Which Will You Be?

Proverbs 10

Monday, July 18, 2022

In Proverbs 10, we see several contrasts between a person with Godly wisdom who lives a Godly life versus someone who doesn’t.  I thought it might be nice to summarize those contrasts here.

A person with Godly wisdom and who lives a Godly life:

  • Brings joy to their father (v1)
  • God doesn’t let this person go hungry (v3)
  • Hard-working (v4, 5)
  • The memory of this person will be a blessing (v7)
  • Accepts commands (v8)
  • Their mouth is a fountain of life (v11)
  • Love covers wrongs (v12)
  • Wise and discerning (v13)
  • Receives life (v16)
  • Holds their tongue (v19)
  • Delights in wisdom (v23)
  • Desires will be granted (v24)
  • Stand firm forever (v25)
  • Adds length of life (v27)
  • Has joy (v28)
  • Will not be uprooted (v30)
  • Mouth brings forth wisdom (v31)
  • Knows what is fitting (v32)

A person who doesn’t:

  • Brings grief to their mother (v1)
  • God thwarts this person’s cravings (v3)
  • Lazy (v4, 5)
  • Violent (v6, 11)
  • Name will be cursed (v7)
  • Fool comes to ruin (v8)
  • Hatred stirs up dissension (v12)
  • Punished (v13, 16)
  • Conceals hatred (v18)
  • Spreads slander (v18)
  • Their heart is of little value (v20)
  • Finds pleasure in evil conduct (v23)
  • What they dread will overtake them (v24)
  • Swept away (v25)
  • Their life is cut short (v27)
  • Hopes come to nothing (v28)
  • Will not remain in the land (v30)
  • Only knows what is perverse (v32)

Which list would you like to describe you? If you see some attributes in the second list that may be used to describe you, you can change.

Hebrews 3:8 says, “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts”.  If something here got your attention, take action.  Don’t let this moment pass.

2 Corinthians 6:2 says, “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”  Now is the time to act.

James 4:4-10 says, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.  … That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and he will come near to you. … purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

You can be a friend of the world, and fall into the second list, or be a friend of God and fall into the first list.  But in order to be a friend of God, you first must submit to God, resist the devil, and draw near to God.  You must humble yourself before God, only then He will lift you up.  Only then will the first list fully describe you.

–Steve Mattison

Application Questions

  1. What 2-3 points do you find most appealing from the first list for the Godly life?
  2. What 2-3 points do you find most distasteful or disturbing from the second list?
  3. Both lists include some actions/attitudes as well as consequences. How do your choices now determine your future? How often do you remember this?
  4. If you choose to humble yourself before God and submit to Him, what will that look like for you today? How will you work to remove something from the second list to replace it with something from the first?

Do Do

Romans 7

May 22

As someone who is trending towards 40, I realize there is still some time to grow up.  I am not a lost cause.  However, the longer I teach middle school, the further delayed my coming of age may be.  I still laugh at a lot of immature things.  Body noises. People falling.  General potty humor.   But nothing quite gets me like a “do do.”  I remember sitting in an interview for an open position at my school, intently listening, taking notes, giving confirming head nods, and then out of nowhere came “do do.”  “I am very aware that I do do…”  Every muscle in my body clinched to remain professional.  I hid my smile with my hand, furrowed my brow, and increased the quantity of affirming head shakes. I was no longer listening, only trying to hide the fight going on within.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  Romans 7:15-18

In a similar way, Paul makes it clear in Romans 7 that our body and mind aren’t always on the same page.  In our innermost being, we desire the things of God.  We desire to be holy.  We desire to know His will for our life. We want to ponder, study, and worship.  Unfortunately, what we desire and how we act follow different paths. We don’t do the things of God, but we “do do” the things that grasp for the attention of our immature faith, paving our way to fiery judgment with good intentions.

So why are we like this? We are not slaves of sin, but we are very much subject to the circumstance and condition we find ourselves, living in this present evil age.  We are sinners, living amongst other sinners, in a sinful world; it’s what comes to us naturally.  If we try to fight the battle alone, no matter how valiantly we fight or resiliently we hold the line, we will ultimately crash and burn.  It takes the man, Christ Jesus, who fought against sin and came out victorious bringing death to its knees.  We must ask and allow him to intercede and succeed in all areas of our lives, but especially in the places we leave ourselves vulnerable.  He must be Lord of our screens, and our pride, and our money, and our idols, and our drinks, and of all our vices.

Bind yourself to Him. Cling to the cross of our Savior. Until Jesus returns, temptation will surround us, but praise be to our Heavenly Father, it is Christ who lives within us.  Don’t do it any other way. Do do what he says. Bear your cross, increase Christ, and cultivate a mature faith. In turn we will have actions that match the greatest ponderings, pinings, and pursuits of the heart that is completely submitted to God.

-Aaron Winner

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  1. Choose one area of your life in which you know what you want to do in order to be pleasing to God, but you (often) find you do something else instead. How can you bump up your fight against this temptation? How can you make Jesus the Lord of even this area of your life?
  2. Reading through Romans 7, what verse would be a good one for you to post in a significant location and work on memorizing to bring to mind when faced with what you will do – and not do?

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