Much like a Chick-Fil-A employee, it has been my pleasure to write devotions to share with you this week! And much like a Chick-Fil-A customer, I’ve been enjoying feasting on these golden nuggets in the word of God! Sadly, like ordering every item on the menu (which now includes a Mac and Cheese that is crazy good!), there was no way to digest all the wise and invaluable verses found in Proverbs 13-19 in this format. While I have tried to find themes in the chapters and apply stories to illustrate them, I hope you have been looking at the verses I’ve skipped. There are what Sir Anthony Buzzard calls “Refrigerator Verses” like 16:3: “Commit to the LORD whatever you do and your plans will succeed.” Nice, sweet, and hopeful. And there are some that are not exactly what I’d hang on the fridge or embroider on a pillow, like Verse 17:12: “Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool in his folly.” Well, on second thought….
But all are valuable for developing wisdom, speaking words that breathe life into others, subduing anger, avoiding folly and foolishness, and learning to allow God to guide your steps and guard your heart.
One last theme I want to pull from the Proverbs, from chapter 19, is the importance of mentorship. The role of mentorship has many names: teacher, advisor, counselor, coach, preceptor, pastor, shepherd…. whatever the name, the job is the same. The mentor pours her time and knowledge into the mentee (the student, learner, pupil, novice…). Verse 20 tells us to listen to wise advice and offers a promise if we do. Verse 27 warns of what will happen if we don’t. Verse 16 states both.
Most of my preceptors in my nursing classes and as a new nurse were much younger than I was. I may have a little more “experience on the planet”, but I was very new to the world of nursing. Likewise, if you are a minor reading this, don’t think you are just the student. In looking at 1 Timothy 4:11-13 and Titus 2: 1-8, all believers are to serve as mentors to those who are newer to the faith, whether they are older or younger than you.
Awhile back, Josiah Cain wrote for the FUEL blog that one of the four benefits of being a Christian is being surrounded by like-minded people. Growing up in the Church of God and moving a lot in the military, I have been blessed with many amazing, loving, godly men and women who have served as my mentors. Now that I have children, I am blessed again in that my children have no shortage of people to whom they can turn for godly mentorship. I have explained to my children when looking to a mentor, they should look to people who clearly love God and Jesus, use scripture as their moral compass, and put wisdom over feelings in handling tough situations. I sincerely hope my children and others see that in me, especially since bowing out of mentorship is not optional.
God has blessed us with so much: each other, Chick-Fil-A, mentors, the coming Kingdom, His Word, and of course, His Son Jesus Christ! Let us spend our time on this earth studying the word, building wisdom, worshiping, praying, and encouraging one another. All this will certainly be our pleasure!