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Summary: Sixth in a series on the Wisdom found in Proverbs. The idea for this Series came from "Everyday Light" a daily devotional by Selwyn Hughes. Pillar #6 - Community.

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30, November 2003

Dakota Community Church

The Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Week Six: Community

Proverbs 9:1-6

Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars.

2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table.

3 She has sent out her maids, and she calls from the highest point of the city.

4 "Let all who are simple come in here!" she says to those who lack judgment.

5 "Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed.

6 Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.

- We are not told what the seven pillars are.

- I believe they are themes of truth that will lead to life.

The sixth “pillar” of wisdom is: Understanding the importance of community.

Proverbs 27: 5-6

5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love.

6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Proverbs 27: 9-10

9 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.

10 Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father, and do not go to your brother’s house when disaster strikes you- better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.

Ever since creation, everything that lives exists in an elaborate network of relationships.

Plants for example:

- Rooted in the soil.

- Reach for the sunlight.

- Require insects for pollination.

- Spread seeds by means of the wind.

Torn from the soil or shielded from the sun they wither and die.

Shielded from the insects and the wind they cannot reproduce.

Survival and health require a connection to the created order.

Human beings must be connected through relationships as well.

- We cannot experience healthy growth in isolation.

- We cannot reproduce in isolation.

- We cannot bear fruit evangelistically in isolation.

- Even our salvation is about a relationship with God.

- 18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." – Genesis 2:18

That does not mean that everyone has to be married but it is the wisdom of God for everyone to be connected in relationships.

Illustration:

The movie castaway starring Tom Hanks is one I really enjoyed except for one thing. He chose to converse with “Wilson” but not with God. It seemed absurd to me not to talk to God in isolation on a deserted island.

Community Wisdom:

1. Your relationships need to be healthy ones.

Proverbs 6: 16-19

16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

Proverbs 18: 19

19 An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.

Psalm 133: 1-3

1 How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! 2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. 3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

Seven ingredients of a healthy relationship:

1. Realism. – Reality based, not denying emotions, ignoring problems, or tiptoeing around “undiscussable” issues.

2. Honesty. – The more lies, denials, and secrets there are in a relationship, the more dysfunctional it is. Truth builds trust, trust creates relationships that endure and grow.

3. Friendship. – The basis of any healthy relationship should be friendship, without it they tend to be shallow and run the risk of becoming self serving or exploitive.

By friendship you mean the greatest love, the greatest usefulness, the most open communication, the noblest sufferings, the severest truth, the heartiest counsel, and the greatest union of minds of which brave men and women are capable. - Jeremy Taylor.

4. Forgiveness. – Forgiveness resolves the past and clears a path into a healthy future. Every relationship has painful problems, hurts, and disappointments. Through forgiveness we can survive these times and go on to flourish and grow stronger.

5. Security. – In a world full of turmoil and attack, a healthy relationship is one in which we do not feel threatened or at risk, rather safe and secure.

1John 4:18 - 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear

6. Vulnerability. – The freedom to be vulnerable requires trust and a sense of confidentiality. A healthy relationship is one in which we know we can expose our deepest self, our secret self, without fear of it going beyond the relationship.

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