Proverbs Study Day 12

Good morning everyone. My apologies for the delay in posting day 12! Better late than never? ūüôā Enjoy!


Proverbs 12

To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction. The Lord approves of those who are good, but he condemns those who plan wickedness. Wickedness never brings stability, but the godly have deep roots. A worthy wife is a crown for her husband, but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones. The plans of the godly are just; the advice of the wicked is treacherous. The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush, but the words of the godly save lives. The wicked die and disappear, but the family of the godly stands firm. A sensible person wins admiration, but a warped mind is despised. Better to be an ordinary person with a servant than to be self-important but have no food. The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel. A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies has no sense. Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot, but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit. The wicked are trapped by their own words, but the godly escape such trouble. Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards. Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others. A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted. An honest witness tells the truth; a false witness tells lies. Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed. Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planning peace! No harm comes to the godly, but the wicked have their fill of trouble. The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth. The wise don’t make a show of their knowledge, but fools broadcast their foolishness. Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave. Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up. The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray. Lazy people don’t even cook the game they catch, but the diligent make use of everything they find. The way of the godly leads to life; that path does not lead to death.


 What have I taken away from this chapter today:

The first thing that struck me in this passage is that a wife can have such influence on her husband. This is not to say that I have control over my husband by any means, but it does remind me that the way I approach my marriage has a huge impact on my husband. I know this first hand. As I’ve changed my attitude and approach to my marriage, my husband has surprised me. As I’ve obeyed God’s commandments and given Him the room to work, the more growth we’ve experienced.

Secondly I am touched by not being lazy and choosing to work hard despite what others around me are choosing to do. I stay focused on God and keeping Him in all things I do. The rewards will come. Be true and always be truthful in my words. Deceit and lies bring death, this too I have experienced first hand and never want to be in that place again.

My prayer for today:

Lord, today I thank you for all the work You have done in my life. I pray that You continue to do so and that I never feel satisfied. I pray that You dig deeper amd deeper into my life. You bestowed this life upon me and I want to do the work You desire for me to do. I pray for this world to see you and for marriages to be restored. I pray that Your Kingdom come and Your will to be done in all things. In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things.

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The Salt and the Light of this Earth

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

– Matthew 5:13-14

During¬†the first night of our women’s bible study last week, we were discussing the Holy spirit and came upon the point that He suppresses darkness in this world. Did I know that? Yes, but something hit a little deeper this time. Think about the fact that we are instruments here in earth and that we are here to be a light in the darkness that surrounds us. What if we weren’t here? How much crazier would life be? I cannot even begin to imagine what it would look like. We are the salt and the light of this earth. God tells us this, but what does it mean?

Salt preserves and cleanses, the light clarifies and brings warmth. These are the things that first come to mind as I ponder this. As the salt of this earth, I am to preserve God’s word, bring light to this dark world and to heal the wounds it inflicts on those around me. We are to stand firm on God’s truth and awaken those around us that have been lulled to sleep by the corruption in this land. I don’t pretend to be a scholar or to know all the answers, I can only share what I experience and what the Spirit shows me as I study His Word.

We are to prevent the growth of corruption and filth in this world as salt prevents bacteria on meat. The key is to apply it properly. We are to remain sensitive to the Spirit and take care when applying God’s Word and Wisdom. We also need to be in the Word and to have the Spirit within us to be of use. For if the salt loses it’s saltiness, it is of no use. If the light is hidden under a basket, it is of no use to those around it. We must extend God’s grace to all those around us. We must share our testimony and be open with our struggles, out triumphs, our failures and our God. If we do not allow God to work in us, if we do not share what Jesus did on the cross, then what good are we to those around us? If we hold it all inside, it will impact no one.

