Proverbs of Character, pt 2

Posted: October 10, 2012 in Proverbs

Proverbs 12-13, “Proverbs of Character, pt 2”

Solomon has been instructing us in the ways of wisdom.  After the 1st 9 chapters of the book of Proverbs introducing the value of wisdom in our lives, the next many chapters in the book deal with its practical application.  What does the character of a wise man or woman of God look like?  This is the question that Solomon is dealing with throughout the book.  The person who loves God loves wisdom – and it has an impact on every single aspect of his/her life.

Proverbs 12
1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.

  1. This is a theme to which Solomon comes back to again and again.  Wisdom listens.  The person who is wise is willing to listen to godly counsel.  The person who is wise knows that he/she does not know everything, and is willing to be corrected.  It is the foolish person who ignores godly counsel and believes he/she is always right.
  2. Put it in practical terms.  Imagine a scenario that is perhaps a bit questionable.  You have your convictions, but every single person you talk to about that thing disagrees with you.  You’re talking to people who love the Lord & seek His face, and yet they still disagree with you and believe you’re headed in the wrong direction.  Of course, everyone else could be wrong, but it’s not likely the case.  Wisdom would say that we need to consider the very distinct possibility that we are the ones who are wrong.  To ignore the unified correction and counsel of other godly Christians is unwise.  Solomon even uses a more blunt term: it’s “stupid.”  God doesn’t want us to act in stupidity; He wants us to walk in wisdom.  Be willing to be corrected.

2 A good man obtains favor from the LORD, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.

  1. The basic idea is fairly straightforward.  If we’re good, we’re blessed by the Lord.  If we’re evil, we’re condemned by the Lord.  That sounds great, until we ask ourselves the question: “Who exactly is good?”  The psalms tell us that there is none who does good, no not one (Ps 14:3, 53:3).  Jesus told the rich young ruler that there is only One who is good, and that’s God (Mt 19:17).  How then, can a person be good, and thus obtain favor from the Lord & be pleasurable in His sight?  Obviously Solomon is using the term “good” a bit more loosely than Paul might in the book of Romans, but they would agree on the general idea.  We have to be made good by the work of God.  Remember that it is the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom (Pro 9:10).  It is the proper recognition that God is the one true God, and that we fear and reverence His name.  Our dependency and sufficiency is found in Him.  In NT terms, that means that we come to faith in Christ Jesus as our Lord.  We believe upon Jesus for forgiveness and life, and Jesus makes us good in the sight of God.  Thus the person who has received the goodness of God has truly received wondrous favor from the Lord!
  2. At the same time, the person who remains in his/her wickedness will find condemnation from the Lord.  The person who thinks wickedly towards others and acts on those things show that he/she does not fear the Lord God at all, and serves only him/herself.  This person will still have to face God on Judgment Day and will be condemned.
    1. This doesn’t have to be you!  You CAN obtain favor from God when you come to Christ Jesus…

3 A man is not established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous cannot be moved.

  1. If the good man finds favor from God, then we know that the good man (the righteous man) will not be able to be moved by the enemy.  There is firm strength found in the righteousness that he/she has received.  Especially when we’re talking about the issue of eternity.  A wicked person has no hope for everlasting life – the person who lives their life without Christ Jesus will find that he is not established in the area in which it is most needed.  Yet the righteous man or woman (the person who has been made righteous by Jesus) has a firm foundation.  Our roots go deep (just as Jesus taught in the parable of the sower), and we will not be moved.  Whether it be the trials of life, or the question of eternity, we will be established by Jesus & His wondrous grace!

4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.

