemy. To God alone be the glory!