February 23 – No Place Else To Go

A man’s pride will bring him low, but he who is of a humble spirit will obtain honor. Proverbs 29:23 NKJV

Personal Restrictions that I Don’t Eliminate in my life can pose major problems.

Personal Restrictions that I Don’t Eliminate can and will isolate me from people, places and promotion.

Personal Restrictions that I Don’t Eliminate will be what I trade my life in for in the end…or not.

But if I can accept the fact that I know little and yet have much to learn, honor will find me and call me friend…

Lorenzo

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September 24 – Judge Not

These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: Proverbs 6:17 AMP

The other day, my five year-old Abby came running in the house all up in arms about Libby Nell’s latest “misbehaving” moment. Apparently her little sister wasn’t playing by the rules and she needed correction, in her professional estimation.

However, at the dinner table, this same sweet herald of copious conduct eloquently falsified information concerning a dinner she didn’t prefer. It mysteriously found its way into the wastebasket, but she assured us it was accidental. Thankfully, little Miss Joan of Arc ain’t our first rodeo!

The truth is, all of us find it more natural to look out rather than in. Even when we battle self-esteem issues, passing judgment on how people are treating you and the reasons why is “hair-trigger easy.”

That’s why today’s Proverb grabs me. Check out the order of the things God can’t stand…note, murder is third on the list:

A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren. Proverbs 6:17-19 AMP

How about that proud look? Guilty, right…every last one of us?! And without knowing it, most of us are guilty of number seven, stirring the pot of discord among kinfolk. And we justify it in many different ways.

That is why He gave us His Spirit and His Instruction to guide us and protect us from unnecessary correction. He doesn’t hate us, He hates the things that keep us from enjoying life as He intended for our us and our fellow man.

May I be found looking in and judging myself and not so much the mistakes of my brethren.

September 2 – I Know!

The wise shall inherit glory (all honor and good) but shame is the highest rank conferred on [self-confident] fools. Proverbs 3:35

Over the years, I’ve worked with several groups of young people. Something happens to them from 12 to 15 years old. Wow, it’s like night and day! One moment, they are all ears and “directable.” Then all of a sudden, you are dumb and they know everything.

What’s crazy is they think they’re normal and they’ve always been smarter than you. They have no clue that in about ten short years, they will wake up from this fairy tale when life starts to “pack a punch” and realize maybe they don’t know as much as they thought.

Whether I am young or old enough to know better, self-confident pride is a great way to provoke what my grandmother called a “bought lesson” from Big Daddy God! And here’s the reason why. He loves you. No parent or caring adult wants to see even the foolish of kiddos utterly destroy themselves all for the sake of being right.
At some point, the bluff will be called and a day of reckoning will happen. Then the One who really knows will let you know! Personally, I’ve seen some of those days. . . and these days, I prefer the wiser response, “I don’t seem to know, Lord. Please help me. Oh, and thanks ahead of time!”

August 29 – The Cause of the Effect

For the Lord shall be your confidence, firm and strong, and shall keep your foot from being caught [in a trap or some hidden danger]. Proverbs 3:26

I don’t ordinarily take a fancy to reading instructions. Though times of avoidable catastrophes have influenced me otherwise, I still had to make myself stop and read the “how to” manual for our garden tiller when we bought it.

What a sad commentary that is when almost every single time I have made myself stop, look and listen to the wisdom of the ones who made the doggone thing, the thing worked as designed.

But stubbornness and laziness takes on a pride unique to the individual. Then the derelict twin brothers, assumption and presumption take center stage on a not so funny comedic routine. The end result is usually a blame game toward the manufacturer. If that’s not insanity, I don’t know what is.

That’s why today’s Proverb requires a backwards look at the proceeding “instructions.” Otherwise it looks like all the doing is randomly up to God. Here’s my part of the “cause and effect”:
My son, let them not escape from your sight, but keep sound and godly Wisdom and discretion, and they will be life to your inner self, and a gracious ornament to your neck (your outer self). Then you will walk in your way securely and in confident trust, and you shall not dash your foot or stumble. When you lie down, you shall not be afraid; yes, you shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet. Be not afraid of sudden terror and panic, nor of the stormy blast or the storm and ruin of the wicked when it comes [for you will be guiltless], Proverbs 3:21-25 AMP
It is up to me to not let wisdom and discretion escape me. My part is small in comparison to God’s, but still, it is required.

May today find us nose deep in the manual, mining out the wisdom and discretion. Then, when it’s time to do some “tilling,” the acts of “brother assumption” and “brother presumption” won’t be necessary.