Tag Archives: discernment

Obstinacy


A rebuke impresses a discerning person
more than a hundred lashes a fool.
Proverbs 17:10

There are people who definitely are a hopeless case. Their stupidity is beyond repair. They are people who can not change course or seek alternate routes but who persist in staying the course that their limited reasoning ability makes them think will lead them to the place where they want to be. It never comes to their minds to consider if they are doing the right thing or even consult God before deciding what to do next. Even the beasts of the field are more capable of reasoning to discern what is convenient and what is not. His folly is based on arrogance and therefore they will never accept advice or feel remorse or desire to change course.

The wise, however, can realize the obstacles approaching in their way and they  are able to take preventive action to change course according to the available alternatives. They always want to know the opinion of others, not to blindly follow their advice but to consider the options they have and select the most appropriate route. They always entrust to God all his actions and steps so they are always sure that God will show them the most appropriate way. When rebuked, they consider the feedback as an opportunity to improve their behavior and they are always grateful to those who take the time to evaluate their actions and make a recommendation.

To which of these two groups you think you belong? Are you stubborn and hardheaded and do not like being told how to do things? Or, conversely, you receive the comments of others as a token of the appreciation they feel for you? Do you look at things positively or prefer to see everything with scorn and skepticism? God wants to change your heart but not until you let him because he respects your will. Open your heart to him and leave the way open for him to clean and transform your heart with his love and mercy . Let him give you the wisdom to live with peace and joy and never leave his side. People will realize that now you are wise and prudent and not foolish and obstinate. To God alone be the glory!

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Voice of the Shepherd


let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
Proverbs 1:12

Many people consider that stealing and killing are the only serious sins. Every other sin is, according to them, something to which God gives little importance. When reminded that we are all sinners and need Jesus Christ, they typically respond, “I’ve never done anything wrong.” Of course, they mean they have never killed anyone or have never robbed a bank. These people would be horrified if someone comes to propose to them to kill somebody . They would also be shocked if someone invites them to participate in a bank robbery. Any other opportunity to do something wrong would not be considered as something reprehensible and they would be willing to participate without worrying much about what God thinks about it. That is why we are so naive when we accept the invitations from the world to do something that does not please God. These invitations are usually adorned and sweetened with false promises of fun, entertainment, satisfaction, fame, power, sex appeal, happiness, wealth, success and things like that. When people receive these invitations they seldom stop to consider whether what they are about to do pleases God or not. That is why the world is in the state it is.

The only voice to which we must pay attention and obedience is the voice of our shepherd and master, Jesus Christ. Like sheep of the flock that the good shepherd grazes and for which he has given his life,  when he goes on ahead of us, we follow him because we recognize his voice. The world does not want us to follow our shepherd but to be attacked by the wolf and to be scattered. The only way to be safe is by keeping ourselves within the herd, attentive to the voice of our shepherd. If we get distracted by listening to the false promises of the world we are in grave danger of going astray. Let us keep ourselves, then, receiving guidance from our teacher every morning as we come to him through reading his word and prayer. If we follow his daily instructions we shall be able to discern the deceptions and traps that the world tends to our feet to make us stumble and fall. Only with the help of Jesus Christ we can do it. To God alone be the glory!

Squander


A discerning son heeds instruction,
but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.
Proverbs 28:7

Someone said that there are three ways to obtain a fortune. Earning it through hard work, receiving it as an inheritance and finally stealing it. There are those who cynically said that nearly all fortunes have been made the last two ways and rarely we know of any that has been obtained legitimately and by self-effort.  We will not go into details but for the sake of conciseness let us say that the vast majority of personal wealth is obtained through inheritance. Therefore, many people who have large accumulations of money in their bank accounts and possess many properties can do so because their parents or grandparents worked hard to create such a fortune that now they, their children are enjoying. If the children squander what their parents had to work so hard to get, the waste becomes a way to dishonor their parents. Even if we have not received a fortune from them, our parents worked hard so that we might live more comfortably now than they ever did. They also fed us, clothed us and helped us get an education.

Let us manage our finances with wisdom and prudence. Whether the goods we possess were obtained through an inheritance or have been obtained from our work, that capital one day will be for those who survive us, if the Lord does not return before. Let us be good stewards of our Lord and God Jesus Christ who is the only one who really has allowed us to have something to support us and also to leave our descendants, whether treasures or an education. To God alone be the glory!

Today’s word for June 17, 2011


A discerning person keeps wisdom in view,
but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.
Proverbs 17:24

Here’s something amazing! We spend most of our lives harboring illusions that will never become reality and we forget to take the convenient and necessary time to cultivate wisdom. That puts us in the category of fools, that is, those who live immersed in dreams and fantasies. Dreams and fantasies are not bad in themselves and they are not the problem. The problem lies in the excessive time devoted to wander into them. Fantasies are necessary in the life of all human beings as an escape mechanism to lessen the impact of the rigors of some aspects of everyday life. The problem arises when the individual spends more time than necessary dwelling in the surreal world of illusions and gradually ends up losing all contact with reality. The use of fantasy and entertainment has been fully exploited by the film industry and the increasingly huge box office receipts are a testimonial to the popularity and prevalence of dreams as a means of escape from reality.

Wisdom, on the contrary, is easy to reach. In fact, wisdom is continually looking for us and all we have to do to get her is to heed to her warnings, advice and teachings. King Solomon said: “Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech” He also said: “For the LORD gives wisdom.” Long is the list of benefits that wisdom produces in the lives of those who seek her. Valuable things such as freedom, discipline, discernment, propriety, wisdom, righteousness, justice, knowledge and equity will be granted to those who respond positively to the call of wisdom. Let’s stop spending so much time dreaming horizons of illusion and let us put your feet on the ground to cultivate the profitable wisdom that comes from above. Let us devote adequate time to the study of God’s word and wisdom will flourish and bear fruit in our lives. To God alone be the glory!

Today’s word for March 28, 2011


When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers,
but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.
Proverbs 28:2

No one should be surprised by the wave of rebellions and uprisings that are happening in some countries in the Middle East. When a ruler attains power for the first time, his thoughts are full of fantasies and utopias. With delusional optimism he starts dealing with the tasks of government, and little by little his good intentions, if they ever were good, are transformed into broken promises, populist maneuvers, violation of human rights and persecution of those who oppose him, embezzlement, nepotism and plain abuse of the power that has been entrusted to him. Now that he has a power that he never had before, he thinks that he does not need God’s guidance anymore and he ends up straying from the path of righteousness. The arrogance that dominates his behavior eventually becomes the sword that cuts off any resemblance of legitimacy of his mandate. The people, who at first supported the selection or election of this leader, end up disappointed by his resounding failure and soon a process of rebellion begins that result in something that the ruler’s eyes, blinded by the power he wields, would have never envisioned: his dethroning or the loss of his life.

Rulers, good and bad, just like people, they come and go. In fact, very few of them remain in power for long. In contrast, the word of God endures forever. The law of God is the only thing that can uphold the ruler. The wisdom required to govern ─not just cunning─ comes from above. If there is not a stable and deep relationship with God, the wisdom stops flowing and folly takes its place. Do not be surprised, then, of the dramatic way in which some leaders are being confronted by the people that they once wanted to help but now are being considered by him as mere pawns in a chess board. Everything has its time and the judgment of God will come swiftly. To God alone be the glory!