February 26 – Mutual Admiration Society

The godly despise the wicked; the wicked despise the godly. Proverbs 29:27 NLT

When I was up to no good, the last thing I wanted around was some “goody two-shoes.” My sister fit the bill most of the time.

I couldn’t stand her! She was always in the right place at the wrong time for me. I never got away with anything.

Examples are abundant, but not necessary…I’m sure I share company with some whose past attitudes and behaviors are just as well forgotten and forgiven.

The other side of that coin, however is the frustration felt by the likes of my sister who are simply abiding by the rules prescribed by those in authority so it might go well with them.

As an adult, with a family…children and a wife, I admit my struggle. Sometimes it’s hard to see beyond the madness when another with ill motives seeks to impose “unjust” demands on the innocent.

What I have learned thus far from living on both sides of that coin is…no matter what side you are on, you think you are right and the other is wrong. And fuss as you may, until they are ready, you, nor they, will change sides.


February 18 – Something is Gained in the Translation

He who pampers his servant from childhood will have him as a son in the end. Proverbs 29:21 NKJV

At first glance, I hear “don’t be too easy” when it comes to those who work for you. If you give them an inch of leniency, they will take a mile. I see truth in that, but at second glance, I see more.

A servant will not be corrected by words alone; for though he understands, he will not answer [the master who mistreats him]. Proverbs 29:21AMP

This translation of the original text suggests that being too harsh stirs defiance in the heart of someone who helps or works for you. First look: be tough; Second look: be kind and considerate. So, which is it?

For me the “third point of view” is the key to seeing contextually what I should be, who I should be, or what I should say. And that view is prayerfully derived. I don’t run with what I think when I read…most of the time, anymore.

I invite God, who is my Father, to translate according to His view and vantage point concerning me, the matter at hand, and the message before my eyes.

Therefore, if we read the same passage and see it differently, neither of us is wrong. We may just be between “looks!”


September 15 – A Line in the Sand. . . and Ten Steps Back

Let your way in life be far from her, and come not near the door of her house [avoid the very scenes of temptation], lest you give your honor to others and your years to those without mercy, lest strangers [and false teachings] take their fill of your strength and wealth and your labors go to the house of an alien [from God] Proverbs 5:8-10 AMP

“No” is naturally hard for me to form my mouth to say. And unfortunately, that one inability has cost me dearly over the years in time, talent and tenacity. For those who have a similar struggle, maybe you will agree that when you go along just because you don’t want to make anyone upset, you ultimately can become that way yourself!

Claudius (of course that’s not his real name!) was a childhood friend I met through some distant relatives. We were both about ten and full of gusto. I had rules to abide by and he didn’t. Granted, it gets hot in West Texas in the summer, but I would have never conjured up the notion to go swimming at the downtown Hilton! Claudius did. Here we were, two little “chocolate drops” in cut off jeans trying to slip past a Valet in the middle of the af-ternoon, unnoticed.

Thankfully, we got caught before we got in the hotel or I really, really would have been embarrassed. I was so mad, I could have punched him in the nose. But since he was obviously crazy, I just agitatedly grumbled, “I thought you did this all the time and we weren’t going to get in trouble?” His response made an indelible mark on me that would last a life time. “We didn’t get in trouble; we just need to go back when that guy isn’t there.”

For the wayward soul, right and wrong is relative. And often, they are so desensitized to the laws of cause and effect; they can’t even correlate them with the outcome.

That day I decided I wasn’t okay with being in trouble or being embarrassed, so I started paying attention to the buddies I was hanging out with. And if or when some crazy stuff started “cooking,” little Lorenzo got to “booking!” (i.e., I ran away really fast!)

For me, that’s what today’s Proverb is all about. Boundaries are a necessity and everybody needs some. But with them, it’s a good idea to know where they start and back up a good distance. That way, your name isn’t able to be associated with the drama.

If you’re not standing by the fence, you won’t be as tempted to open the gate!