Thursday, June 23, 2016 - Proverbs 14
Here are a few comments on my favorite proverbs in this chapter.
- A wife will either make or break her family (v. 1). The word “house” in the Bible usually stands for household or family. A wise woman builds her family up. She does this through her commitment to her husband and children, her enthusiasm and attitude around her home, her calmness in challenging circumstances, her submission to her husband’s leadership and her humility in front of others. At the end of the day a strong family with great children comes from the work of a great mom. A foolish woman destroys her family by her love of materialism and wanting to buy more and more, her laziness and unwillingness to work hard for her husband and children, her grumbling and complaining at the challenges of life, her whining attitude in front of her husband and children when things don’t go her way, her pride that makes her think she deserves a better family than her home can offer and her desire to find her identity in her work instead of her role as a wife and mother. A wise mother makes a huge difference in the home. She will either make or break her family. There is no substitute for a great mom.
- If your home or office are always clean, chances are you aren’t getting much done (v. 4). This is one of my favorite proverbs. If a barn is always clean, it is because there are no oxen. If there are no oxen, you aren’t getting anything done. This means when a lot is taking place in your home or business, expect things will become a little messy. If everything is pristine, it is because not much is happening. Work and productivity create messes. Expect the house or office will be messy when good work is getting done.
- Don’t waste your time listening to foolish people and their foolish talk. Their words won’t help you but they will influence you (v. 7). What you watch on television and the people you call your friends will influence your life. There is no way to escape it. This proverb reminds us to leave a foolish person’s presence. Don’t hang around them. They may be funny but whatever they say won’t help your life. Leave their presence because their foolishness will influence your life. Be very careful with whom you choose to spend time. What others say and do will influence you.
- God offers us forgiveness for repeated sin but we can’t escape the consequences of repeated sin (v. 14). This verse reminds us that a backslider in heart will reap what he or she sows. The Hebrew word for backslider means someone who continually goes back to old habits they should have left behind. While Jesus forgives us of repeated sins, we still face the consequences of those sins, such as a greater addiction to sin, a ruined life and an enslaved heart. Over time a backslider can’t escape the consequences of his or her lifestyle of poor choices. In the same way a good man will reap the consequences of his goodness over time. Just as the fruit of a farmer’s work becomes apparent at the end of the growing season so the fruit of the choices of our lives will become apparent over time. Avoid sliding back into sinful or poor choices at all costs. We can’t escape the consequences of our choices.
- Don’t be a man or woman of talk. Be a man or woman of action (v. 23). Many people are all talk but no action. They promise to get things done but never get around to doing it. Don’t be one of those people! Get work done! Do what you say. Talk is cheap. Do something!
- Don’t be easily angered (v. 29). People will offend you. People will irritate you. It is a fact of life. Chances are you will be offended multiple times a day. While there is a time to be angry, be slow to become angry. People who are easily angered make themselves look foolish. People avoid them because they are an irritant. Is there a time to be angry? Yes. Be very slow to get there.