Summary: Select verses from Provebs 26-31
Islington Baptist Church
March 26, 2006
Scripture reading: Exodus 32
Even more ways to be wise
This we must remember if we are going to be truly wise.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7.
The book of Proverbs contains 100’s of statements regarding how to be a wise person in the sight of God. While we haven’t had time to consider them all, thus far we have considered 18 different ways to be wise.
Last week, in particular, we considered 8 ways to be wise
1. Love your enemies, do good to them
2. Don’t wear out your welcome, know when to go
3. Be careful about who you make friends with
4. Attempt to rescue those who are on a path to disaster and death
5. Don’t be God’s enemy; instead surrender yourself to Him and accept his gracious offer of forgiveness and peace in Christ Jesus.
6. Stay out of debt.
7. Save for a “rainy day”
8. Be aware that if you are married and argumentative that you are making your spouse miserable
Today, as we finish up our current study in the book of Proverbs we are going to consider 7 more ways to live wisely in the sight of God.
1. If you like to tell and play jokes exercise great caution.
“Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I was only joking!” Proverbs 26:18-19.
Things to watch out for:
1. Hurtful sarcastic comments veiled as a joke
2. Practical jokers often fail to think of the consequences
The only worthwhile humor is that which laughs with, not at others*
2. Don’t be a gossip.
Some very profitable businesses thrive on gossip: People magazine, Entertainment tonight, etc. They deliver “the dirt”, “the scoop”, “the low down”. They purport to keep you “in the loop”
“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.” Proverbs 26:22.
We find news about others to be especially fascinating.
The Bible speaks out against gossip. The dirt, the sins, the mistakes, the secrets of other people, while so tempting to talk about, are not to be talked about.
We need to learn to say: “I don’t want to hear it” is what we need to say.
-Don’t talk about others in a negative way
-Don’t let other people talk about others
-Make sure you have permission to speak
-Don’t “share” unless it’s public news
We need to learn to control our tongues
3. Our sins are not something that we are to try to “sweep under the rug”.
We are all sinners! Sinful thoughts and behaviors is something we all struggle with.
As much as we try, we are not to be pretending before each other that we are perfect.
Confession and repentance of our sins is the key to a right relationship with God and our fellow man.
Within the church, what are some of the positive effects of talking and praying about our struggles with sin?
“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs 28:13
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. I John 1:9-10
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16
If we refuse to confess our sins the Bible lays out for us in a very clear fashion what the consequences are.
1. The hand of the Lord/ his judgment will be against us
2. Our prayers will be hindered and go unanswered
3. We will miss out on the blessing of the Lord
4. We will not grow spiritually
5. We will not experience the rich and abundant mercy of God who forgives, restores, and blesses the humble and repentant.
4. Be open to correction
“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 27:6
Sometimes we are in the wrong and we need to be humble enough to hear from those who care about us about it.
While news of our faults, especially from our friends, has a tendency to hurt; when it comes from a true friend who speaks to us in a loving way, we need to hear it.
5. Anarchy/ lawlessness/ and sinful abuses of every kind are the ultimate result of abandoning God and His Word
Have you ever wondered? Why are things getting so bad? Why is the moral climate so cold and barren? Why do I increasingly read of horrific acts committed by parents, relatives, children, etc in the newspapers?