Justice a rational trait

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Doing justice brings joy to the righteous and terror to those who do evil. Proverbs 21.15

Justice is a trait that is rational. Both sides of a situation have to be weighed to be able to make a fair judgment. Hearing both sides of an argument can, at times, bring confusion. What is one to do? Where do we find the source of justice?

Solomon wrote in Proverbs 1.3 that the proverbs that he had written would give instruction in justice. The beginning of justice is to fear the Lord, 1.7. Being just is the same as being correct and acting accordingly. The Bible is where we turn to find what is correct, 2 Timothy 3.16-17. The instruction given in the Scriptures teaches one how to be a just person.

Left to himself, man does not have this capability. Because when justice wins out, the evildoer is terrorized. If you do evil, it is only a matter of time before you are caught.

Let us be the ones who are just trying to do what is right!

#risingjoy #Proverbs #justice

Violence

“There is no young person who is in such grave peril as the one who idealizes a violent man, and there is no society in as grave a position as the one that makes heroes out of its most violent members.”

—Stan Mitchell, The Wise Get Wiser, and the Foolish More Foolish, p. 11 (2002), commenting on Proverbs 3.31-32.

#violence #Proverbs

Before finding their way back

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

A cheerful heart brings good healing, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17.22

In this verse, we see the contrast between someone who has a cheerful heart and someone who has a crushed spirit. One is optimistic and happy. The other is unhealthy and lifeless. Yet, it is indicated that both are suffering from an ailment, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual.

Our attitudes are so important in this process called life. Positive attitudes seem to bring, if not healing, an extended life. Negative attitudes take us to a dark place that is full of despair and the road back is often long and painful to walk. Many give up before finding their way back.

One thing that helps is our relationship with God. If we have no relationship with him, when the bad times come, we have no strength outside of our own. Our own strength is not strong enough to get us through the bad times. However, for his children, he has stated that his grace is sufficient to get us through whatever circumstance in which we find ourselves, 2 Corinthians 12.9. Paul writes that he would gladly boast in his weakness so that Christ’s power might reside in him.

Let us all seek the power that comes from a correct relationship with God! A relationship that produces a cheerful heart that brings good healing.

#risingjoy #Proverbs #joy

An appropriate answer

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

A person has joy in giving an appropriate answer, and a word at the right time – how good it is! Proverbs 15.23

Being able to give an appropriate answer is wisdom in action. Courage is needed to give an appropriate answer that is not necessarily what someone wants to hear.

Paul wrote to the Ephesians in 4.29 that a person must not let any unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, that it may give grace to those who hear. Then in 4.31 he wrote that we must put away every kind of bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and evil, slanderous talk. Not only what we say but how we say it determines how we will be received.

Peter, the apostle who so often spoke first and then reaped the consequences of his words, also wrote in 1 Peter 3.15 that we need to always be prepared to answer anyone who asks about the hope that we possess. There is something that needs to take place first. We have to let Christ be the Lord of our heart.

The tongue is hard to tame and control. Perhaps that is why James 1.19 tells us to be quick to listen and slow to speak. Make sure that your brain is paying attention before you speak.

It is true. A word spoken at the right time can bring healing. How good it is!

#risingjoy #Proverbs #words

Two types of people

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Deceit is in the heart of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy. Proverbs 12.20

Let’s think about the two types of people to which this verse is referring. There are those who plot evil and those who promote peace.

It is hard to believe that a person would actively mislead another. Yet, that is what the word “deceit” means. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines it as “the act of causing someone to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid”. It is a deliberate act, usually with the intent of harming the person targeted in some way. The heart of those who plot evil contains deceit.

Then, there is the person who promotes peace. They do what they can to further the cause for peace. They want harmony to exist in relationships, in families, and in every area where possible. Peace creates bonds of unity and brings joy to the heart.

Nowhere is this more possible than in a relationship with God through his Son, Jesus. We should be announcing the good news of Jesus to bring others to a knowledge that peace can exist, that joy can abide in the heart.

#risingjoy #Proverbs #peace

Contrast in goals

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

The hope of the righteous is joy, but the expectation of the wicked will remain unfulfilled. Proverbs 10.28

There is such a contrast between righteousness and wickedness. Light and darkness. This contrast can also be seen in the goals that one may have.