  1. This isn’t Solomon disparaging women; this is Solomon writing to his son, and giving him counsel on the kind of woman to look for as a godly helpmate.  The woman would be excellent (virtuous/worthy) would be a crown that her husband would love to be adorned with all of his life.  Yet the spouse who brought shame would cause great distress – to the point of feeling sick unto death.
  2. Keep in mind that the principle cuts both ways.  Should the husband be the one to bring dishonor to the family, the wife is the one who suffers.  Yet the husband who humbly seeks the glory of God, and seeks to be the man that God created him to be is the husband that a wife can be truly grateful for.
  3. This makes a lot of sense on the earthly level, but think a moment from the aspect of eternity.  Earthly marriage is really a picture of the relationship between Christ and the Church (Eph 5).  Jesus desires for His bride to be pure – to be holy and without blemish.  When the Church is pure, it gives glory and honor to Jesus.  When the Church acts the way the Church is supposed to act – when we love the way we’re supposed to love – when we’re unified together the way God intends us to be – this all gives glory to God, as a crown unto Him.  Yet at the same time, the Church can grieve her bridegroom when we act in sinfulness – in hatred towards one another – or when we’ve departed from the pure gospel.  May we be the Bride that glorifies the Bridegroom!

5 The thoughts of the righteous are right, But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. 6 The words of the wicked are, “Lie in wait for blood,” But the mouth of the upright will deliver them. 7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more, But the house of the righteous will stand.

  1. This is one (of many) contrasts between the righteous and the wicked.  The two are contrasted in thought, word, and heritage.  This is a logical progression…starts with the thoughts – moves on to the words that flow out of those thoughts – then looks at the fruit that come out of a lifetime of those things.  Those who follow Christ dwell upon the thoughts that glorify Him (Phil 4:8).  As we do so, our words and actions change as we become the people who love and help those around us.  Our words deliver us from the temptation of engaging in sin because sinful things not what we’ve been thinking upon.  That all leads to a heritage of righteousness, and God will cause us to be able to stand in eternity, as well as give us an example to pass on to our children.
  2. The wicked is the opposite.  What begins in evil and deceitful thoughts lead to wicked and violent actions, ending in a life that is cast down.  The choice between the two ought to be obvious.  Which fruit do you want to obtain: an established house from the Lord, or destruction?  You get there by starting with your thoughts.  Change your thoughts now to the things that glorify the Lord, and your direction will change.

8 A man will be commended according to his wisdom, But he who is of a perverse heart will be despised.

  1. People recognize godly wisdom.  It’s not only our own life that is benefited, but people around us will be blessed by the person who follows the Lord.  Yet no one (who values that which is good) wants to be around those who are crooked & evil.  Wisdom is honored.

9 Better is the one who is slighted but has a servant, Than he who honors himself but lacks bread.

  1. Of course, just because you are wise does not mean that you will always be honored.  Some people will despise us simply because we follows the Lord.  We do not determine our blessings by the reactions of people around us, but by the Lord Himself.  Find out what really matters.  If God is providing for you, it doesn’t matter if we suffer some insults and slights from time to time.  Yet if we’re always trying to lift up ourselves and exalt our own name, but refuse to follow the Lord’s instruction regarding hard work, that is not truly honorable at all.

10 A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

  1. Wisdom is kind – wisdom is merciful.  The person who follows Christ is truly merciful to all – even unto animals.  Cruelty has no place with a Christian.
  2. Sadly, there are many who claim the name of Christ, but show themselves to be full of cruelty.  Sometimes it comes in the form of racism – sometimes in the form of controlling legalism – sometimes in the form of violence (towards their spouse, their children, or even their pets).  All of it is wrong & totally ungodly.  They do their wickedness in one minute, and then turn around to lift their hands in supposed praise and worship.  God is not mocked.  That isn’t righteousness; it’s the pretense of righteousness.  Righteousness is loving & kind.

11 He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.

  1. Solomon has said much about a solid work ethic & will continue to drive this point home.  Wisdom isn’t lazy.  Those who work hard eat well.  In Solomon’s day, the culture was primarily agricultural.  If you wanted to eat bread, you need to plant wheat, water it, tend it, harvest it, grind it, and then bake it.  There was far more work involved than simply heading to the grocery store!  The person who frittered his day away, hanging out with friends and just playing games all the time would end up going hungry.
  2. The culture may have changed, but the principle remains the same.  If we want to eat, we need to work.  In fact, the person who refuses to work even removes him/herself from the potential of church benevolence (2 Ths 3:10).  That is foolish behavior.  Wisdom is hard-working.

12 The wicked covet the catch of evil men, But the root of the righteous yields fruit. 13 The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, But the righteous will come through trouble. 14 A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth, And the recompense of a man’s hands will be rendered to him.

