Saturday In The Proverbs—Relationship Builders And Killers (Proverbs 27)

[Each chapter in the Book of Proverbs contains thoughts that fit into a theme; they are not just random thoughts gathered together. In this “Saturday In The Proverbs” series, I will share a theme that I see in each chapter. But the cool thing about God’s Word is that you may see an entirely different theme. That’s great! If you do, I would love for you to share it in the comments below.]

Do not boast… (Proverbs 27:1).

This proverbs has some noteworthy relationship builders and relationship killers. 

Relationship Builders

  • Humility (v. 2) 
  • Confronting in love (vv. 5a, 6a)
  • Contentment (v. 7)
  • Minding your own business (v. 8)
  • Giving good advice (v. 9)
  • Investing in family friendships (v. 10)
  • Exercising wisdom (v. 11)
  • Using foresight (v. 12a)
  • Investing in yourself so that you can invest in others (v. 17)
  • Serving others (v. 18)
  • Honest self-assessment (v. 19)
  • Good work ethic (vv. 23-27) 

Relationship Killers

  • Boasting (vv. 1, 2)
  • Provoking a foolish argument (v. 3)
  • Jealousy (v. 4)
  • Unexpressed love (v. 5b)
  • Insincere flattery (vv. 6b, 14)
  • Ignoring the signs of impending trouble (v. 12b)
  • Cosigning a loan (v. 13)
  • Arguing (vv. 15, 16)
  • Envy (v. 20)
  • Not handling praise humbly (v. 21) 
  • Not listening to correction (v. 22)

To keep our relationships strong and vibrant, let’s kill the killers and build the builders! 

10 More Quotes From “The Christian In Complete Armour”

I loved this book! Check out my review of The Christian In Complete Armour by clicking here. You can also check out the other sets of quotes from this book by clicking here. 

“If you are a saint, you do not need to fear that satan will infiltrate your soul. God will not permit it. But the devil can and does attack along the borders of your faith. Though you are not the proper subject of his power, you are and always will be the chief object of his wrath. He wrestles with you at every opportunity, and you will only overcome him as long as God supplies His strength on your behalf.”

“Power is the rightful attribute of God alone. We mortals make a poor showing when we claim it as our own…. Tremble, therefore, at any power you have unless you use it for God. A plague of locusts is no more destructive in a field of ripened wheat than prideful power is to a man’s grace. Are you powerful? How do you spend this gift from God? On His work, or on the satisfaction of your own lusts?”

“God uses the tribulation instead to sand and polish your faith, so that in the end it is finer and more precious than ever.”

“The boundaries of satan’s empire are circumscribed and limited. First, the time this prince rules is ‘in this world,’ not hereafter. Second, the place he rules is ‘in this world,’ not heaven. And third, the subjects whom he rules are ‘the darkness of this world,’ not the children of light.”

“What is heaven worth if you cannot bear a little shame? If they spit on your face, Christ will wipe it off. They may laugh at you now, but not later. The final outcome has already been declared, and you have sided with the Victor.”

“The bee will not sit on a flower that has no nectar. Neither should the Christian entertain a thought that does not feed his spirit.”

“satan has a habit of stopping the ears from hearing sound doctrine before he opens them to listen to corrupt.”

“Pride must have the most and best of everything to satisfy its appetite. This voracious lust will devour your spirit of praise. When you should be blessing God, you will be applauding yourself. It will eat up Christian love, and cause you to disdain the fellowship of other Christians. It will keep you from acknowledging the gifts of others, because that would take away some of the glory you want for yourself. Ultimately, pride so distorts our taste that we can relish nothing drawn from another’s dish.”

“Another indicator that you are caught in the trap of spiritual pride is envy of others’ gifts. … Envy is an affront to the character and person of God. When you envy, you are questioning God’s right to administer His gifts as He sees best. You are also maligning the goodness of God. You are angry that God wants to bless someone besides you. Would you not have God be good? You might as well say you would not have Him be God, for He can no more cease to be good than He can cease to be God! When your envy prods you to belittle the gifts of other Christians, you are really belittling God who gave them.”

“Count on the strength of your own godly attributes, and you will grow lax in your duties for Christ. Knowing you are weak keeps you from wandering too far from Him.”

Bernard Of Clairvaux On Discontentment

Bernard of Clairvaux“It is natural for a man to desire what he reckons better than that which he has already, and be satisfied with nothing which lacks that special quality which he misses. Thus, if it is for her beauty that he loves his wife, he will cast longing eyes after a fairer woman. If he is clad in a rich garment, he will covet a costlier one; and no matter how rich he may be he will envy a man richer than himself. … No matter how many such things one has, he is always lusting after what he has not; never at peace, he sighs for new possessions. Discontented, he spends himself in fruitless toil, and finds only weariness in the evanescent and unreal pleasures of the world. In his greediness, he counts all that he has clutched as nothing in comparison with what is beyond his grasp, and loses all pleasure in his actual possessions by longing after what he has not, yet covets. … They wear themselves out in vain travail, without reaching their blessed consummation, because they delight in creatures, not in the Creator.” —Bernard of Clairvaux

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some good reading & watching from today…

[VIDEO] John Maxwell has a good reminder about envy.

