Tag Archives: wisdom

Proverbs 29 (The Message MSG)

If People Can’t See What God Is Doing

1 For people who hate discipline
    and only get more stubborn,
There’ll come a day when life tumbles in and they break,
    but by then it’ll be too late to help them.

When good people run things, everyone is glad,
    but when the ruler is bad, everyone groans.

If you love wisdom, you’ll delight your parents,
    but you’ll destroy their trust if you run with prostitutes.

A leader of good judgment gives stability;
    an exploiting leader leaves a trail of waste.

A flattering neighbor is up to no good;
    he’s probably planning to take advantage of you.

Evil people fall into their own traps;
    good people run the other way, glad to escape.

The good-hearted understand what it’s like to be poor;
    the hardhearted haven’t the faintest idea.

A gang of cynics can upset a whole city;
    a group of sages can calm everyone down.

A sage trying to work things out with a fool
    gets only scorn and sarcasm for his trouble.

10 Murderers hate honest people;
    moral folks encourage them.

11 A fool lets it all hang out;
    a sage quietly mulls it over.

12 When a leader listens to malicious gossip,
    all the workers get infected with evil.

13 The poor and their abusers have at least something in common:
    they can both see—their sight, God’s gift!

14 Leadership gains authority and respect
    when the voiceless poor are treated fairly.

15 Wise discipline imparts wisdom;
    spoiled adolescents embarrass their parents.

16 When degenerates take charge, crime runs wild,
    but the righteous will eventually observe their collapse.

17 Discipline your children; you’ll be glad you did—
    they’ll turn out delightful to live with.

18 If people can’t see what God is doing,
    they stumble all over themselves;
But when they attend to what he reveals,
    they are most blessed.

Big facts!

19 It takes more than talk to keep workers in line;
    mere words go in one ear and out the other.

20 Observe the people who always talk before they think—
    even simpletons are better off than they are.

21 If you let people treat you like a doormat,
    you’ll be quite forgotten in the end.

Well…

22 Angry people stir up a lot of discord;
    the intemperate stir up trouble.

23 Pride lands you flat on your face;
    humility prepares you for honors.

24 Befriend an outlaw
    and become an enemy to yourself.
When the victims cry out,
    you’ll be included in their curses
    if you’re a coward to their cause in court.

25 The fear of human opinion disables;
    trusting in God protects you from that.

26 Everyone tries to get help from the leader,
    but only God will give us justice.

27 Good people can’t stand the sight of deliberate evil;
    the wicked can’t stand the sight of well-chosen goodness.

Proverbs 28 (The Message MSG)

If You Desert God’s Law

1 The wicked are edgy with guilt, ready to run off
    even when no one’s after them;
Honest people are relaxed and confident,
    bold as lions.

When the country is in chaos,
    everybody has a plan to fix it—
But it takes a leader of real understanding
    to straighten things out.

Huh.

The wicked who oppress the poor
    are like a hailstorm that beats down the harvest.

If you desert God’s law, you’re free to embrace depravity;
    if you love God’s law, you fight for it tooth and nail.

Justice makes no sense to the evilminded;
    those who seek God know it inside and out.

It’s better to be poor and direct
    than rich and crooked.

Practice God’s law—get a reputation for wisdom;
    hang out with a loose crowd—embarrass your family.

Get as rich as you want
    through cheating and extortion,
But eventually some friend of the poor
    is going to give it all back to them.

God has no use for the prayers
    of the people who won’t listen to him.

Wow. I could say more and have had thoughts similar. Wow is all I’ll say.

10 Lead good people down a wrong path
    and you’ll come to a bad end;
    do good and you’ll be rewarded for it.

11 The rich think they know it all,
    but the poor can see right through them.

12 When good people are promoted, everything is great,
    but when the bad are in charge, watch out!

13 You can’t whitewash your sins and get by with it;
    you find mercy by admitting and leaving them.

14 A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life;
    a hardhearted person lives a hard life.

15 Lions roar and bears charge—
    and the wicked lord it over the poor.

16 Among leaders who lack insight, abuse abounds,
    but for one who hates corruption, the future is bright.

17 A murderer haunted by guilt
    is doomed—there’s no helping him.

18 Walk straight—live well and be saved;
    a devious life is a doomed life.

Doing Great Harm in Seemingly Harmless Ways

19 Work your garden—you’ll end up with plenty of food;
    play and party—you’ll end up with an empty plate.

20 Committed and persistent work pays off;
    get-rich-quick schemes are ripoffs.

21 Playing favorites is always a bad thing;
    you can do great harm in seemingly harmless ways.

Man.

22 A miser in a hurry to get rich
    doesn’t know that he’ll end up broke.

23 In the end, serious reprimand is appreciated
    far more than bootlicking flattery.

24 Anyone who robs father and mother
    and says, “So, what’s wrong with that?”
    is worse than a pirate.

25 A grasping person stirs up trouble,
    but trust in God brings a sense of well-being.

26 If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure;
    real survivors learn wisdom from others.

27 Be generous to the poor—you’ll never go hungry;
    shut your eyes to their needs, and run a gauntlet of curses.

28 When corruption takes over, good people go underground,
    but when the crooks are thrown out, it’s safe to come out.

Proverbs 26 (The Message MSG)

Fools Recycle Silliness

1 We no more give honors to fools
    than pray for snow in summer or rain during harvest.

You have as little to fear from an undeserved curse
    as from the dart of a wren or the swoop of a swallow.

