One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
We live in a world dominated by the keeping up of appearances. Everything is done under the concealment of a mask. Fierce wolves disguise as tender and humble sheep to hide their true intentions. The rich spend their lives complaining that they do not have enough money when in fact they spend huge sums of money to satisfy their carnal desires. Drug traffickers carry out social action works to put the ignorant people on their side so that they facilitate the execution of illegal activities. The corrupt behave as if butter would not melt in their mouths. Politicians, experts in the art of mimicry, camouflage their personal interests for power, fame and wealth under a blanket of sacrifice in defense of popular interests. Pedophiles and perverts move freely in society without being detected because they wear honorable faces full of falsehood. But none of this should be surprising to us since the word of God reveals that the world is under the temporary control of the evil one, who as the father of lies has covered with tinsel all the misery and destruction that are part of his diabolical plan. The enemy’s strategy is successful because most people are naive and cannot tell good from evil and on the few occasions that they can clearly differentiate between good and evil they choose the latter, obeying the impulses of their sinful nature.
It is very easy to get carried away by attractive but adulterated appearances. With little effort, but at high risk it is possible to construct a facade of wealth and prosperity which has no firm foundation since it is based on money that we cannot be sure that we will have in the future as we are not masters of our lives and our destiny. The reality is that we are under the control of unscrupulous lenders who finance our excesses far beyond our real financial capabilities. God does not judge by appearances. God knows very well what is in the heart of man and therefore he cannot be deceived. Make sure, then, that our exterior accurately reflects what we have in our heart so we do not fall into the vice of presumption. Who has Christ, has everything and lacks nothing. To God alone be the glory!
Righteousness guards the person of integrity,
but wickedness overthrows the sinner.
Human justice, like all things related to the nature of man is imperfect. Even when intentions are good and honest, human justice is limited by poorly written laws or legal absurdities, or simply by laws whose validity is limited to their historical context. Additionally we have the presence of corruption. This is not something limited to any one culture or country in particular but it is something that occurs all over the world. Where there is man there will be corruption. We all know one or more instances in which the courts have acted with complete disregard for justice and law. Decisions influenced by political motives are a sore spot in the history of countries dominated by totalitarianism and these outrageous decisions may even occur in countries with a longstanding democratic culture. Knowing these major weaknesses of the judicial system established by man can we trust that we will receive justice when we go to it?
The only real justice is the justice of God. God’s justice is perfect because God is perfect. Although we do not see a system of checks and balances, jurors, prosecutors, lawyers and judges, divine justice progresses inexorably to put everything in its proper place. Its foundation is wisdom. Its principles are simple and its decisions are brilliant. Its sentences are immaculate and its jurisprudence is eternal. Every time we feel our rights have been violated we can go with confidence to God and cry out for justice. But be careful that you’re walking in integrity so that you are protected by your righteousness. Otherwise, divine justice will bring upon you the actual consequences of the bad actions that you have not confessed to God or have not yet felt remorse for. We can not completely trust the institutions established by man but we can rest with confidence in the justice of God, which will soon be applied to those who enjoy evildoing and have made of it a lifestyle. To God alone be the glory!
The righteous hate what is false,
but the wicked make themselves a stench
and bring shame on themselves.
Righteousness guards the person of integrity,
but wickedness overthrows the sinner.
Walking in integrity is good business. When we walk in integrity, justice itself is responsible for protecting us, making our confidence level increase and our fear level decrease. A person of integrity is someone righteous and blameless. His behavior is always adjusted to morality. Greed, pride and deceit are not part of his life and when gets near them he walks away quickly to avoid being contaminated by them. Integrity is stability of character, it is to maintain a firm position and not be swayed by the temptations or evil influences that surround us. Integrity is knowing what is right and doing it, even if we suffer loss or get exposed to danger. Integrity is doing the right thing even when nobody is watching. The opposite is evil and perversion and evil brings shame, disgrace and ruin.
The foundation of integrity is wisdom and the basis for wisdom is the fear of God. Everything begins with showing respect and obedience at all times to our Creator and Lord. Want to stay always under God’s protection? Seek his word and trust in his holy name. Only God has the power and authority to ensure that nothing bad happens. His ways are the ways of justice and truth. There is no greater pleasure to know that we tread the right path under the real and effective protection of God . May our Lord Jesus Christ be always the focus of our gaze and our thoughts. He is our objective and our hope.To God alone be the glory!
A sluggard’s appetite is never filled,
but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.
Laziness has always had a very negative impact on those who let themselves be dominated by its influence. Laziness is always looking to follow the path of less resistance not caring that this path will lead the sluggard to the very edge of disaster. This easy to follow and quite convenient path does not require that we develop character and discipline necessary to face the obstacles and to make the decisions that may be required, so most likely we will end up becoming cowardly puppets of circumstances. Laziness ends up being accompanied by fear and eventually it will make us become individuals who are useless and have no criteria. Any plan undertaken by the sluggard will end up in total failure because he does not have the will or the discipline to carry out the task through completion. Slowly but very effectively, apathy and reluctance eventually take possession of the will of the feeble-minded who has been driven to that sorry state by laziness. In addition, contemporary life is filled with many distractions and entertainments that take away time that we should spend working on important things.
By contrast, the diligent undertakes everything with enthusiasm and discipline, which provides the energy required to successfully complete his tasks. All he sets to do has a happy ending because he does not let idleness conquer him. When it is time for accountability, the diligent can show good results that will make his superior say, as the lord of the parable of the talents: “Well done, good and faithful servant!” While for the sloth there can only be complaint and reprimand. “Wicked, lazy servant!” will say his supervisor. We must not neglect this important aspect of our lives. We may be doing well in other areas but if we disregard this issue, it will bring upon us big problems and sorrows. Laziness is just one more feature of our sinful nature. Let us not be dominated and controlled by it, instead let’s do everything with diligence and good cheer. Victory and success will accompany us for sure. To God alone be the glory!
Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
There are many ways that our tongue can get us into trouble. Some people like to talk so much that they can not remain silent under any circumstances and end up saying sheer nonsense that no one is interested in hearing. Those are the fools. Sometimes even a king needs to put them in place and ask them to shut up. Others have a poisoned tongue that only utters insults and curses that can only come from a heart controlled by the devil. There are also those to whom nothing seems right and all they do is complain about everything. We also have those who are unable to utter an expression of thanks, but only know how to demand. Some have made an art of lying, if you can call deception that. With amazing skills they can convince even the most skeptical but always at the expense of hoaxes and deceit. We can’t leave aside those who always have an excuse to justify they have not done anything, because of inability or laziness. And what about those who have a treacherous tongue and are willing to sell the secrets, even those of his own brother. As we can see, there are many ways that our tongue can get us into trouble. We can’t mention all of them for reasons of space.
Have you been at any time part of one or more of the groups described above? Are any of these behaviors a problem you’re currently facing? An uncontrolled tongue can do great damage. James, the brother of Jesus wrote: “Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell” and “no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” Before you say anything, consider well what you are going to say to avoid pronouncing evil words. Thus, we will be careful not to hurt our neighbor and also we will protect ourselves. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged Christianity, faith, fool, God, Jesus, justice, lips, Proverbs 13, rash, ruin, tongue, truth, wisdom
From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things,
but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence.
I, for one believe that we should always be thinking and speaking positively. I do not go as far as to share the position of those who say that words repeated often end up becoming a reality as if a magic formula or a mantra could have power over creation. Positive thoughts help us to maintain positive attitudes. Negative thoughts, on the other hand can only hurt the heart. Same goes with the words we speak. The bad words, i.e. bad sayings or curse talk, can only bring evil to our lives. Good words, in turn, bring blessing upon us and upon those around us. A person who is constantly engaged in speaking ill of his neighbor will have to accept that people who listen to him will take him for someone who cannot be trusted with much information. The risk of this person misusing the information provided is too large. In contrast, a benign and caring person who always has a word of encouragement or recognition in their lips for those around him, will be sought by those who need good advice for their lives. His teachings and exhortations will always be in high demand and people will have a good opinion of him and he will enjoy the approval and good wishes of others.
Remember what the apostle Paul said in his letter to the Galatians: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” What are you sowing with your thoughts and your conversation? Do you speak well of others, or do you express yourself bitterly of your neighbor? Do you think what you’re going to say before actually saying it? Are your words constructive or destructive? Do you speak always the truth? Is your everyday language suitable for all audiences or limited to mature audiences? Speak always well and you will enjoy good things from the fruit of your lips and you will grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man, as our incomparable Lord Jesus Christ, our example par excellence. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged bad, Christianity, faith, God, good, life, love, Proverbs 13, reap, righteousness, sow, spirituality, thoughts, wisdom, words
All who are prudent act with knowledge,
but fools expose their folly.
Foolishness is synonymous with madness. The fool does not accept arguments but invents his own, which only he understands. When asked about the reason for his behavior he responds with the first thing that pops into his head and if pressed to give a coherent answer, he replies: I did it because I felt like it. But the issue does not stop there; after releasing all the atrocities that his feverish and deluded mind has come up with, he boasts as if what he said were a great truth or a profound philosophical statement which will radically transform the heights of knowledge attained by humanity so far. It is clear that his mental processes are completely divorced from both reality and common sense but this does not prevent him from furthering his foolery because he lives in another world that has nothing to do with reality. This would not be a problem if fools and idiots could be physically isolated from the rest of society in the same way they are intellectually separated from reason. However, the fool has a lot of followers that support him in his stupidity and celebrate every silly word he says as great truths and principles. This gives him the motivation to continue with his irresponsible behavior.
The child of God should show a behavior diametrically opposed to that of the fool’s actions. His decisions must be based on the principles established by God and communicated to man through his word. His daily walk must be channeled and directed by God, and his words should be carefully selected before being released into the air. His tongue should be dominated by his mind and his will, and not the other way around, as it is customary for idiots and madmen. How can we behave reasonably? With prudence and wisdom. Do not imitate the wrong doing of a fool. Fools will receive a fool’s reward and the righteous will receive a righteous’ reward. Let us follow our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged Christianity, faith, folly, fool, foolishness, God, Jesus, knowledge, life, love, Proverbs 13, prudence, spirituality, wisdom
A wise son heeds his father’s instruction,
but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.
Most ─if not all─ of those who read these thoughts are adults who, understandably, are no longer under the authority of their parents. However, if and when they accepted Christ as Lord and Savior they were placed under the authority of the King of kings and Lord of lords; so they need, as children, to be subject to the direction, care and discipline of our loving Father. Failure to recognize our position before the Father puts us in a dangerous path. In times past when people acted differently to what they claimed they believed, they were called a hypocrite. Today, when someone behaves that way, it is said that he/she is an open minded person. This is a good example of a couple of the many problems that postmodernism has brought us, ambiguity and confusion.
Let us not deceive ourselves or act as hypocrites. God is our Father and our authority. Neglecting his correction makes us stupid and insolent, two things that our Father will not tolerate and that He will continue to correct in our lives by using different methods to achieve His wise goals. Let us recognize our responsibility as the adults we are and let us position ourselves under the mighty hand of God. Obedience is the key to success in the life of a child of God. Walking the path of obedience always will bring us to a pleasant destination. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged Christianity, father, instruction, love, mocker, Proverbs 13, rebuke, religion, respond, son, wisdom