Tag Archives: Proverbs 20

Planning


Plans are established by seeking advice;
so if you wage war, obtain guidance.
Proverbs 20:18

How many times has it happened to us that we make important decisions in haste and with little analysis and we end up committing serious errors which then we have to deplore for a long time? As in all things, planning is very important to our progress toward spiritual maturity. There are very few things that require that decisions be taken in a split second. For the vast majority of situations we face, we have enough time to review the case, consider the options, consult with our loved ones or with people with more experience, validate with the word of God, present our plans to God in prayer and wait for his illumination or his signal as to how to proceed. Of course, if in this preparation process we spend more time than necessary we may never get to be able to make informed decisions which would also have a negative impact for us.

When we do things in an orderly manner and everything is based on the word of God, God will give us a very quick response. If we act lightly or hastily God will not bless our decisions. So it depends on us that our decisions are made with quality and end up being a blessing for all. The word of God tells us that victory is won through many advisers. [1] Let us not consider ourselves wise in our own opinion but rather let us consider different approaches based on the diversity of the experience possessed by those who are willing to help us with good advice on the important tasks of planning and decision-making. That way we will be well prepared with a strategy in hand to address the situation before us. To God alone be the glory!

[1] Proverbs 11:14
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Cheating


Food gained by fraud tastes sweet,
but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.
Proverbs 20:17

Many liars have apparently managed to get away with by the indiscriminate dissemination of falsehoods. Some do it out of necessity and others do it for pleasure, because their pride is to be “smarter” than others. In either case the results are the same. Deceit can not lead to anything good because it is something that goes totally against the essence of God because God is truth. The only being interested in the proliferation and advancement of lies is their own father and author, Satan. When someone cheats to achieve a goal or to get out of a problem he is falling into the oldest trap that has ever existed on earth. And do not try to split hairs by making a difference between regular lies and white lies. No matter what adjective one uses to disguise it, it remains a lie. A lie by any other name would stink as bad.

Deception, in addition to destroying our testimony and our relationship with God is something that is not pleasant to God. In fact, the Lord abhors falsehood and entanglement. Let us beware as to be transparent in everything we do and say because otherwise we would be giving in ground to the enemy and making it easy for him to advance his campaign to our destruction. The Lord Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life.” Let us then go forward on the path of truth no matter if ocassionally it seems to be way too narrow and difficult to navigate. With the help of the Lord, later our paths will be widened so that our progress towards the Lord’s presence will be accomplished more readily. To God alone be the glory!

Wisdom


Gold there is, and rubies in abundance,
but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.
Proverbs 20:15

When God appeared to Solomon shortly after he ascended the throne of His father David he said, “Ask me anything you want.” Solomon could have asked for many things such as the early death of his enemies, long life or riches. Instead, recognizing his own limitations to meet the responsibilities associated with the high office he had received as successor of David, king of Israel, he asked only discernment to govern God’s people and to be able to distinguish between good and evil. This request was pleasing to God and it was granted, but God granted the other things that Solomon could have asked but did not. So he gave him a wise and discerning heart and also gave him riches and splendor like no other man had ever had. The word of God tells us that “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt.”[1]

Solomon’s request was made with lots of wisdom and understanding and God provided with abundance in everything that Solomon already had. The same happens today with the children of God. The Lord Jesus left us to seek first the kingdom of God and all other things (food, drink and clothing, etc.) would be added. Let’s not ask, God therefore the things that he already has prepared for his children. Let us pray for wisdom to seek and extend the kingdom of God and let us not worry about tomorrow. When God sees that our heart is willing to obey him and follow his direction, he will give us everything necessary to carry out the task entrusted to us. God will give us something far more valuable than gold and precious stones. To God alone be the glory!

