For the month of May, we will be Praying Through The Proverbs. Unlike a Bible study, we will simply pray a few key Scriptures each day. We’ll concentrate on how these verses apply to our individual lives, and ask God to reveal to us if there is anything specific we need to repent of or work on. Today let’s look at Chapter 17.*
Today’s verses address how we deal with others.
Key Verses in Chapter 17:
v.5 He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.
“There but for the grace of God go I.” The only reason we have what we have is because God gifted it to us…so we have no right to look down on the less fortunate. Instead, we should extend them compassion and love. Jesus said,”I tell you the truth, whatever you DID NOT DO for one of the least of these, you DID NOT DO for Me.” – Matt. 25:45
v.9 He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
If someone says something hurtful to us – or if we hear someone talking negatively about someone else – we are not supposed to go telling anyone else what they said (read: gossip). We should forgive the offender and show them love. Spreading the tale will only make us look bad…and could cost us a friendship.
v.13 If a man pays back evil for good, evil will never leave his house.
If someone does something good for us, we shouldn’t pay them back with evil (ie. being ungrateful). God blesses us for following His commands (doing good), and we should do no less to others. The contrast here would be when someone does bad by us…but we respond (in Christ’s power, not our own) with kindness and forgiveness .
v.17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
A true friend is a constant source of love and will stand by you in times of trouble. In an ideal family, brothers may quarrel even during good times, but when tragedy occurs, they’re always there for one another. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, so it’s good to have a real friend in your corner.
v.19 He who loves a quarrel loves sin….
Some people just enjoy provoking others….and that’s wrong.
v.27 A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.
Talking too much (especially about things you really know nothing about) or speaking without restraint is just foolish. If you listen – and consider what you will say – you can learn a lot more. A man of few words usually has something of value to say.
Father God, I humbly enter this, my secret place, and acknowledge I am in the Presence of the One True God. Thank You for meeting me here. Forgive me so I can stand in Your Presence clean and holy.
Help me to be more mindful of my words, Father. Help me to listen before I speak….and when I do, may I speak with Your grace and love.
Keep me from the snare of gossip, and hold my tongue when I’m tempted to provoke others. And when someone speaks ill of me, or says things that hurt me, help me to respond with a Jesus heart, kind and forgiving.
Give me a compassion for those less fortunate than I….for You have blessed me far beyond what I deserve. Grow in me a desire to live more generously so that I may channel Your abundance to those in need.
And Father, thank You for the trusted family and friends You have brought into my life. I am blessed for all the times they have walked beside me, through good and bad. It is a joy to share this journey with them. Help me to never take them for granted, and to always be looking for an opportunity to repay their loyalty in kind. My cup runneth over.
In Jesus’ Name…