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! 

Poetry Saturday—“A Man” by Edgar A. Guest

Edgar A. GuestA man doesn’t whine at his losses,
A man doesn’t whimper and fret,
Or rail at the weight of his crosses
And ask life to rear him a pet.
A man doesn’t grudgingly labor
Or look upon toil as a blight;
A man doesn’t sneer at his neighbor
Or sneak from a cause that is right.

A man doesn’t sulk when another
Succeeds where his efforts have failed;
Doesn’t keep all his praise for the brother
Whose glory is publicly hailed;
And pass by the weak and the humble
As though they were not of his clay;
A man doesn’t ceaselessly grumble
When things are not going his way.

A man looks on woman as tender
And gentle, and stands at her side
At all times to guard and defend her,
And never to scorn or deride.
A man looks on life as a mission.
To serve, just so far as he can;
A man holds his noblest ambition
On earth is to live as a man. —Edgar A. Guest

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]

Real Raw Emotions

This week I’ve been writing about my favorite book — the Bible — and why I find it so fascinating. Yesterday I talked about how the Bible helps me mentally. But we are not just mental creatures, we are emotional, too, and I have found my Bible to be an excellent way to express some of my deepest, rawest emotions. (If you would like to read the other parts of this series, they are here, here, here, and here.)

Humans are created in God’s image, and God expresses emotion. In fact, God expresses emotion more deeply than humans can — His sorrow is more bitter, His love is more intense, His jealousy is more pure.

Emotion is expressed throughout the Bible, but I’m particularly attracted to the emotional responses in the Psalms. These are prayers and songs which express the deepest emotions of angry, loving, hurting people. A few examples —

You know what I long for, Lord; You hear my every sigh. (Psalm 38:9, New Living Translation)

Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me; all day long they press their attack. My slanderers pursue me all day long; many are attacking me in their pride. (Psalm 56:1-2, New International Version)

God, smash [my enemies’] teeth to bits, leave them toothless tigers. Let their lives be buckets of water spilled, all that’s left, a damp stain in the sand. Let them be trampled grass worn smooth by the traffic. Let them dissolve into snail slime, be a miscarried fetus that never sees sunlight. Before what they cook up is half-done, God, throw it out with the garbage! (Psalm 58:6-9, The Message)

O my God, my life is cast down upon me [and I find the burden more than I can bear]…. (Psalm 42:6, Amplified Bible)

My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but You do not answer, by night, and am not silent…. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth…. Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. …But you, O Lord, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me. (Psalm 22:1-2, 14-16, 19, NIV)

Jesus came to earth as fully God and fully man… able to experience the deepest, rawest emotions of anyone. “He was despised and rejected — a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief” (Isaiah 53:3). Jesus knows what you feel because He felt it, too: “For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation” (Hebrews 4:15). As a result, “He lives forever to intercede with God on [our] behalf (Hebrews 7:25).

Don’t ever be afraid to express your rawest emotions in God’s presence — He knows profoundly what you are feeling. When you are struggling with deep emotion, the Bible knows how to speak your heart’s cry to God.

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