Ladies and Gentlemen-Proverbs 26 Part 2

 

We have come to an age and culture that is in anarchy and chaos.  With endless law and regulations recorded in the courts across the world, we see less order and unity now than we have in ages.  Sadly, it is not difficult to tell what the source of change is. A simple review of history across the world shows the same common theme, as nations move away from God, their cultures become less stable.

In our current culture, it is much too easy to weigh in on every difference of opinion.  The web has given us social media; which in turn has somehow licensed the world and especially this country to drop all semblance of manners and decorum and weigh in on all matters of opinion. And since such intervention is two dimensional, we have no fear of reprisal beyond being blocked from another’s account.

As God’s chosen people—wholly and dearly loved, we ought to heed Solomon’s warning—mind your own business and be honest.  Watch your mouth, don’t use filthy language, spread gossip or be a source of conflict. 20 years ago, most would agree. Now, such behavior and restraint makes people seem aloof, out of touch and somehow socially irresponsible.  Funny thing, though—those who practice social grace and restraint grow to be loved and trusted. It is so rare, that over time such people become the most attractive and needed people in the community.  We need to choose to be those that stand out as ladies and gentlemen—it could literally be the source of revival. 

God Bless You

Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears     is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.

18 Like a maniac shooting     flaming arrows of death 19 is one who deceives their neighbor     and says, “I was only joking!”

20 Without wood a fire goes out;     without a gossip a quarrel dies down. 21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,     so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife. 22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;     they go down to the inmost parts.

23 Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware     are fervent lips with an evil heart. 24 Enemies disguise themselves with their lips,     but in their hearts they harbor deceit. 25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them,     for seven abominations fill their hearts. 26 Their malice may be concealed by deception,     but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. 27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it;     if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them. 28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts,     and a flattering mouth works ruin.

The Foolish Simply Do Not Fit–Proverbs 26 Part 1

Back in my old prosecutor days, we often talked about the idea that the criminal justice system could be greatly simplified by passing a law that made it a crime to be “Felony Stupid”. Invariably, when prosecuting a case, we learned that those who commit crimes would usually remain uncaught–if it was not for their own foolish actions—bragging about their crimes, keeping trophies, not knowing when to quit or simply not thinking through their actions.  Their foolishness was the best tool law enforcement possessed.

 Solomon was paying tribute to that quality when he highlighted how foolish people stand out.  You cannot honor them—they will behave in a way that prevents it.  You can’t trust them, they always will find a way to betray that trust.  The harder one tries to include them in what is good and honorable, the more they stand out as one that does not fit.  So what is one to do with the foolish? First, we continue to pray that God will catch hold of their hearts.  In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul tells us that if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation.  The old is gone the new has come.  No matter how foolish, Christ can change ones’ heart.

 The other thing is simply not to associate or rely upon the foolish.  Without Christ, their behavior does not change—and while most of us want to look for the best in folks, the foolish are and act compulsively foolish.  Keep your distance and put no expectation or reliance in them.  It may hurt their feelings, but it could save your reputation or even your life.  God’s wisdom is a treasure and we need to guard it and use it carefully.  Help me Lord not to be felony stupid or waste my time on others who are.

 God Bless You

Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,     honor is not fitting for a fool. Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,     an undeserved curse does not come to rest. A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,     and a rod for the backs of fools! Do not answer a fool according to his folly,     or you yourself will be just like him. Answer a fool according to his folly,     or he will be wise in his own eyes. Sending a message by the hands of a fool     is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison. Like the useless legs of one who is lame     is a proverb in the mouth of a fool. Like tying a stone in a sling     is the giving of honor to a fool. Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand     is a proverb in the mouth of a fool. 10 Like an archer who wounds at random     is one who hires a fool or any passer-by. 11 As a dog returns to its vomit,     so fools repeat their folly. 12 Do you see a person wise in their own eyes?     There is more hope for a fool than for them.