  1. This is another contrast between the wicked & wise, this time concentrating more on the words of the individual.  Again, it starts with our thoughts (expressed here as desire – the things that are coveted, or fruit that is needed).  This moves to our lips, and we will receive the things that we have sought after.  If we have sought after wickedness, we will receive the snare that comes from our transgressions.  If we have sought after righteousness, we will not only be brought through the troubled times, but we will receive the good reward that comes as a result.
  2. There is a resounding principle through the Scripture that we will reap the things that we sow.  If we sow into wickedness, we will receive the fruit of that wickedness.  Yet if we sow into the things of God, we will receive a righteous man’s reward.  What is it that you seek?  In regards to the kingdom of God, Jesus told us that he who seeks will find. (Mt 7:8)  That’s just as true of the things of the world as it is the things of the kingdom.

15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.

  1. Again, wisdom listens to godly counsel.  The foolish person always believes he/she is right.  The mature, wise person understands that we can often be wrong, and we desperately need the counsel of godly people around us.

16 A fool’s wrath is known at once, But a prudent man covers shame.

  1. Foolishness exposes itself.  In vs. 15 the foolish person ignored godly counsel; in vs. 16 the foolish person reacts rashly to insults.  He listens to what he ought not to be listening, and ignores that which he should have been listening to in the first place.  And when that insult comes, the foolish person overreacts entirely.
  2. The prudent person (on the other hand) understands that insults are worth the breath with which they were uttered.  Insults do not need to upset us; we can ignore them and find our value and worth in the Lord.  Pay attention to godly counsel; ignore the advice and insults of fools.
  3. Solomon has much more to say regarding the impact of our words.  See vs. 17…

17 He who speaks truth declares righteousness, But a false witness, deceit. 18 There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health. 19 The truthful lip shall be established forever, But a lying tongue is but for a moment.

  1. Our words can be used to speak truth or a lie.  They can be used to speak hurt or healing.  Our words can show if we are in Christ & thus established, or if we are enemies of Christ and thus in danger of perishing.
  2. Certainly the wise person is to understand which words to pay attention to & which to ignore, but we are also to understand the impact of our words upon others.  Words can inflict an immense amount of pain upon other people, and we are to choose what we say wisely, always seeking to say the truth – and to say it in as much love as possible.
    1. Sometimes we forget this.  We either want to avoid conflict altogether so we end up leaving out the truth in what we say, or we so crusade for the truth that we forget about the Lord’s command to love our neighbor as ourselves and we end up causing a lot of harm in the process.  The wise person prays for godly discernment not only to know what to say, but how best to say it.
  3. Why does the Bible have so much to say about our words?  Shouldn’t it only matter what we do, and not so much what we say?  All of it matters!  We’ve already seen how what we think about and what we say goes a long way to determine how we act.  But beyond that, our words DO matter immensely.  After all, the primary way that God relates to us is through His word.  Both through the Living Word (Jesus), and the written word (the Scripture).  God chose His word to us very carefully because He understands the value of it.  Likewise for us towards other people.

20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy. 21 No grave trouble will overtake the righteous, But the wicked shall be filled with evil.

  1. Internal joy of the peace-seeker.  There is inward happiness and contentment for those who not only seek the peace of God, but serve as peace-makers between people.
  2. External peace of the righteous.  That peace overflows in life and serves to protect the righteous from troubles and consequences that come from sin.

22 Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.

  1. Wisdom is honest.  God approves those who are truthful.  God hates lies because His very nature is truth.  John 14:6, "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." []  The wording is very specific here.  Jesus did not say that He “had” the way & the truth & the life (though that is how we often think of it…as if we just go to Jesus for what He offers).  Jesus said He IS the way, the truth, and the life.  We go to Jesus for who He IS – we go to Jesus for Jesus Himself.  And one of the things that Jesus is, is truth.  Jesus never speaks lies – in fact, out of all the things that are possible for our omnipotent God, one of the things that God cannot do is lie. (Titus 1:2)  For God to lie would be for God to turn in on His basic character, which is impossible.  Thus God cannot lie, and lying lips are disgusting to Him.  Christians have received the truth when we receive Jesus as our Savior.  For a Christian to be known as a liar ought to be a contradiction in terms.