A whip for the racehorse, a tiller for the sailboat—
    and a stick for the back of fools!

Don’t respond to the stupidity of a fool;
    you’ll only look foolish yourself.

Answer a fool in simple terms
    so he doesn’t get a swelled head.

You’re only asking for trouble
    when you send a message by a fool.

A proverb quoted by fools
    is limp as a wet noodle.

Oh my

Putting a fool in a place of honor
    is like setting a mud brick on a marble column.

To ask a moron to quote a proverb
    is like putting a scalpel in the hands of a drunk.

10 Hire a fool or a drunk
    and you shoot yourself in the foot.

11 As a dog eats its own vomit,
    so fools recycle silliness.

This gets me every time. This is the King James Version (KJV): As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly. The KJV actually packs more punch to me. In the KJV, the dog isn’t merely eating it and the fool recycling sounds more tame. The dog goes back. The fool goes back. When I see recycle, I think of actual recycling. But, to see return, the fool and the dog keep going back for more of something that is foolish and disgusting.

12 See that man who thinks he’s so smart?
    You can expect far more from a fool than from him.

13 Loafers say, “It’s dangerous out there!
    Tigers are prowling the streets!”
    and then pull the covers back over their heads.

14 Just as a door turns on its hinges,
    so a lazybones turns back over in bed.

15 A shiftless sluggard puts his fork in the pie,
    but is too lazy to lift it to his mouth.

Like Glaze on Cracked Pottery

16 Dreamers fantasize their self-importance;
    they think they are smarter
    than a whole college faculty.

17 You grab a mad dog by the ears
    when you butt into a quarrel that’s none of your business.

18-19 People who shrug off deliberate deceptions,
    saying, “I didn’t mean it, I was only joking,”
Are worse than careless campers
    who walk away from smoldering campfires.

20 When you run out of wood, the fire goes out;
    when the gossip ends, the quarrel dies down.

21 A quarrelsome person in a dispute
    is like kerosene thrown on a fire.

22 Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
    do you want junk like that in your belly?

23 Smooth talk from an evil heart
    is like glaze on cracked pottery.

24-26 Your enemy shakes hands and greets you like an old friend,
    all the while plotting against you.
When he speaks warmly to you, don’t believe him for a minute;
    he’s just waiting for the chance to rip you off.
No matter how shrewdly he conceals his malice,
    eventually his evil will be exposed in public.

27 Malice backfires;
    spite boomerangs.

28 Liars hate their victims;
    flatterers sabotage trust.

Proverbs 24 (The Message MSG)

Intelligence Outranks Muscle

1-2 Don’t envy bad people;
    don’t even want to be around them.
All they think about is causing a disturbance;
    all they talk about is making trouble.

3-4 It takes wisdom to build a house,
    and understanding to set it on a firm foundation;
It takes knowledge to furnish its rooms
    with fine furniture and beautiful draperies.

5-6 It’s better to be wise than strong;
    intelligence outranks muscle any day.
Strategic planning is the key to warfare;

Wise conversation is way over the head of fools;
    in a serious discussion they haven’t a clue.

8-9 The person who’s always cooking up some evil
    soon gets a reputation as prince of rogues.
Fools incubate sin;
    cynics desecrate beauty.

Rescue the Perishing

10 If you fall to pieces in a crisis,
    there wasn’t much to you in the first place.

11-12 Rescue the perishing;
    don’t hesitate to step in and help.
If you say, “Hey, that’s none of my business,”
    will that get you off the hook?
Someone is watching you closely, you know—
    Someone not impressed with weak excuses.

13-14 Eat honey, dear child—it’s good for you—
    and delicacies that melt in your mouth.
Likewise knowledge,
    and wisdom for your soul—
Get that and your future’s secured,
    your hope is on solid rock.

15-16 Don’t interfere with good people’s lives;
    don’t try to get the best of them.
No matter how many times you trip them up,
    God-loyal people don’t stay down long;
Soon they’re up on their feet,
    while the wicked end up flat on their faces.

17-18 Don’t laugh when your enemy falls;
    don’t gloat over his collapse.
God might see, and become very provoked,
    and then take pity on his plight.

19-20 Don’t bother your head with braggarts
    or wish you could succeed like the wicked.
Those people have no future at all;
    they’re headed down a dead-end street.

21-22 Fear God, dear child—respect your leaders;
    don’t be defiant or mutinous.
Without warning your life can turn upside down,
    and who knows how or when it might happen?

More Sayings of the Wise

An Honest Answer

23 It’s wrong, very wrong,
    to go along with injustice.

24-25 Whoever whitewashes the wicked
    gets a black mark in the history books,
But whoever exposes the wicked
    will be thanked and rewarded.

26 An honest answer
    is like a warm hug.

27 First plant your fields;
    then build your barn.

28-29 Don’t talk about your neighbors behind their backs—
    no slander or gossip, please.
Don’t say to anyone, “I’ll get back at you for what you did to me.
    I’ll make you pay for what you did!”

30-34 One day I walked by the field of an old lazybones,
    and then passed the vineyard of a slob;
They were overgrown with weeds,
    thick with thistles, all the fences broken down.
I took a long look and pondered what I saw;
    the fields preached me a sermon and I listened:
“A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there,
    sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?
Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,
    with poverty as your permanent houseguest!”