Watch human nature; we are so built that if we do not get thrilled in the right way, we will get thrilled in the wrong. If we are without the thrill of communion with God, we will try to get thrilled by the devil, or by some concoction of human ingenuity.” —Oswald Chambers

The study ‘provides the best evidence to date that fMRI can be used to identify consciousness in vegetative patients,’ says Russell Poldrack, a cognitive neuroscientist at Stanford University.” An amazing study that proves that vegetative patients are fully aware of their surroundings.

I am a big fan of The Overview Bible Project’s work. This is a great case study on Melchizedek.

Monergism has lots of free ebooks for you… go get ’em!

“The Gospel can be summed up by saying that it is the tremendous, tender, compassionate, gentle, extraordinary, explosive, revolutionary revelation of Christ’s love.” —Catherine de Hueck Doherty

Furious Longing

Furious longingThere is a passage of Scripture in the Book of James which has caused many people to propose many different explanations. I’m not a theologian, but here’s my take on this—

Or do your think the Scripture says without reason that the spirit He caused to live in us envies intensely? (James 4:5)

Envy in the Greek is a neutral word; it becomes a virtue or a vice depending on its context. I could long for a deeper relationship with my wife (virtue), or I could long for a drug that gives me a temporary escape (vice). The Greek word for envy can mean pursue with love (virtue), or lust after forbidden desires (vice).

“The spirit [God] caused to live in us” came from a loving Creator, and was intended for us to long for Him. When God created man in His image, He said, “Let Us create man like Us.” In the Triune God there is a furiously intense longing among Father, Son, and Spirit. Each part of the Godhead longs for the entire Godhead to be glorified—this makes the Godhead indivisibly and gloriously One. This is the same spirit God placed in man.

Of man God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” The God-implanted spirit of man longs to give love and to receive love. Our God-implanted spirit longs to connect.

But for what do we long? We were made to long for intimacy with God. If we substitute or exchange this with a longing for temporary worldly things, we are rightly called by James “adulterous people” and “an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

“But God gives more grace” (James 4:6) that we will turn from our temporary longings to long after Him. James almost seems to be saying that those in the church have their hearts hanging in the balance. Of the other eight times this Greek word for envy is used in the Bible, they are in the positive (or virtuous) connotation.

James is imploring us—longing for us—to not be the exception. Longing for us to humbly admit our need for God and to receive even more divine grace. Longing for us to tip our hearts toward God and renew the passionate, furious longing for which we were created.

O God, I want my passion to burn furiously for You alone. Jesus, may I follow Your example to only do what pleases the Father. Holy Spirit, may I hear Your voice if my heart ever begins to turn toward anything but my Beloved.

What God Do You Tru$t?

Things seem to be going very, very well for Israel! Check out what Isaiah wrote

Their land is full of silver and gold; there is no end to their treasures. Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots.

Sounds like a success story to me!

But wait: the next verse sounds a bit ominous —

Their land is full of idols; the people worship things they have made with their own hands.

Money? Yes.

Influence? Lots.

Prosperity? For everyone.

Idolatry? Widespread.

They were no longer looking to God; they looked to what they had made with their own hands. In other words, they made Money their god.

Money can save us! Money can fix all our problems! Without Money we are lost! Only those with Money can be saved!

Sadly, I believe what was said of Israel 2500 years ago could be said of the United States of America today. In God We Trust is printed on all our currency, but it really has become In Money We Trust. We too have made Money our god.

Don’t believe me? How do you think most people would answer these fill-in-the-blanks:

  • I need _____________ get clothes. [Matthew 6:28-30]
  • Without _____________ I cannot feed my family. [Luke 12:24]
  • If I lost my _____________ today I would be devastated. [Matthew 10:28]
  • I frequently think about how more _____________ in my life would make my life better. [Luke 12:31-34]

What goes in the blank: Money or God? [Hint: it’s either or, not both-and]

Thursdays With Oswald #20

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

The Test Of A Preacher

       The test of an instructor in the Christian Church is that he is able to build me up in my intimacy with Jesus Christ, not that he gives me new ideas, but I come away feeling I know a bit more about Jesus Christ. Today the preacher is tested, not by the building up of saints but on the ground of his personality.

From Facing Reality

It’s natural to want to be popular. To that end, we often choose charisma over character, style over substance, entertainment over intimacy. Even those who are called to preach the Gospel can fall prey to this.

My prayer: Heavenly Father, I want to know You more; I want to become more intimate with You. As I do, may I always preach out of the overflow of that relationship. Never preaching just to please people, but merely sharing with others how much I love You. Search my heart, Holy Spirit, for any shred of envy that I’m not as popular as the-other-guy. The only applause I live for is that from the nail-scarred hands of my Savior Jesus Christ.

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