[1] Kings 4:29-30

Today’s word for July 20, 2011


A gossip betrays a confidence;
so avoid anyone who talks too much.
Proverbs 20:19

We all need to communicate with each other. To a greater or lesser extent we all need to express ourselves and be heard by others. When someone pays genuine attention to what we are saying we feel honored and useful as we share with others a little bit of ourselves. Now, some people take this need to communicate to pathological and unbearable extremes. These are people whose only aim in life is to talk (usually about themselves) without stopping and without caring whether they are being heard or not. Of course they think others are paying attention and are very interested in knowing what they have to say, even if it is not true, and that’s why they never stop talking mostly inconsistencies. Many of them, having no other subject of conversation dedicate themselves to exposing personal information about other people, most likely something which is not in the public domain. The elements of secrecy and mystery add a little excitement to the subject being shared and the natural curiosity of those who are receiving the message above is conjugated to form an explosive mixture. Just as the Athenians and foreigners living in Athens attended the Areopagus to expend the time doing nothing but listening to and discussing the latest news, today people are guided by their carnal nature to find out about every gossip and news going around them and if they find someone like the people described above, the conditions are perfect for gossip and hearsay.

We should avoid this type of people and we should always stay away from them. A gossip rotten apple soon spoils the whole barrel. The apostle Paul exhorted us to always make our conversation pleasant and tasteful so no there is no room for gossip and backbiting. If someone likes to talk, let him speak of Christ and sparingly to avoid exhausting the patience of others. If anyone wants to come to tarnish our hearts with private information from others, let us pay no heed to their message and let us put a stop to those engaged in such a shameful activity. With our minds focused on our Lord Jesus Christ we will enjoy the peace and harmony that should exist between brothers. To God alone be the glory!

Today’s word for May 20, 2011


An inheritance claimed too soon
will not be blessed at the end.
Proverbs 20:21

Everyone dreams ─or at least the thought has crossed his mind─ of someday hitting the lottery jackpot. For those of us who do not have to depend on chance since we know that our heavenly Father provides everything we need and a little more, this is just a fleeting idea like many other ideas that may cross our minds but to which we do not give any importance or dedicate any time or pay any attention. For others that are not so clear on how is it that God supplies all of our needs, the hopes of becoming a winner of first prize and after that living a carefree life becomes an obsession and over the years it turns into utopia. With the same intent of today’s verse, conventional wisdom says: “Easy comes, easy goes.” Yet, I do not think that hitting the jackpot is easy at all; but in any case, it is something that does not require much effort because it does not depend on our abilities or the sweat of our brow. On the other hand, I do not think that living a carefree life by winning the jackpot is a given since most of the testimony in this regard is that many winners run into more problems than they had before winning the prize and also many of them are left penniless shortly after receiving the award.

Why base our hope on a gamble that puts us at a distinct disadvantage considering that the odds of hitting the jackpot are 1 in tens of millions, that is, very small? Why ignore him who truly has the power to give you everything you need and more? Do not continue to believe in fairy tales. Whatever is done for greed is doomed to failure, not only physical but also spiritual failure. Put your eyes on the certainty of God’s power and not the whims of chance. Only Jesus Christ can make your life a success and the most important success that you can achieve is the salvation of your soul. Only to God be the glory!

Today’s word 3-20-2011


It is to one’s honor to avoid strife,
but every fool is quick to quarrel.
Proverbs 20:3

Conflict has always existed and will always be present around the human race. To try to resolve our differences through violence and confrontation is simply a basic characteristic of our humanity. We do not have to go too far from the beginning of human history to find the story of the Cain, the murderer. In this narrative we can clearly see evidence of the sinful nature that he inherited from his parents as a result of the fall. Abel, his brother, inherited the same sinful nature as Cain, but at least Abel would be more in control of it. Conflict rarely brings resolution and peace. The most likely outcome from conflict is escalation, which makes it increasingly difficult to put an end to it. Conflict brings a curse. When God confronted Cain for what he had done, Cain tried without success to hide behind a lie. Later, God curses Cain and condemns him to a life of wandering and to be a fugitive with no opportunity to cultivate the land or enjoy its fruits. From these events will come later in part, during the Middle Ages, the fantastic and quite popular story of “The Wandering Jew.”

Between human beings there will always be conflict because it is inherent in the flesh. The apostle Paul includes in the list of the works of the flesh, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; all of these ingredients are more than sufficient to trigger conflict. Therefore, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” By making good use of tolerance and forgiveness we will be showing to others the love of God. To God alone be the glory!