23 A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness.

  1. Wisdom is discreet.  The wise person knows what to say and when to say it.

24 The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor.

  1. The person with a godly work ethic will be blessed.  Often seen at the job as the person who works hard is often promoted, while the lazy worker has to be compelled to do even the basic things.

25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.

  1. Wisdom labors, but it doesn’t stress out.  Too much stress and anxiety can lead to all sorts of depression.  We don’t trust our own labors to provide for us; we trust God.  We do work hard, but we know that our Heavenly Father cares for us. 
  2. Yet what happens when we do become anxious?  Here is the benefit of a good word: the right word can make our heart glad.  We need the good encouragement of the word of God!  We need it ourselves, and we need to share it with others.

26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.

  1. Wisdom is careful in his company.  Choosing the wrong friends can lead us into temptation quickly…and perhaps more subtly than we’d like to admit.
  2. There is a balance that comes to a Christian: we cannot sequester ourselves off from the world, but neither should we become friends with it.  Towards those who are outside of Christ, we need to love them enough to be able to share the gospel with them, but we are not to make them such close friends that we would be led astray into sin again.  This is where godly wisdom comes in.  We need the help of the Holy Spirit in knowing how to relate to others.

27 The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, But diligence is man’s precious possession.

  1. There are two ways of looking at this: (1) Solomon is saying that the lazy man caught something and didn’t get around to cooking it; (2) he’s saying there’s nothing to cook because the lazy man didn’t catch anything at all.  Either way is bad!  The slothful person will starve himself to death or live in poverty for absolutely no reason whatsoever.
  2. Again, the wise person has a solid work ethic, desiring to glorify God with whatever it is that he/she does.

28 In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway there is no death.

  1. There is indeed a road that leads to life: the way of Jesus Christ! Matthew 7:13–14, "(13) “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. (14) Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." []

Proverbs 13
1 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

  1. Wisdom listens.  Be it wise counsel, instruction, rebuke, or gentle correction, the wise person recognizes it for what it is and makes the necessary adjustments.  The foolish person ignores everything God is trying to do for him/her through others, and heads off to their own hurt.
  2. How important it is for us to remember that we are not the only ones on the earth indwelled by and filled with the Holy Spirit of God!  God has surrounded us with people who are also guided by the Holy Spirit, and when godly counselors disagree with us, it may be God Himself who is trying to bring correction into our lives.  We ignore Him at our own peril.

2 A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth, But the soul of the unfaithful feeds on violence. 3 He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.

  1. Be wise with your words.  Your words can either help you or hurt you.
  2. Have you ever said something, and then immediately regretted it the moment you got done talking?  If only we had guarded our mouth a little better, we could have saved ourselves a lot of pain.  That’s the idea here.

4 The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.

  1. Back to the idea of a solid work ethic.  Most rich people don’t get that way by playing the lottery, or by inheriting their wealth.  Most people do it through hard work, and by spending less than what they bring in.  The lazy man can desire & desire, and in the end has nothing (except perhaps credit card bills).

5 A righteous man hates lying, But a wicked man is loathsome and comes to shame. 6 Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless, But wickedness overthrows the sinner.

  1. Hate” is a strong word.  Are we really supposed to hate anything?  Sure.  Hate the things that God hates.  God hates lying – remember that “lying lips are an abomination to the LORD” (12:22).  If that’s the way God feels about lying, that’s the way we should feel about it, too.  It should be absolutely abhorrent to us to even think about telling falsehoods.
  2. Sometimes we think we need to lie in order to protect ourselves, but that’s not true.  Righteousness will protect us.  We don’t need to lie in order to protect our reputation, or our good name.  If we have a history of godly behavior, then people will believe our actions long before they will believe lying rumors about us.  (And if they don’t, the problem is theirs; not ours.)

