Once again, sooo many verses stood out to me, but here a few I chose to comment on.....
Proverbs 19:3 People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.
People are quick to blame God for everything bad in their lives, or even in the world around them, but are not so quick to praise Him for the good.
The truth is, when we live foolishly, we have no one to blame for our troubles but ourselves. We are responsible for our choices. There are no excuses. Yes, there are things outside of our control that can make it more difficult to make the right choice or to live wisely, but ultimately, we are still responsible. Despite a bad childhood. Despite difficult circumstances. Despite a job loss. Despite moving. Despite having a lack of friends. At some point, we need to stop passing the buck and place the blame where it clearly belongs, at our own feet.
Thankfully, Jesus stands ready to forgive our foolish mistakes if we only run to Him instead of away from Him.
Proverbs 19:11 Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.
How many times to we take offense to something someone said or did, that they probably didn't even mean to offend us in the first place? How often to we presume upon someone's motives? How often do we hold a grudge for a small infraction or a perceived insult? Maybe someone didn't acknowledge us for something we did, or said something that offended us? Nurturing this bitterness is toxic to us.
We need to give people the benefit of the doubt. When someone we love says something, and there are two ways to take it, one of which is hurtful and one of which is not, we need to assume they did not intend to hurt us. We need to give the benefit of the doubt.
And sometimes, even when there is intent, it's really ok to let it go, and overlook the wrong.
Proverbs 20:11 Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.
Our actions reveal who we are. Even in children. As parents, we cannot excuse sinful actions on the basis of age. Our hearts are wicked, right from the beginning. If their behaviour would not be cute when they're 14, it shouldn't be allowed when they're 3. And, it's also something to remember about ourselves! What do our actions say about us?
Proverbs 21:2 People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.
Isn't it so easy to justify our own sin? We can make excuse after excuse. But God cannot be mocked and He cannot be fooled. He can see our hearts and knows our motives. And truthfully, it doesn't matter what we think, it matters what God thinks. If my opinion differs from His, guess who's wrong? Me. Every time.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Proverbs 22-24