Good morning my friends.
So this weeks’ set of readings contain the last of Solomon’s writings; the rest of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. As we start the tail end of Proverbs, you will probably notice a little bit of repetition going on. This is because these sets of Proverbs were compiled for people and contained proverbs previously recorded earlier in the book. You will also notice the continuation of many of the same themes.
As I was reading these two chapters, the thought that struck me was how much they describe the affect we can and do have on other people. Our lives, our habits, our words and our actions all have the potential to affect those around us to varying degrees of severity, for either the good or the bad. Of course, the tone of the Proverbs is one of warning, so the messages are couched in that language; “be careful not to… or else…” An example is 25:17 which says: “seldom set foot in your neighbours house, too much of you and they will hate you.” Does this mean Solomon is against visiting your neighbour? Of course not. He is just warning us to make sure that our presence in our neighbours lives does not become a burden to them. Perhaps you have had one of those bothersome neighbours who don’t seem to know where their property ends and yours begins.
Our actions have an affect on those around us, as do our words. There are multiple examples in these two chapters alone that tell us the value of a patient, gentle tongue and the dangers of a slanderous, judgemental tongue. I particularly like Provers 26:8-9 in this regard.
Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”
How many times have you (and I) hurt someone’s feelings and then said, often with confusion in our voice, “I was only kidding!”
Our words and actions have affects on other people. My friends, let us make sure that our words and actions are fitting, godly, loving and well thought out.
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: Proverbs 27-29