Saturday, September 19th

Saturday, September 19th

Today we wrap our week of letting God use the book of Proverbs to help us with personal relationships. While the book of Proverbs has been our main focus, we have looked at a few Scriptures from other places in the Bible that fit in and we will do that again today. We have found Proverbs 12 to be filled with wisdom for personal relationships. Here are several more fitting lines: "To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction. The Lord approves of those who are good, but he condemns those who plan wickedness. Wickedness never brings stability, but the godly have deep roots .... The wicked are trapped by their own words, but the godly escape such trouble. Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards."

We have talked about "getting it right" with our personal relationships. For this to happen, we must be willing to learn and that takes discipline and an openness to correction. This is the focus of those who are "good" in contract to those who plan wickedness and of course this is where God's approval rests. God knows what is best for us and his ways bring stability and deep roots to the godly. When it comes to relationships, there is no more powerful factor in what kind of relationships we will have than the words we speak. Those who "get it right" in regard to the words they use in their relationships are the ones who escape the trap that those who "get it wrong" fall into and the trouble that follows. Truly, the hard work of becoming one who consistently uses "wise words" in personal relationships will reap many benefits and rewards.

The following Psalm reminds us that "godly" and "faithful" people (those who pursue "getting it right") are the exception rather than the rule.

Help, O Lord, for the godly are fast disappearing! The faithful have vanished from the earth! Neighbors lie to each other, speaking with flattering lips and deceitful hearts. May the Lord cut off their flattering lips and silence their boastful tongues. They say, “We will lie to our hearts’ content. Our lips are our own—who can stop us?” Psalm 12:1-4

This is surely a commentary on today's world and the abundance of ruined relationships we see all around us and all to often within our own personal experience. We are going to conclude today and the week with two portions of Scripture that will provide a great way to overcome those moments that come in our relationships and "do us in" so to speak. In the heat of the moment we can so easily forget all about being "godly" and "faithful."

“Do not give what is holy to dogs—they will only turn and attack you. Do not throw your pearls in front of pigs—they will only trample them underfoot. Matthew 7:6 (GNT)

Thinking of those we are in relationship with in terms of "dogs" and "pigs" doesn't sound like such a good idea on the surface. Let's put the focus on the words "holy" and "pearls." There are things that are special and precious to us and we need to discern when to open up and put such things out there and when not to. Often it is those who we are closest to that trample on our "pearls" so to speak. We need to be selective and judicious in sharing the things that are the most special and the most precious to us. All too often, we set ourselves up for trauma in our relationships because we are not "wise" about when and who we share what is most important to us.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 A

Jesus said this while he hung on the cross. He was surrounded with people who were at extreme odds with him. When you are up against those who are at odds with you, picture yourself lifted up (like Jesus) to a higher perspective. Don't settle for staying in the fray. Remind yourself that those at odds with you just "don't get it." Stop and say within yourself, "they don't know what they are doing." Jesus felt sorrow for those who crucified him. He had a very lofty perspective and he forgave them. Try this out and it will make a huge difference in how you handle the tough spots in your relationships with others.

Put together a prayer response to God for yourself and remember to incorporate our theme response for the series "Lord, I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgments."

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