Proverbs 23 (The Message MSG)

Restrain Yourself

1-3 When you go out to dinner with an influential person,
    mind your manners:
Don’t gobble your food,
    don’t talk with your mouth full.
And don’t stuff yourself;
    bridle your appetite.

4-5 Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich;
    restrain yourself!
Riches disappear in the blink of an eye;
    wealth sprouts wings
    and flies off into the wild blue yonder.

6-8 Don’t accept a meal from a tightwad;
    don’t expect anything special.
He’ll be as stingy with you as he is with himself;
    he’ll say, “Eat! Drink!” but won’t mean a word of it.
His miserly serving will turn your stomach
    when you realize the meal’s a sham.

Don’t bother talking sense to fools;
    they’ll only poke fun at your words.

Bruh. I just said earlier I wasn’t going to argue with fool because someone was being foolish. Man. God’s Word is so timely so often!

10-11 Don’t stealthily move back the boundary lines
    or cheat orphans out of their property,
For they have a powerful Advocate
    who will go to bat for them.

12 Give yourselves to disciplined instruction;
    open your ears to tested knowledge.

Don’t listen to everybody is what this is telling me…

13-14 Don’t be afraid to correct your young ones;
    a spanking won’t kill them.
A good spanking, in fact, might save them
    from something worse than death.

15-16 Dear child, if you become wise,
    I’ll be one happy parent.
My heart will dance and sing
    to the tuneful truth you’ll speak.

17-18 Don’t for a minute envy careless rebels;
    soak yourself in the Fear-of-God—
That’s where your future lies.
    Then you won’t be left with an armload of nothing.

19-21 Oh listen, dear child—become wise;
    point your life in the right direction.
Don’t drink too much wine and get drunk;
    don’t eat too much food and get fat.
Drunks and gluttons will end up on skid row,
    in a stupor and dressed in rags.

Buy Wisdom, Education, Insight

22-25 Listen with respect to the father who raised you,
    and when your mother grows old, don’t neglect her.
Buy truth—don’t sell it for love or money;
    buy wisdom, buy education, buy insight.
Parents rejoice when their children turn out well;
    wise children become proud parents.
So make your father happy!
    Make your mother proud!

26 Dear child, I want your full attention;
    please do what I show you.

27-28 A prostitute is a bottomless pit;
    a loose woman can get you in deep trouble fast.
She’ll take you for all you’ve got;
    she’s worse than a pack of thieves.

29-35 Who are the people who are always crying the blues?
    Who do you know who reeks of self-pity?
Who keeps getting beaten up for no reason at all?
    Whose eyes are bleary and bloodshot?
It’s those who spend the night with a bottle,
    for whom drinking is serious business.
Don’t judge wine by its label,
    or its bouquet, or its full-bodied flavor.
Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with—
    the splitting headache, the queasy stomach.
Do you really prefer seeing double,
    with your speech all slurred,
Reeling and seasick,
    drunk as a sailor?
“They hit me,” you’ll say, “but it didn’t hurt;
    they beat on me, but I didn’t feel a thing.
When I’m sober enough to manage it,
    bring me another drink!”

Proverbs 17 (The Message MSG)

A Whack on the Head of a Fool

1 A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 A wise servant takes charge of an unruly child and is honored as one of the family.

3 As silver in a crucible and gold in a pan, so our lives are refined by God.

4 Evil people relish malicious conversation; the ears of liars itch for dirty gossip.

5 Whoever mocks poor people insults their Creator; gloating over misfortune is a punishable crime.

6 Old people are distinguished by grandchildren; children take pride in their parents.

7 We don’t expect eloquence from fools, nor do we expect lies from our leaders.

8 Receiving a gift is like getting a rare gemstone;
any way you look at it, you see beauty refracted.

9 Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend!

10 A quiet rebuke to a person of good sense does more than a whack on the head of a fool.

11 Criminals out looking for nothing but trouble
won’t have to wait long—they’ll meet it coming and going!

12 Better to meet a grizzly robbed of her cubs than a fool hellbent on folly.

13 Those who return evil for good will meet their own evil returning.

14 The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam,
so stop it before it bursts.

15 Whitewashing bad people and throwing mud on good people are equally abhorrent to God.

16 What’s this? Fools out shopping for wisdom!
They wouldn’t recognize it if they saw it!

One Who Knows Much Says Little

17 Friends love through all kinds of weather,
and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.

18 It’s stupid to try to get something for nothing,
or run up huge bills you can never pay.

19 The person who courts sin marries trouble;
build a wall, invite a burglar.

20 A bad motive can’t achieve a good end;
double-talk brings you double trouble.

21 Having a fool for a child is misery; it’s no fun being the parent of a dolt.

22 A cheerful disposition is good for your health;
gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.

23 The wicked take bribes under the table;
they show nothing but contempt for justice.

24 The perceptive find wisdom in their own front yard; fools look for it everywhere but right here.

25 A surly, stupid child is sheer pain to a father,
a bitter pill for a mother to swallow.

26 It’s wrong to penalize good behavior,
or make good citizens pay for the crimes of others.

27 The one who knows much says little; an understanding person remains calm.

28 Even dunces who keep quiet are thought to be wise; as long as they keep their mouths shut, they’re smart.

This author. Lol.

