You Don’t Know Tomorrow
1 Don’t brashly announce what you’re going to do tomorrow;
you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow.
2 Don’t call attention to yourself;
let others do that for you.
3 Carrying a log across your shoulders
while you’re hefting a boulder with your arms
Is nothing compared to the burden
of putting up with a fool.
4 We’re blasted by anger and swamped by rage,
but who can survive jealousy?
5 A spoken reprimand is better
than approval that’s never expressed.
6 The wounds from a lover are worth it;
kisses from an enemy do you in.
7 When you’ve stuffed yourself, you refuse dessert;
when you’re starved, you could eat a horse.
8 People who won’t settle down, wandering hither and yon,
are like restless birds, flitting to and fro.
9 Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight,
a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
10 Don’t leave your friends or your parents’ friends
and run home to your family when things get rough;
Better a nearby friend
than a distant family.
11 Become wise, dear child, and make me happy;
then nothing the world throws my way will upset me.
12 A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks;
a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered.
13 Hold tight to collateral on any loan to a stranger;
be wary of accepting what a transient has pawned.
14 If you wake your friend in the early morning
by shouting “Rise and shine!”
It will sound to him
more like a curse than a blessing.
15-16 A nagging spouse is like
the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet;
You can’t turn it off,
and you can’t get away from it.
Your Face Mirrors Your Heart
17 You use steel to sharpen steel,
and one friend sharpens another.
18 If you care for your orchard, you’ll enjoy its fruit;
if you honor your boss, you’ll be honored.
19 Just as water mirrors your face,
so your face mirrors your heart.
20 Hell has a voracious appetite,
and lust just never quits.
21 The purity of silver and gold is tested
by putting them in the fire;
The purity of human hearts is tested
by giving them a little fame.
22 Pound on a fool all you like—
you can’t pound out foolishness.
23-27 Know your sheep by name;
carefully attend to your flocks;
(Don’t take them for granted;
possessions don’t last forever, you know.)
And then, when the crops are in
and the harvest is stored in the barns,
You can knit sweaters from lambs’ wool,
and sell your goats for a profit;
There will be plenty of milk and meat
to last your family through the winter.
Ok. So I’m having some people problems. It seems as though folk don’t like me. And to be honest I don’t really care for them either. But I have to put up with them. I can’t get around it.
But I want to avoid them as much as possible. I think I’m giving them too much control. I can’t say anything to them. But I haven’t had the strength to smile when I want to say something or when they have irked me. I haven’t had the strength to pretend.
I’ve had to be okay with being mistreated and disrespected. I’m tired. I spent so much of my life pretending. And I’m tired of pretending. It’s hard when people can say or do whatever with no immediate consequences. It would not be a good look for me to express how I feel. I’ve tried that. They are obstinate and not required to change.
I have to change. And I’m tried of having to make other people comfortable with who I am. I get that I may need to improve. I’m not perfect and necer will be. But when you have a problem with me and I feel like you do the same thing and worse…and when everybody doesn’t have the problem. You and your clique have the problem…and you seem to look for a problem. And I’m not the only one guilty of the same offenses…just the only one you have a problem with.
It’s all part of this war. Some days, like today, I feel like I’m losing. Some days I think I’m imagining the problem and it’s not as bad or really what I think. I honestly think some mind games are going on. I’m going to have to cast down some imaginations and things that are exalting themselves.
What I know for sure is that this is going to make me better and God is going to get the glory. I’m not above wishing that this would hurry up and be over. I’m not above wanting this lesson, test, trial, season, process, attack, whatever it is to just end. I have the victory because Christ overcame so I can overcome. I just don’t feel victorious…
I just thought that maybe somebody needs the same encouragement I need today. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But Jesus came that we might have life and life more abundantly.
Now these tests and trials don’t seem like abundant life. If anything they seem like a death or jail sentence. But that’s kind of the point. This flesh has to die daily. If we are going to reign with Christ we have to suffer with him. This just dawned on me. Part of getting to know somebody, having a relationship with somebody is understanding what they’ve been through.
Jesus already went through for us. he was in all points tempted like we were yet without sin. He’s been where we are. And now we are going through what he went through. This enables us to relate to one another, to understand one another, to know one another.
If we resist the devil he’ll flee. Now I don’t know about you but it seems like it takes forever for him to flee or for Jesus to turn these things around. Sometimes there’s layers to our lessons. And sometimes the problem is still just us.
Sometimes we pray and we answer ourselves. Sometimes He answers but we don’t listen or we are slow in following through.
I am going to challenge us today. I hope we remember that all things, especially the painful difficult things, work together for our good because we love God and are called according to his purpose. I hope we remember that no weapon formed against us shall prosper and every tongue that rises against us in judgement we will condemn because this is our heritage as servants of God. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. And our latter will be greater. Eyes haven’t seen and ears haven’t heard…