Good Things Come in Pairs …

When the bank vault of Proverbs 13 is opened mounds of truth spill out into view. Truths that outline differences in the way that the wise and foolish work, speak, live, and listen beckon us to come and gather them up.

Let’s turn the spotlight on two verses to consider, two verses worthy to be memorized, and two verses that are easy to apply.

 

Two Verses to Consider:

  • Verse one of chapter 13 categorizes two types of people, within the context of children (“son…father”). The first half of verse one describes a wise son (or daughter) as one who listens to his/her parents and follows godly instruction. The back half of verse one portrays the opposite — one who scoffs and and ignores correction (someone who scoffs and huffs at instruction is also called a “teenager.”)
  • Verse four gives bone -jarring insight into why some folks gain and some are lacking. Why? The lazy are heavy on desiring but light on doing. They have dreamy heads but slothful souls. In working toward nothing and gaining nothing, their effort and outcome match. On the other hand, the diligent enjoy increase because they plan, do, and keep doing, even when it is hard. Some folks are hoping for their ship to come in. The only ship that comes in is the one that designed, built, then sailed.

You might be tiring of the constant comparison of the wise and foolish and go-getters and no-getters, but God is repeating these truths many times in many ways for our good. We do well to slow down and ponder them each time.

 

Two Verses to Memorize:

Memory verse alert! Look over there — verses 3 and 10 are raising their hands and screaming, “Pick me, memorize me!” Don’t hurt their feelings. Go ahead, memorize them.

  • “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” Proverbs 13:3

Uh huh, that one cuts to the heart, and tongue, with surgical precision. Memorizing it will keep you from a great deal of harm.

  • “By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom.” Proverbs 13:10

Insolence. Now that is a peacock of a word strutting around with its meaning and intent full-fanned and flaming in the light. As a word nerd, I will tell you that is a genuine $12 word. A specific word is used here instead of “pride.” Insolence goes beyond being prideful. It is being insultingly contemptuous (a $16 word) toward others; in this case it is being impudent (a $14.75 word) toward God’s truth. What a deal, you just picked up $42.75 worth of good words by reading one verse and a nerdy blog post.

Back to the point. This verse exposes where strife comes from — insolent people. When you linger around insolence, you should expect strife to show up soon.

 

Two Verses to Apply:

Verses 20 and 24b are ripe with truth ready to put into action:

  • Verse 20 – Friends are like escalators, they either carry you up or take you down. Choose them wisely.
  • 24b – Discipline should arrive right after wrong-doing. Discipline that is delayed (whether with a child, an employee, or correction of a friend of family member) hardwires bad behavior.

I can’t think of a good way to summarize and close here. So, see you tomorrow.

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