Proverbs 16 (The Message MSG)

Everything with a Place and a Purpose

1 Mortals make elaborate plans,
    but God has the last word.

Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;
    God probes for what is good.

Because He is good.

Put God in charge of your work,
    then what you’ve planned will take place.

I felt that. Deeply. Tuh.

God made everything with a place and purpose;
    even the wicked are included—but for judgment.

Reminds me of Ecclesiastes 3.

God can’t stomach arrogance or pretense;
    believe me, he’ll put those braggarts in their place.

Guilt is banished through love and truth;
    Fear-of-God deflects evil.

When God approves of your life,
    even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.

Yaaaaas!

Far better to be right and poor
    than to be wrong and rich.

I know that’s right!!

We plan the way we want to live,
    but only God makes us able to live it.

It Pays to Take Life Seriously

10 A good leader motivates,
    doesn’t mislead, doesn’t exploit.

A whole word. Some of these popular preachers would do well to take note…ijs

11 God cares about honesty in the workplace;
    your business is his business.

12 Good leaders abhor wrongdoing of all kinds;
    sound leadership has a moral foundation.

13 Good leaders cultivate honest speech;
    they love advisors who tell them the truth.

14 An intemperate leader wreaks havoc in lives;
    you’re smart to stay clear of someone like that.

I would say something…but I won’t. Or that’s all I’ll say. 🙂

15 Good-tempered leaders invigorate lives;
    they’re like spring rain and sunshine.

16 Get wisdom—it’s worth more than money;
    choose insight over income every time.

17 The road of right living bypasses evil;
    watch your step and save your life.

18 First pride, then the crash—
    the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.

I’m loving the MSG version compared to the King James Version (KJV) because, the words are more descriptive and paint a more vivid picture.

19 It’s better to live humbly among the poor
    than to live it up among the rich and famous.

Big facts.

20 It pays to take life seriously;
    things work out when you trust in God.

21 A wise person gets known for insight;
    gracious words add to one’s reputation.

22 True intelligence is a spring of fresh water,
    while fools sweat it out the hard way.

23 They make a lot of sense, these wise folks;
    whenever they speak, their reputation increases.

24 Gracious speech is like clover honey—
    good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.

25 There’s a way that looks harmless enough;
    look again—it leads straight to hell.

26 Appetite is an incentive to work;
    hunger makes you work all the harder.

27 Mean people spread mean gossip;
    their words smart and burn.

28 Troublemakers start fights;
    gossips break up friendships.

29 Calloused climbers betray their very own friends;
    they’d stab their own grandmothers in the back.

30 A shifty eye betrays an evil intention;
    a clenched jaw signals trouble ahead.

31 Gray hair is a mark of distinction,
    the award for a God-loyal life.

32 Moderation is better than muscle,
    self-control better than political power.

33 Make your motions and cast your votes,
    but God has the final say.

This author this author…so many good nuggets in here!!!

You Dead or Nah????

Faith y’all. Faith.

Faith without works is dead. James 2:17. The whole chapter is worth reading.

My brain is finna feel dead. I have four posts to edit in addition to the four? I’ve finished and Proverbs 21. Sheesh. It’s my fault though. Poor planning and time management. Digression.

We pray and we ask God for help. We expect Him to do all the work. Now, some of this may be my good, Instagram girlfriend in my head @shanickavailhouse/@mytransparentMOMents.

But, works require us to do something. God gives us insight and wisdom on how to obtain some things that we pray for. Either we miss it or are stubborn, obstinate, don’t want to do it His way.

If we do nothing the faith we had to ask for it or believe it would happen dies. Why? Because we do not obtain what we believed through our failure to act.

There are some things and miracles God just does and gives. I’m not talking about that.

I want to lose weight. I want to drink more water. I asked God for help. This isn’t the first time. I have tried.

I didn’t love exercising. I didn’t love water. Usually didn’t drink much of anything unless it came with the meal and could eat without any beverage. Didn’t love the outdoors. Ion like weather extremes after living in the cold midwest and hot south and not being out in it much as a child.

Something happened in the middle of the pandemic. Y’all, for my Apostolic/Pentecostal/Holiness/well informed folk, I just quickened.

In the middle of death. In the middle of devastation. In the middle of uncertainty. In the middle of chaos. In the middle of confusion. In the middle of confinement. In the middle of quarantine. In the middle of loss. While I was essential personnel. While I worked every scheduled shift unless I requested off. I lost weight while others gained it.

I would love to say I worked hard. But I didn’t really work at all. I just stopped eating more than one maybe two meals. It was really laziness. I was staying up after I got off at midnight and sleeping or not wanting to go get food. I wasn’t cooking. I feel like I may have said some of this elsewhere. Forgive me. It’s worth repeating.

Once I saw what I had done while accidentally, inadvertently intermittently fasting, I was sold. I bought a half-gallon igloo and decided to drink my water. I started craving it.

I started walking in the park and loved it. I get irritable, definitely today, when I can’t go outside and walk due to the weather. I have been out in walking in the teens or low twenties at the coldest. I just bundle up. I have come to love, love, love God’s nature.

I don’t just eat vegetables and healthily. As a matter of fact, I lost weight eating junk and fast food. I stopped most of the bad stuff at first. I don’t eat nearly as much junk as before. My water intake has slowed. As has the exercise. Moving and having a different lifestyle is an interesting adjustment. But somehow, I am still losing.