Salt¬†enhances the way food tastes, light enables us to see more¬†clearly. We, as Christians can make this life¬†more palatable for others and help them to see more clearly, if we follow God’s commands and extend the grace and love extended to us through Jesus Christ. We are to love on one another, come along side and carry each other’s burdens. It is not our place to judge, lecture or guilt anyone. I think we can easily be¬†thrown off and begin to act in the flesh without realizing it. We live in dark times. We must remain diligent and wait on the Lord.

Where have you been?

Almost an entire month without coming on here to write and I am not entirely sure why.

The past month has been quite interesting on many levels. I have searched some deep places of myself and faced quite a huge piece of my past hurts. This pain was buried long ago and was a much shallower grave than I thought. God is good and was with me on this journey along with a beloved sister.

We laughed, we cried, we fought the urge to run away. We were reminded to rest on God’s word and to see that He loves me despite it all.

I was obedient and shared when I felt it was time to share. I went to our meeting each week and didn’t cancel even when I knew it was going to be hard. I allowed God to do the work that needed to be done and walked away a better person than when we began.

I gained depth, perspective and peace in a short time. The best part is that I know this is just the beginning. I have many wounds that our Lord has healed in me over the years, but this is a much older and deeper wound than I have ever faced.

I will delve in more as I continue this journey and thank you all who have walked by my side through it. It’s amazing what change can transpire in a few weeks time when you allow it.

Through this process I feel like my marriage has deepened, my relationship with God has grown, my relationship with my fellow Christians has grown, my relationship with my children has deepened, and so much more than I can even put into words.

Today I tell you that no matter what you have done or are currently doing, God still loves you. That no matter how far you think you have fallen, it’s never too far. Healing can take place, this I promise you. It may be the hardest thing you ever do in your life, but it CAN happen.

Lean on the Lord, be real, be honest, face the abyss that you try hide within. You will be amazed at all the aspect of your life that will be changed. As I began to face the pain and shame I have held inside for so long I began to see how every single aspect of my life was effected by the festering wound.

You cannot run away from your past, you cannot cover up pain, you have to face it and work through it. You will be so happy that you did!

Guilt and Conviction

Guilt is a funny thing. I once thought that it was a good sign, a sign of good conscience. Something to keep me in check. The Spirit has been showing me something completely different.

I have found that guilt is a burden that I am not meant to carry. Jesus has covered my sin and I am free in Him.

Free.

Totally and completely without blame because of what He did on the cross. He took on that burden a long time ago so that I can come to the Father. Guilt is not a good sign, it is not the tool I once thought it to be. Guilt holds me back, brings about doubt where there should be none.

Conviction is something I once viewed as a negative. I never wanted to be convicted of anything. I didn’t want people to call me out on things I maybe doing or not doing. Don’t look to close! I would hate for those around me to see the deeply flawed human that I am.

Conviction is love.

Conviction is way for God to keep me on the path He has set out for me. He works through others to remind me to refocus, to catch me when I begin to wander and to bring me deeper when I am wading in the shallow end of life once again.

Peace, I have found such a sense of peace since I have had my perspective changed in regards to guilt and conviction. I now stand stronger in God’s love and light. I now take conviction and rise up to the challenges God sets forth. I look at guilt as a bond to be broken and to be left behind. Do I feel remorse and sadness in times of conviction, absolutely. The difference is that I don’t wallow in it, I don’t let it change the way I look at life. I don’t let it knock me off my path. I don’t allow it to deter me from doing God’s work.

It has taken me a long time to get to this place and guilt creeps in all the time. I constantly have to give¬†it¬†to God. I have chosen to repent, release and take action when convicted. Sounds so simple doesn’t it? Just let it go and let God do the work He desires to do in you. It is not easy. It is really hard to go against my nature. It’s harder to continue to do so! Funny that I find it is easier to wallow in guilt and self-pity yet I am choosing not to. The reason is simple, I have never felt a peace in me like I do today.

The more I choose to flip my perceptions and rest in God, the less anxiety I feel from day-to-day. The more I interact with others and the more I expose myself to them and God, the happier I am.

