If I read Proverbs 12:1 in an elementary school classroom (say grades K-3rd) I'd surely hear a soft gasp followed by, "Mrs. Stephens said a bad word!" The bad word? STUPID! Yes, folks, it IS a bad word to many children I come in contact with every day and, yes, it IS in the Bible. The Bible contains other bad words, too. I'm not going to list them. You can probably figure out at least two of them. So . . . if they're bad, why are they in the Bible??? Because we as humans have chosen to use them the wrong way and in a way God never intended. Verse 26 instructs the righteous to choose their friends wisely. Why? Because of the laws of human nature. People influence people. I'm very fortunate to have the best friends in all the world - some near and some far away. I've chosen friends that set a good example for me, that help me to grow in my walk with the Lord, that make me feel good about myself and what I try to accomplish in my life especially with my girls, my teaching, and my writing. So what happens when I make a mistake? . . . Which I do . . . A lot. Proverbs 12:1 says, "Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid." Well, I'm not stupid, okay? When I screw up, I don't like it - no one does - but I learn from it. These two verses I've bolded brings back all sorts of sayings that my mom and daddy used to say, and guess what. I know that I don't know all the answers, but I'm beginning to think they did!
Before we get to our Proverb reading for today I wanted to update you all on Eric and Karen Phillips. This is part of an email from a relative: Eric is fighting a staff infection with a portable battery-powered infection wrap. He has been trying to work a few hours a day, mostly on the computer. He just can't lose his job. Medical insurance is through his company. Karen and I go to Akron Children's Hospital on Thursday for genetic testing. We won't know the outcome for several weeks. That should tell what type of surgery Karen needs. Cami is doing good, growing and starting to coo and smile, actually laughs out loud at times. Burke is OK. Doesn't know what to make of it all. He is doing good in school, has advanced to the accelerated classes. We are thankful for that. We are just helping where we can. We are at their beckoning. As you can plainly see this family is in desperate need of diligent prayer. Eric, the husband, daddy, and provider for this family CAN'T START CHEMO FOR HIS COLON CANCER UNTIL HE BEATS THIS INFECTION. Karen still has to have her surgery, and while Cami is too little to understand what's going on, Burke needs God's peace and comfort more than anything else during this time of uncertainty. I just can't imagine what must go through his mind at times. Prayer, as many of you know, is incredibly powerful. James 5:13-15 says, "Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. AND THE PRAYER OF FAITH WILL SAVE THE SICK, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven." This is the Word of the Lord. This is God's promise. Please, please, pray.
1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid. 2 A good man obtains favor from the LORD, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn. 3 A man is not established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous cannot be moved. 4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones. 5 The thoughts of the righteous are right, But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. 6 The words of the wicked are, “Lie in wait for blood,” But the mouth of the upright will deliver them. 7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more, But the house of the righteous will stand. 8 A man will be commended according to his wisdom, But he who is of a perverse heart will be despised. 9 Better is the one who is slighted but has a servant, Than he who honors himself but lacks bread.
10 A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. 11 He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding. 12 The wicked covet the catch of evil men, But the root of the righteous yields fruit. 13 The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, But the righteous will come through trouble. 14 A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth, And the recompense of a man’s hands will be rendered to him. 15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise. 16 A fool’s wrath is known at once, But a prudent man covers shame. 17 He who speaks truth declares righteousness, But a false witness, deceit. 18 There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health. 19 The truthful lip shall be established forever, But a lying tongue is but for a moment. 20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy. 21 No grave trouble will overtake the righteous, But the wicked shall be filled with evil. 22 Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal truthfully are His delight. 23 A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness. 24 The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor. 25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad. 26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray. 27 The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, But diligence is man’s precious possession. 28 In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway there is no death.