I have worked my faith and God has been gracious to me.

Whatever you are believing God for, figure out what your part is. And walk it out. Work it. He just may be waiting on you.

Proverbs 7 (The Message (MSG) version)

1-5 Dear friend, do what I tell you;
    treasure my careful instructions.
Do what I say and you’ll live well.
    My teaching is as precious as your eyesight—guard it!
Write it out on the back of your hands;
    etch it on the chambers of your heart.
Talk to Wisdom as to a sister.
    Treat Insight as your companion.
They’ll be with you to fend off the Temptress—
    that smooth-talking, honey-tongued Seductress.

This author is ADAMANT about us listening. The last few chapters we have been told the same thing in similar ways. They want to make sure we listen. They want to make sure we value wisdom and insight, comparing it to people and relationships. They wanna make sure we stay out if trouble via wisdom and insight

6-12 As I stood at the window of my house
    looking out through the shutters,
Watching the mindless crowd stroll by,
    I spotted a young man without any sense
Arriving at the corner of the street where she lived,
    then turning up the path to her house.
It was dusk, the evening coming on,
    the darkness thickening into night.
Just then, a woman met him—
    she’d been lying in wait for him, dressed to seduce him.
Brazen and brash she was,
    restless and roaming, never at home,
Walking the streets, loitering in the mall,
    hanging out at every corner in town.

Oop. No words. Lol.

13-20 She threw her arms around him and kissed him,
    boldly took his arm and said,
“I’ve got all the makings for a feast—
    today I made my offerings, my vows are all paid,
So now I’ve come to find you,
    hoping to catch sight of your face—and here you are!
I’ve spread fresh, clean sheets on my bed,
    colorful imported linens.
My bed is aromatic with spices
    and exotic fragrances.
Come, let’s make love all night,
    spend the night in ecstatic lovemaking!
My husband’s not home; he’s away on business,
    and he won’t be back for a month.”

Uuuuuuuh oh…

21-23 Soon she has him eating out of her hand,
    bewitched by her honeyed speech.
Before you know it, he’s trotting behind her,
    like a calf led to the butcher shop,
Like a stag lured into ambush
    and then shot with an arrow,
Like a bird flying into a net
    not knowing that its flying life is over.

Uh whipped?

24-27 So, friends, listen to me,
    take these words of mine most seriously.
Don’t fool around with a woman like that;
    don’t even stroll through her neighborhood.
Countless victims come under her spell;
    she’s the death of many a poor man.
She runs a halfway house to hell,
    fits you out with a shroud and a coffin.

Like. The author is talking about a woman. But again, this seems like a metaphor for sin, lost, anything that is a distraction or takes us off course. We gotta watch and pray so we don’t enter not into temptation cuz the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41 KJV). Jesus said that! We gotta use this here wisdom and insight.

Proverbs 6 The Message (MSG) version)

I don’t know why I paraphrased/summarized a few days. I’m gonna work smarter not harder.

1-5 Dear friend, if you’ve gone into hock with your neighbor
    or locked yourself into a deal with a stranger,
If you’ve impulsively promised the shirt off your back
    and now find yourself shivering out in the cold,
Friend, don’t waste a minute, get yourself out of that mess.
    You’re in that man’s clutches!
    Go, put on a long face; act desperate.
Don’t procrastinate—
    there’s no time to lose.
Run like a deer from the hunter,
    fly like a bird from the trapper!

I find this interesting because of something I said recently. We as Christians, are seemingly expected to be martyrs. Expected to just take any and everything from people. Expected to let others treat us however they want, a doormat, a trash can. This seems to suggest otherwise. And, if you examine Jesus, though he said nothing on the way to the cross, he didn’t take mess. He wasn’t here for the foolishness. So, within reason, I don’t think we should be here for it either.

6-11 You lazy fool, look at an ant.
    Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two.
Nobody has to tell it what to do.
    All summer it stores up food;
    at harvest it stockpiles provisions.
So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing?
    How long before you get out of bed?
A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there,
    sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?
Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,
    poverty your permanent houseguest!

What comes to mind? Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). You gotta do something to get what God has for you.

12-15 Riffraff and rascals
    talk out of both sides of their mouths.
They wink at each other, they shuffle their feet,
    they cross their fingers behind their backs.
Their perverse minds are always cooking up something nasty,
    always stirring up trouble.
Catastrophe is just around the corner for them,
    a total smashup, their lives ruined beyond repair.

A double minded, two minded, man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8).

16-19 Here are six things God hates,
    and one more that he loathes with a passion:

eyes that are arrogant,
a tongue that lies,
hands that murder the innocent,
a heart that hatches evil plots,
feet that race down a wicked track,
a mouth that lies under oath,
a troublemaker in the family.

Interesting that this is the list given. And that’s all Ima say about that.

20-23 Good friend, follow your father’s good advice;
    don’t wander off from your mother’s teachings.
Wrap yourself in them from head to foot;
    wear them like a scarf around your neck.
Wherever you walk, they’ll guide you;
    whenever you rest, they’ll guard you;
    when you wake up, they’ll tell you what’s next.
For sound advice is a beacon,
    good teaching is a light,
    moral discipline is a life path.

A continuation of stating the importance of taking advice and learning from parents. Same for advice and learning as a whole.