I am struggling to find the words to describe the changes that have taken place in my heart. The very core of my being has been and continues to be shaped and molded in ways I never thought possible.

The more I let go, the more I gain. When I let God fill me up and pour out of me, I am whole. I no longer look for stress and anxiety to be markers for growth in this life. I now see that those are signs that I am focused on the wrong things.¬†I am beginning to stop comparing myself to others and thinking they are “closer to God”. I am not allowing myself to hold back because I am not good enough. I know I am not good enough. I am not worthy, I am imperfect, I know that I need God.

I searched for my spiritual path for a long time. I never thought I would ever label myself as a Christian. I would actually challenge people to tell me why they thought Jesus was so great and then I would tell them why being a Christian is wrong and well just stupid.

I am so glad that I walked into that church 6 years ago and found Jesus. Sure, I fought Him for quite some time and yes, I avoided getting too close to the people in my church as well. I still do to a degree, but honestly, I have never felt more peace, closure, healing or love like I do today.

I have had a rocky past and a lot of abandonment and I allowed that to be the driving force in my life for a long time. Now that I have let God in, He is the driving force and I am in such a better place because of it. I am and will never be perfect. I am not a better person by any means. I am just allowing Jesus to work through me and He has been taking my filth and changing me in ways that allow His will is done through me.

If you have not allowed Jesus in as deeply as He wants to be, then I encourage you to focus on that every minute of every day. Push everything else away, give it all up to Him. You won’t lose yourself, you’ll gain more than you could every imagine.

Let the guilt go. Let God in.

Jealousy and Judgement

Jealousy. This topic has come up quite a lot in the past few weeks. Why even my Pastor was talking about it last night at Bible study.

Am I jealous? Not particularly. I do have waves of envy and jealousy at times, I am only human. I definitely wish for things to be different quite often, in the sense that I love my life but would love to not feel like a slave to debt. I know, it takes time to get out of it and we are wading through.

Today I am not talking about my being jealous, it is more along the lines of what to do when I find people are jealous of me. I mean even typing that feels weird to me. Jealous of me?? Who on earth would be jealous of me? I am so flawed! I struggle with so many things! I am dirty, I am poor and I am unworthy. I can be so self-centered and crabby and well just plain ol’ mean and judgemental. Truly, I see not one thing another should covet in this person.

There are quite a few things that make me very happy in my life. The fact that I have found Jesus and have a growing relationship with Him. I have found a wonderful husband, whom despite all my many failings, adores me and I him. We have an insanely busy life as a blended family but 5 beautiful children who are all growing up so quickly and have shown us just how thoughtful and caring they are. Our church family is extraordinary and it is such a HUGE blessing to be able to study God’s word and lean on real people. No religiosity, just real folks looking to come together in fellowship….this I have found to be rare. I am blessed to not only be employed in this economy, but in a field where I am able to make a difference in people’s lives. My work is difficult but can be so fun and rewarding as well!

So, yes there are many beautiful things in my life, but I have worked hard and prayed hard to get them. I have struggled and have been cut down many more times than I can count. I have been in the darkest of places, I just refuse to stay there. I have never settled for what this world has offered, I strive to climb out of the filth and to lead a life of meaning, to be in this world but not of it. I daily beg my Lord and Savior to let me be a light and to use me as His instrument to all of those around me. I generally complete many tasks without complaining too much because I think about the fact that I should just be grateful for the fact that I am alive, breathing and fully functional. I am capable of doing these things because I am blessed with health, so why see them as a burden?

I guess it all boils down to the fact that I look at some people who has shown jealousy through either word or action and think to myself, how on earth can they look at me and covet the things I have while completely ignoring the blessings that have ben bestowed upon them? How can they know my life story, all that I have endured and all that I have lost and really not just be happy for me when things go well? How can people I let in turn around and hate me for accomplishment and growth? I don’t know that I will ever understand it. I am an open book, I share my hurts, my battle wounds, my insecurities, but I don’t wear them on my sleeve for all to pity. I have always avoided pity, I have only craved¬†understanding and love.

