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PROVERBS 1:23-28

God is more than willing to pour out his wisdom to us. To receive his advice, we must be willing to listen, refusing to let pride stand in our way. Pride is thinking more highly of our own wisdom and desires than of God's. If we think we know better than God or feel we have no need of God's direction, we have fallen into foolish pride

PROVERBS 2:9, 10

We gain wisdom through a constant process of growing. First, we must trust and honor God. Second, we must realize that the bible reveals God's wisdom to us. Third, we must make a life-long series of right choices. Fourth, when we make sinful or mistaken choices, we must learn from our errors and recover. People don't develop all aspects of wisdom at once. For example, some people have more insight than discretion; others have more knowledge than common sense. But we can pray for all aspects of wisdom and take the steps to develop them in our lives.


Competent people have a quiet confidence. Insecure or uncertain people feel the need to prove themselves, but skillful people don't have to prove anything. They know they are capable, so they can get on with their work. Beware of the trap of showing off. If you are modest, people may not notice you at first, but they will respect you later.


You have not mastered self-control if you do not control what you say. Words can cut and destroy. James recognized this truth when he stated, "The tongue is a little member, and boast-est great things" (James 3:5). If you wish to be self-controlled, begin with your tongue. Stop and think before you react or speak. If you can control this small but powerful member, you can control the rest of your body.


Anger can be like a fire out of control. It can burn us and everything in its path. Anger divides people. It pushes us into hasty decisions that only cause bitterness and guilt. Yet anger, in itself, is not wrong. Anger can be a legitimate reaction to injustice and sin. When you feel yourself getting angry, look for the cause. Are you reacting to an evil situation that your are going to set right? Or are you responding selfishly to a personal insult? Pray that God will help you control your anger, channeling legitimate anger into effective action and conquering selfish anger through humility and repentance.


What we feed our minds is just as important as what we feed our bodies. The kinds of books we read, the people we talk with, the music we listen to, and the films we watch are all part of our mental diet. What you feed your mind influences your total health and well-being. Thus, a strong desire to discover truth is a mark of wisdom.


Self-control is superior to conquest. Success in business, school, or home life can be ruined by one who has lost control of his or her temper. So it is a great personal victory to control your temper. When you feel yourself ready to explode, remember losing control my cause you to forfeit what you want the most.


This proverb is not saying we should cover our own sins, but that we should be willing to forget others' sins against us. Forgetting mistakes is necessary to any relationship. It is tempting, especially in an argument, to bring up all the mistakes the other person has ever made. Love, however, keeps its mouth shut - difficult though that me be. Try never to bring anything into an argument that is unrelated to the topic being discussed. As we grow to be like Christ, we will acquire God's ability to forget the confessed sins of the past.


What kind of friend are you? There is a vast difference between knowing someone well and a true friend. The greatest evidence of genuine friendship is loyalty (see 1 Corinthians 13:7) being available to help in times of distress or personal struggles. Too many people are fair-weather friends. They stick around when the friendship helps them and leave when they're not getting anything out of the relationship. Think of your friends and assess your loyalty to them. Be the kind of true friend the Bible encourages.


People can find an excuse for doing almost anything, but God looks behind the excuse to the motives of the heart. We often have to make choices in areas where the right action is difficult to discern. We can help ourselves make such decisions by trying to identify our motives first and then asking, "Would God be pleased with my real reasons for doing this?' God is not pleased when we do good deeds only to receive something in return.


The kind of worship described in this proverb is no better than a bribe. How do people try to bribe God? They may go to church, tithe, or volunteer, not because of their love and devotion to God, but because they hope God will bless them in return. But God has made it very clear that he desires obedience and love more than religious ritual (see Samuel 15:22). God does not want our sacrifices of time, energy, and money alone; he wants our hearts - our complete love and devotion. We may be able to bribe people, but we cannot bribe God.


This proverb is a message of hope to people who must live and work under unjust authoritarian leaders. It is also a warning to those who enjoy ruling with an iron hand. Sometimes God intervenes and directly destroys tyrants. More often, he uses other rulers to overthrow them or their own oppressed people to rebel against them. If you are in a position of authority at church, work, or home, remember what happens to tyrants. Leadership through kindness is more effective and longer lasting than leadership by force.


Young children often do foolish and dangerous things simply because they don't understand the consequences. Wisdom and common sense are not transferred by a parent's good example alone. The wisdom a child learns must be taught consciously. "The rod of correction" stands for all forms of discipline or training. Just as God trains and corrects us to make us better, so parents must discipline their children to make them learn the difference between right and wrong.

PROVERBS 23:29, 30

The soothing comfort of alcohol & drugs is only temporary. Real relief comes from dealing with the cause of the anguish and sorrow and turning to God for peace. Don't lose yourself in alcohol & Drugs; find yourself in God.


It is hard to learn from a mistake you don't acknowledge making. And what good is a mistake if it doesn't teach you something? To learn from an error you need to admit it, analyze it, and make adjustments so that it doesn't happen again. Everybody makes mistakes, but only fools repeat them.

Something in each of us strongly resists admitting we are wrong. That is why we admire people who openly and graciously admit their mistakes. These people have a strong self-image. They do not always have to be right to feel good about themselves. Be willing to reconsider to admit you are wrong and to change your plans when necessary.


A sinner's conscience will drive him into either the "pit" of guilt and on to repentance, or into the pit of hell itself because or a refusal to repent. It is no act of kindness to try to make him feel better; the more guilt he feels, the more likely he is to turn to God and repent. If we interfere with the natural consequences of his act, we make it easier for him to continue to sin.


"Vision" refers to revelation that prophets receive. Where there is ignorance of God, crime and sin run rampant. Public morality depends on the knowledge of God, but it also depends on keeping God's laws. In order for nations and individuals to function well, people must know God's ways and keep his rules.


Fear of man can hamper everything you try to do. In extreme forms, it can make you afraid to leave your home. By contrast, fear of God - respect, reverence, and trust is liberating. Why fear people who can do no eternal harm? Instead, fear God who can turn the harm intended by others into good for those who trust him.

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