24-35 They’ll protect you from wanton women,
    from the seductive talk of some temptress.
Don’t lustfully fantasize on her beauty,
    nor be taken in by her bedroom eyes.
You can buy an hour with a whore for a loaf of bread,
    but a wanton woman may well eat you alive.
Can you build a fire in your lap
    and not burn your pants?
Can you walk barefoot on hot coals
    and not get blisters?
It’s the same when you have sex with your neighbor’s wife:
    Touch her and you’ll pay for it. No excuses.
Hunger is no excuse
    for a thief to steal;
When he’s caught he has to pay it back,
    even if he has to put his whole house in hock.
Adultery is a brainless act,
    soul-destroying, self-destructive;
Expect a bloody nose, a black eye,
    and a reputation ruined for good.
For jealousy detonates rage in a cheated husband;
    wild for revenge, he won’t make allowances.
Nothing you say or pay will make it all right;
    neither bribes nor reason will satisfy him

I don’t know that I have anything worthy to say. Lol.

Proverbs 5 The Message (MSG) version)

I’s tired boss. I’m just copying and pasting the whole thing with some thoughts after. Kinda like yesterday. Kinda not.

1-2 Dear friend, pay close attention to this, my wisdom;
    listen very closely to the way I see it.
Then you’ll acquire a taste for good sense;
    what I tell you will keep you out of trouble.

The author is letting us know that he knows what he’s talking about and it is beneficial to listen to his words.

3-6 The lips of a seductive woman are oh so sweet,
    her soft words are oh so smooth.
But it won’t be long before she’s gravel in your mouth,
    a pain in your gut, a wound in your heart.
She’s dancing down the primrose path to Death;
    she’s headed straight for Hell and taking you with her.
She hasn’t a clue about Real Life,
    about who she is or where she’s going.

This makes me think of Delilah and what happened to Samson… I don’t think this is just about or can be applied to just a woman. I feel like this is a metaphor for sin or distractions, including the wrong people.

7-14 So, my friend, listen closely;
    don’t treat my words casually.
Keep your distance from such a woman;
    absolutely stay out of her neighborhood.
You don’t want to squander your wonderful life,
    to waste your precious life among the hardhearted.
Why should you allow strangers to take advantage of you?
    Why be exploited by those who care nothing for you?
You don’t want to end your life full of regrets,
    nothing but sin and bones,
Saying, “Oh, why didn’t I do what they told me?
    Why did I reject a disciplined life?
Why didn’t I listen to my mentors,
    or take my teachers seriously?
My life is ruined!
    I haven’t one blessed thing to show for my life!”

Samesies with a side of regret.

15-16 Do you know the saying, “Drink from your own rain barrel,
    draw water from your own spring-fed well”?
It’s true. Otherwise, you may one day come home
    and find your barrel empty and your well polluted.

The original minding my business drinking my water. Lol.

17-20 Your spring water is for you and you only,
    not to be passed around among strangers.
Bless your fresh-flowing fountain!
    Enjoy the wife you married as a young man!
Lovely as an angel, beautiful as a rose—
    don’t ever quit taking delight in her body.
    Never take her love for granted!
Why would you trade enduring intimacies for cheap thrills with a whore?
    for dalliance with a promiscuous stranger?

It as though he is saying you are the only you, live your life, worry about what your are tasked to do and who who are tasked to do it with.

21-23 Mark well that God doesn’t miss a move you make;
    he’s aware of every step you take.
The shadow of your sin will overtake you;
    you’ll find yourself stumbling all over yourself in the dark.
Death is the reward of an undisciplined life;
    your foolish decisions trap you in a dead end.

God is watching and if you don’t live right death will be your portion.

Uuuuuuuh. I read it. Truly. I may come back and edit it with thoughts. But, I don’t have it in me right now. Lol. If you only knew… I’m just proud that I read it today! 🙂 *and did on 1-7*

Proverbs 4

*Summary of The Message (MSG) version*

1-2: Listen friends, it’s fatherly advice, pay attention to know how to live. I’m giving good counsel. Don’t let it go in one ear and out the other.

This reminds me of the fact that Jesus calls us friend (John 15:15) and through, his crucifixion and resurrection, we are the children of God (Romans 8:15). We have to listen. Not just hear.

3-9: As a boy at his father’s knee and his mother’s pride and joy, my father sat me down and drilled me. My father told me to take his words to heart, do what I tell you-live. Sell all and buy wisdom. Forage for understanding. Remember my words and don’t deviate an inch. Never walk away from wisdom because she guards your life. Love wisdom because she keeps her eye on you. Get wisdom above and before all. Get understanding should be written at the top of your list. Throw your arms around her, you won’t regret it. Never let her go and your life will be glorious. She will garland you life with grace, festoon your days with beauty.

This, and parts of Chapters 1-3, reads like a love letter to wisdom and understanding. Illustrations are always, at least to me, beneficial. They teach in ways that just saying the words don’t. The importance of wisdom and understanding are really being driven home by the author.

10-15: Dear friend, taking my advice will add years to your life. Clear directions to wisdom way are written. A map to righteous road is being drawn. I don’t want you in blind alleys, wasting time with wrong turns. Hold onto good advice, don’t loosen your grip. Guard it well because your life is at stake. Don’t take wicked bypass or set foot on that road. Steer clear of it, give a wide berth, detour and be on your way.

