Saturday, July 1, 2017

Counseled By The King: The Proverbs Of Solomon. Day 38, Wisdom Helps Us To Keep Our Cool

Solomon says that the one who lacks wisdom is prone to making hasty decisions because he has no self-control.

"The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps." (Proverbs 14:15) It pays to check things out. Before making a big decision we ought to study it from every angle. We need to ask ourselves whether it violates the word of God and whether it will have a positive or negative impact on our own lives or on those around us.

"The wise fear the Lord and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure." (Proverbs 14:16) As Christians we should respond to the aggravations of life with as good an attitude as possible. I've told you before that I get angrier on the road than anywhere else. Well, and in long lines too. I'm an impatient person, so anything that makes me feel like time is being wasted is going to get me worked up. We all have things that push our buttons, but it's important to try and remember to behave as Jesus would. There's nothing that makes me mess up quicker than feeling impatient about something and I'm trying to think of ways to use my waiting time more wisely. For example, I could use my time in the checkout line to pray for my friends and family members instead of standing there tapping one foot impatiently. Solomon says, "Only a fool is a hothead. It will only get you in trouble if you fly off the handle easily. Fear the Lord and behave in a way that honors Him."

"A quick-tempered person does foolish things, and the one who devises evil schemes is hated." (Proverbs 14:17) Have you ever said or done something while you were angry that you later wished you hadn't? Solomon says being quick-tempered will lead us to say and do foolish things. But he says it's even worse to plot out evil. Plotting takes some time. It's cold-blooded. So he says, "People hate those who sit around thinking about how to get revenge or how to get ahead at work by plotting against their co-workers."

"The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge." (Proverbs 14:18) Being simple (lacking in godly wisdom) will earn us nothing but dishonor. But being prudent (wise in the Lord and careful about making decisions) will earn us a crown. I'd far rather have a crown bestowed on me than a badge of shame.

"Evildoers will bow down in the presence of the good, and the wicked at the gates of the righteous." (Proverbs 14:19) Evildoers scoff at those of us who are religious. They think we are ignorant and outdated. But the Bible says they will have to bow before us. They will also have to bow before our Savior and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Philippians 2:10-11) They will have to acknowledge that Christ loves those who are His. (Revelation 3:9)

"The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends. It is a sin to despise one's neighbor, but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy. " (Proverbs 14:20-21) It's wrong to treat people differently because of their financial or social status. Solomon, as an extremely wealthy man, knows that some of his friends are false. They want to hang around with him so they can enjoy his palace, his food, his wine, and his parties. If he lost all his money they would be out of his life so fast it would make his head spin. We are to treat the wealthy and the poor with the same respect. Jesus says to be kind to those who can't do anything for us in return. The poor may never be in a position to benefit us, but He tells us, "Although they cannot repay you, you will be blessed at the resurrection of the righteous." (Luke 14:14)

This day is still young and there may be things in it that will aggravate us. Let's pray that we will be able to meet any challenge in the power of our Savior. If we keep Him at the forefront of our minds we will be able to respond to stresses and problems with a wise spirit. Lord, please help us to behave in a way that honors You so that believers will be encouraged and so that unbelievers will see there is power in the name of Jesus. Amen!

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