Is this my problem? I expect too much? Expectations seem to cause me problems more often than not. I expect that when I am in a place where I can let my walls down and let people in, that they will keep my hurts in mind and be kind when I need them to? I expect them to see the hurt little girl who still lives in here and to be there for me when I fall apart. I expect that they will look past those walls that come up automatically and to see through them. I am beginning to see that there is really only one place I can do this and that is before God. He sees through me to the very center of my being. He knows me better than I know myself.

Maybe it’s me that needs to look past the jealousy and see the hurt and pain that person holds. Perhaps I should be pushing my own hurt aside and look into that person’s life and love them through whatever it is that is causing them to hate my joy. Maybe I should stop being the self-centered person that only thinks about how unfair it is that people close to me don’t meet my expectations and don’t react the way I need them to. I think it is me that needs to hold myself up to those expectations with everyone in my life instead.

This brings me to judgement. Judgement is another thing I have struggled with all my life, mor so since becoming a believer in Christ. All in all, I am typically the type of person that tries to look at all situations from all points of views before even trying to come to some kind of opinion about a person or situation. I know that very rarely are things the way they seem. There is always more to it behind the scenes. I try to keep perspective. The problem is that another expectation rears its ugly head and I expect that others should do the same. I find it difficult to see and hear people blame everyone and everything else in their lives for their situations when you can clearly see that they played the biggest part in it! How can people be so blind?!?

We are all blind, aren’t we? When it comes to ourselves we can be blind to so many things. It is our human nature to look outward and to think about how life would be so much easier if x,y and z didn’t happen to me! If only a particular person didn’t hurt me in such a manner, well then I wouldn’t be where I am right now! How do you tell someone who they should really look at the big¬†part they are playing in their situation as well? I feel so judgemental when all I can think¬†of is “look at what you’re doing! Snap out of it, you’re causing your own issues right now and blaming it on others! How can you do the things you’re doing¬†over and¬†over again?!?!?”

The damage people can cause in our lives is very real¬†and I don’t want to come across as if I think otherwise. I do however think that we can very often get caught up in a vicious cycle and be in a place where we never hold ourselves accountable and choose to use our past hurts as a crutch. People can get in a place where their lives can come crashing down around them and they cannot find the strength to stand up and put an end to it, instead they hide under the idea of “well this is all (insert past hurts)’s fault that this is happening and it’s not fair.”

Is it true that this person or circumstance has caused damage that lead up to this? Probably. How do you gently tell a person that they¬†can’t really possibly be blind to their own course of actions? At what point do you blatantly tell a loves one that they are wrong, so wrong and have been wrong for quite some time now? How do you tell someone in a loving manner that you can see all the things they have been doing that has contributed to their current situation without hurting them? I feel so judgemental in these situations. I feel like I am judging another’s actions but is it judgemental when it is a fact? Am I really the horrible judgemental person I feel like I am when in reality I am just seeing what they can’t see because I am on the outside looking into the places they refuse to see? Am I being a worst friend for not shedding light on the places they need to see in order to truly be where they say they want to be? Do I sit back and continue giving words of comfort and gently nudge them in hopes that they will see those places themselves one day?

What is the right answer? I am not sure I will ever know.

Maybe the only right answer is to pray and leave myself open to God’s will. Let God lead me and beg for Jesus to work through me and use me in whatever way He needs to. I think the answer is to take myself out of the equation all together.

It’s funny, I once would joke that whenever you would ask a Christian their advice as to how you should handle a situation, the stock answer would always be “pray about it”. I am now in a place in my walk that I see why! Prayer is powerful and really is the first course of action we should all take in all things.

John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in my name, this I  will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in  my name, I will do it.