I mean, some of it is repetitive. But, the author clearly wants to make sure we get it. I dig it. There isn’t much to say. I will say. this reminds me of the Scripture that talks about the wide gate and broad road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13)

16-17: Evil people don’t rest unless they are making trouble. They can’t sleep at night unless they’ve made life miserable for others. Their food and drink is perversity, their drug is violence.

Misery loves company.

18-19: The ways of people who live right glow with light, they shine brighter the longer they live.

This made me think of “he beautifies the meek with salvation” (Psalm 149:4 KJV); “with long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation” (Psalm 91:16 KJV).

20-22: Dear friend, listen well to my words, tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message with you at all times. Concentrate, learn it by heart. People who discover them live, really live, body and soul, bursting with health.

The author is concentrating on the heart as well as wisdom and insight. The heart matters. Another scripture came to mind when I read this. And it just so happens to be verse 23…shocker no shocker.

23-27

Keep vigilant watch over your heart because life starts there. Don’t talk out of both sides of the mouth. Don’t engage in careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes forward, ignoring all sideshow distractions. Watch where you walk and the road will be smooth before you. Don’t look right or left, leaving evil in the dust.

See. The heart matters. Seeing as this Scripture is familiar and matters to me, I’m not surprised it popped in my head (Ion have the book, chapter, and verse memorized…) after reading the verse before it. There isn’t much more to be said based on the straightforwardness of the verse. Buuuuuut. Isaiah 45:2: I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight. Tuh.

Proverbs 3

*Summary of The Message (MSG) version*

1-2: Don’t forget what we’ve been taught and take the commands to heart because they will help you live a long, full, well lived life.

It is important to remember the words of the Proverbs, but also the “words” of our lives. If we don’t keep in mind what we have been through and what we have learned, we are liable to have to endure it again. Cycles. Frustration. Wilderness. But, if we keep our lessons, what God has done for us, ever before us, we can move on and experience other things because we aren’t needlessly going through the same thing time and time again.

3-4: Maintain love and loyalty, tying them around our neck, carving their initials on our heart. Earn a reputation for living well in God and the people’s eyes

So interesting to me that love is mentioned as something we should maintain, along with loyalty, and carving their initials on our heart. Why? Because love for others, and his love for us, was so important to Jesus. It is all through the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). The Psalmist says they hide the Word in their heart that they might not sin against God (Psalm 119:11). God is love (1 John 4:7). The Word is God (John 1:1). So amazing how the Word confirms itself. It is important that we live well. Later, in 2 Corinthians 3:2, Paul tells us that we are epistles, letters, known and read of men.

5-12: Trust God from the bottom of our hearts, not trying to figure out things on our own. Listen for God’s voice in everything we do and wherever we go because He will keep us on track. Don’t assume we know everything. Run to god and from evil. Our bodies will glow healthily, bones will vibrate with life. Honor God with everything we own, giving him the first and best. We will have an abundance if we do. Don’t resent God’s discipline or take issue with His loving correction. He corrects us because he loves us.

The King James Version (KJV) says with all our heart. But seeing the bottom in the Message (MSG) version hit differently today. The bottom is the lowest part. It still means all. But seeing bottom means, to me today, with every single bit, with every last drop. With everything and all that you have. KJV says not to lean to our own understanding. The simplicity of the MSG version packs a different punch too. Leaning to our own understanding seems to speak to not doing what we know. Here, it is telling us not to be independent but depend on God. KJV says to acknowledge him in all our ways and He will direct our paths. This version is so much more thorough and intentional. Not just acknowledge Him, but also listen for His voice in EVERYTHING because he will keep us on track. This seems like it is saying be humble sit down. Hahaha. How great is it that if we run to God, we will have life and health? Giving God our first and best leading to abundance reminds me of Malachi 3 and the promise if we give tithes and offering.

13-18: Meeting wisdom is a blessing. Insight as our friend is worth more money in the bank, her friendship better than a big salary. Her value is more than what comes with wealth, nothing we desire compares to her. She gives long life on one hand and recognition on the other. She has a beautiful manner, with wonderful life that is complete, a tree of life if we embrace her. If we hold her tight we will be blessed.

I don’t know how much more even needs to be said. Wisdom and insight are so vital and important to us. We need to make sure we use wisdom and insight in all that we do.

19-20: God formed the earth with wisdom, raised heaven with insight. They knew when to signal rivers and springs to surface and dew to descend from night skies.

Same. Y’all. Same. But. How cool is God that He gives us what He used to create the world to enable us to live well and be in relationship with Him.

21-26: Guard clear thinking and common sense with our lives and don’t lose sight of them. They will keep our soul alive and well, us fit and attractive. We will have safe travel without tiring or tripping, napping without worry, sleeping well at night. We will not panic over alarms or surprises, predictions of doomsday because God will be with us keeping us safe and sound.

Being free from clutter and distraction in our mind, as well as having common sense, sets us up to live our best lives without stress and worry, without being tired and falling down. Duh. Lol.

27-29: Don’t abandon anyone who deserves help as we are God’s hand for them. Don’t put our neighbor off for later if we have the money. Don’t find ways to take advantage of a trusting, unsuspecting neighbor.

Hands and feet of Jesus. That’s what I thought. People say that’s what we should be as Christians. Facts. Jesus told us as much. Whatever we do unto those who need it we are doing unto him (Matthew 25:31-46).