Another meaning for the word hope is expectation. Solomon wrote that the hope or expectation of the righteous is joy. A righteous person is one who is obedient to the Lord. Galatians 5.22 lists joy as a part of the fruit of the Spirit. We know by faith, Hebrews 11.1, that what we await or hope for is an eternal home with God and that fills our hearts with joy.

However, the wicked are never satisfied. Proverbs 4.16 says that the wicked cannot sleep unless they cause harm; they are robbed of sleep until they make someone stumble. The wicked are never at peace nor do they know the true meaning of joy.

May we all learn what it means to be righteous and to live with the hope, the certainty, of our eternal destiny. May we have joy that overflows!

#risingjoy #Proverbs #righteousness

Fall seven times

Meditate on this verse:

Indeed a righteous person will fall seven times, and then get up again, but the guilty will collapse in calamity, Proverbs 24.16.

Offer this prayer:

Father, keep me from falling. But if and when I do fall, give me the grit to get up again. Keep me on the way, in the light, behind the Lord Jesus.

Savor this thought:

God takes our weakness into account. The gospel contains every provision for our continued forgiveness.

Take this action:

Identify those moments when you are most prone to falling. God doesn’t want you to fall, 1 John 2.1. What justifications do you use for falling?

#most #falling #Proverbs

The righteous person escapes, Proverbs 12.13

“The evil person is ensnared by the transgression of his speech, but the righteous person escapes out of trouble.”

Proverbs 12.13

Evil is full of lies, obfuscation, half-truths, and self-interest. The righteous person is honest, true, transparent, unselfish. Righteousness pays!

For all the talk of how evil has the advantage, it’s really not true. In the end, evil suffers from its own undoing. God is in control and rewards the righteous!

#votd #Proverbs #evil

Knife to your throat, Proverbs 23.1-2

“When you sit down to eat with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you possess a large appetite.”

Proverbs 23.1-2

In some situations, extreme self-control is necessary, especially in those areas where we are weakest. If not, others will take advantage of us.

The first step to such self-control is to “consider carefully.” We must evaluate situations objectively, not emotionally. Otherwise, our passions will be our downfall.

#votd #Proverbs #self-control

The life of his animal

“A righteous person cares for the life of his animal, but even the most compassionate acts of the wicked are cruel.”

Proverbs 12.10

As a creature made by God who created all good things, the righteous show their goodness in treating well even the animals under their care.

Animals are not equal to humans, but they do deserve proper care. A sign of wickedness is lack of compassion for those under one’s responsibility.

#Proverbs #votd #animals

Light of the righteous shines brightly: Proverbs 13.9

“The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked goes out.”

Proverbs 13.9

The righteous light, literally, rejoices. It is characterized by durable joy and produces the same. The wicked’s deceitful light cannot be sustained.

Righteousness permeates both the life of the righteous and his surroundings. Its power transforms. Purity, grace, virtue, and truth bless and redeem.

#votd #Proverbs #righteousness

Make the path level: Proverbs 4.26

“Make the path for your feet level, so that all your ways may be established.”

Proverbs 4.26

One must weigh one’s options, consider the right course, engage in practical planning, in order for one’s ways to be sure. Proper thought is needed. Lack of it is disastrous.

Evaluation and planning call for input. Scripture and the church best provide it. The world wants us to listen to it. We must counter its influence.

#votd #Proverbs #thought

Lend to the Lord: Proverbs 19.17

“The one who is gracious to the poor lends to the Lord, and the Lord will repay him for his good deed.”

Proverbs 19.17

The Lord prizes helping the poor. Indifference brings judgment. Kindness brings God’s reward.

Do I ignore the poor? Is that but a step removed from mistreatment? Why should the poor appear on my radar?

#votd #Proverbs #poor

Words of a gossip: Proverbs 18.18

“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; and they have gone down into the person’s innermost being.”

Proverbs 18.18

Words matter. What we choose to listen to, and revel in, affects who we are. They become a part of us, for good or ill. As always, evil has its initial appeal.

Never speak ill of anyone. We know that’s right, even if it’s practiced more in the breach. But never listen to anyone speak ill of another. That takes it to a whole new level!

#votd #Proverbs #gossip

Tips on how to reprove someone

The one who reproves another will in the end find more favor than the one who flatters with the tongue, Prov 28.23.

So how does one go about this in order to have a positive result, and not just dump criticism on the other?

I saw this article today and it reminded me of the verse above that I had read yesterday.

What suggestions would you give on how to reprove another?

#reproof #correction #Proverbs