30-32: Don’t have a chip on our shoulder looking to fight. Don’t shoulder our way through life being a bully because God can’t stand twisted souls. The straightforward get God’s respect.

I mean. What more is there to say? That’s not who God is. We are to be holy because He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). A bully ain’t that.

33-35: The house of the wicked are cursed by God but the home of the righteous is blessed. Proud skeptics are given a cold shoulder but those down on their luck receive help. Honor is given to wise living. Booby prizes are given to stupid living.

Reaping and sowing. Reaping and sowing. Galatians 6:7.

Proverbs 2

I think I changed my mind about the translations. I think I’m just gonna stick with The Message (MSG) translation. Also, this is paraphrased. You should go read it for yourself. 😉

1-5: Take in the words with our heart and guard them with our lives. Listen to wisdom and set our heart to a life of understanding. If we prioritize insight, don’t take no for an answer, we will receive the fear of God and have the knowledge of God.

6-8: We will have the fear and knowledge of God because He gives wisdom for free, God speaks plainly in knowledge and understanding, he gives common sense if we live well, he is A PERSONAL BODYGAURD (that hit hard if you can’t tell. Sheesh!) if we are candid and sincere. God watches those who live honestly and pays special attention to those who are loyally committed.

9-15: We can pick out what is true and fair. Wisdom will be our close friend. Knowledge will be our pleasant companion. Good sense will look ahead for danger. Insight will keep an eye out for us. All of them will keep us from making wrong turns or following bad directions given by lost people. These people are losers who make a game of evil, throwing parties to celebrate perversity, traveling paths that go nowhere, wandering in a maze of detours and dead ends.

16-19: Wise friends will rescue us from the temptress, the smooth talking seductress, who is faithless to her husband, who never thought about the promises made to God, she is doomed, walking closer to hell. People that join her do not come back or get on the path to real living.

20-22: Join the company of good men and women, keeping your feet on the tried and true paths. Men who walk straight settle the land. Women with integrity last here. The corrupt lose their lives. The dishonest are gone for good.

I kinda wanted to have something to say. However, I’s tired boss. Maybe I’ll have nice flowery words at some point. The great thing about it though, is that the Word of God really needs nothing else. It’s good all by itself.

Proverbs 1

When I was growing up at my grandfather’s church, we would read a chapter of Proverbs every day during the month of January. I haven’t done it in ages. I decided that I would this year. I may read different translations throughout the month. I opened the King James version and was like naaaaah, even though that’s what I normally read. Proverbs is a lot so I wanna dig in more via a more simple translation.

The Message *Summary of The Message (MSG) version*

1-6: The wise sayings of King Solomon were written to help us live and understand life, to learn what is right, just and fair. These proverbs exist to teach the inexperienced and give the young an understanding of reality. Solomon didn’t leave the seasoned people out-there are things for them to learn.

7: The absolute truth is written here-start with God because the first step in learning is bowing down to God.

8-19: We should pay attention to what we were told by our father and what we learned from our mother, wearing the lessons like flowers in our hair or rings on our fingers. We should not be tempted by bad companions.

20-21: Wisdom appears publicly and makes her presence known.

22-24: Wisdom asks how long we will be ignorant and refuse to learn. Wisdom tells us she can revise our lives, she is ready to pour her spirit on us, ready to tell us all she knows. We turn a deaf ear and ignore her though she has reached out.

25-28: Because we laugh at her counsel, and make a joke of her advice, she cannot take us seriously. Wisdom will make a joke of our troubles. Wisdom asks what happens if we end up in trouble, we will need her, we will call her, but we should not expect an answer. Despite how hard we look, we won’t find her.

29-33: Because we hated knowledge and did not have anything to do with the fear of God, wouldn’t take her advice, and brushed aside her offers to train us, we have to lie in the bed we made. Carelessness kills, complacency is murder. Pay attention to wisdom then relax. We can take it easy because we are in good hands.

Be Careful What You Ask For Cuz You Just Might Get It

The title of this has been sitting in my drafts since 12-19-20. I honestly forgot that it was there until I went to my drafts to finish two other posts.

I have slept a lot since then. I have no earthly idea the context of the thought.

It applies to sooooooooo many things in my life.

The one thing that it applies to the most is slightly apropos. Wisdom. Apropos because that’s basically all Proverbs is and “we “are going through it “together”.

When I was younger, some person in some church something told us to ask for wisdom. I’m a pew baby a.k.a. I’ve been in church since I was conceived. Lol.

I have always, as far as I can remember, loved all things church and God. I took in and soaked up so much of what was said. Both to my detriment and benefit.

So, I asked God for wisdom. What I didn’t know and was not told was kinda vital. Hopefully, the person didn’t hide the ball on purpose. Hopefully, my telling you what I wasn’t doesn’t dissuade you from asking for it anyway.

Experience. That’s what was was left out. In order to obtain wisdom, I had to experience some stuff. Boy. At some point since, I think I said that I wouldn’t have asked had I known. The experiences have been difficult and painful. I wouldn’t change a thing though.

While it was hard to get the wisdom, it grew my relationship with Jesus. He was always there. Just like the footprints poem. Nothing in this world is better or matters more than a relationship with Jesus.

I got what I asked for. But it cost, costs me something. I know where I’m going though. The price was worth it. The price is worth it.

Paul said it best: for I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18 KJV).