7 There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.

  1. Solomon has so much to say about a solid work ethic, and the blessings of wealth that come from it, but thankfully that’s not all he has to say about money.  There are some things that are better than wealth.  There are truly righteous people who live their lives in poverty.  They haven’t been lazy or foolish; they just haven’t experienced the wealth that has come to others.  Yet they are rich in other ways, because they value what is important to the Lord.  At the same time, there are others who are profoundly wealthy, yet totally wicked.  The poor man who is righteous in Christ has far more of value!  The person who has lost everything in order to follow Christ truly has gained the whole world.
  2. Other Bible translations imply a different idea here – that both people mentioned in vs. 7 are deceptive.  One pretends to be rich, to be honored by others even though he has nothing.  The other pretends to be poor, in order to avoid being generous.  This is a possible interpretation, but the literal Hebrew (even as noted in NASB) is that the 2nd man “impoverishes himself.”  It would seem that the 2nd man willingly lost everything in order to gain something far more valuable. (Just as we’re to leave everything for the sake of Christ.)

8 The ransom of a man’s life is his riches, But the poor does not hear rebuke.

  1. Riches don’t guarantee an easy life.  The wealthy person has a lot to lose, and thus he can be ransomed through his possessions.  The poor person has no such stress – as we often say, “You can’t get blood from a turnip.”

9 The light of the righteous rejoices, But the lamp of the wicked will be put out.

  1. Eternal blessing of the righteous.  The light rejoices because it is always burning; the candle of the wicked is extinguished.  Those who follow Christ will forever rejoice in His presence.

10 By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom.

  1. Again, wisdom listens to counsel.  To set ourselves up in pride will only bring strife and harm to ourselves.  To be sure, ignoring godly counsel is nothing but an exercise in pride.  It’s completely self-centered and prideful to think that we have nothing to learn from anyone else.  We need to humble ourselves to listen to the counsel that God intends to share with us through others within the church.

11 Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, But he who gathers by labor will increase.

  1. We are to work hard, and we are to work honestly.  There are people who gain wealth through dishonest means – perhaps by stealing at work, or cheating on their taxes, or other means.  Wickedness will always be exposed, if not here, then at the Judgment Seat of God.  That kind of wealth will not last.  But those who quietly and steadfastly labor as unto the Lord will be blessed.

12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

  1. We can wait & wait & wait & only get stressed out.  Yet there is joy upon finally receiving the promise.
  2. Sometimes the problem is that we place our hope in the wrong things.  Because those things never come or never deliver, we’re always left heartsick.  We’re hoping in the next promotion – or in the next man/woman – or in the false promises of false teachers.  In the process we become disillusioned, and get upset & even depressed.  When we’re hoping for things that will never come, it’s no wonder we get disappointed.  Instead, place your focus upon the God who delivers according to His word.  Put your hope in Christ, and wait upon Him!

13 He who despises the word will be destroyed, But he who fears the commandment will be rewarded. 14 The law of the wise is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.

  1. Stick to the word of God!  Those who turn away from the word of wisdom (the word of God) will find themselves in sure destruction.  God would save us from hurt – God would save us from death.  God’s word isn’t given to us to take away our fun; it’s given to us to protect us, and to draw us closer to God and His love.
  2. Be careful not to turn away and despise the word!  There are many Christians who have started off well, and then run aground in sin because they turned away from the Bible.  What God tells us in His word is bread to our souls – all of us (pastors included!) need it every single day, or we will quickly find ourselves in trouble.

15 Good understanding gains favor, But the way of the unfaithful is hard. 16 Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool lays open his folly.

  1. We often say we can learn the easy way or the hard way.  When we’re given knowledge, we should act upon it & gain favor.  Yet to be unfaithful with the knowledge with which we have been entrusted is foolishness.
  2. This goes hand-in-hand with paying close attention to the word of God.  When we read the Bible, we need to follow through with what it says.  We cannot simply nod our head, say “That sounds nice,” and then go on our way.  That’s not learning anything – that’s not truly gaining understanding.  Receive the teaching of God through the Bible, and then put it into practice!

17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble, But a faithful ambassador brings health.

  1. Beware dishonesty.  The precise commandment against lying is that “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Exo 20:16) To be a wicked messenger or a wicked ambassador is to wrongly represent someone – to bear false witness about what they said or who they are, etc.  That only brings trouble for us.  God abhors lying – all liars will have their place in the lake of fire (Rev 21:8).  We’re to be careful to tell the truth about others – even regarding those with whom we disagree.  Sometimes we justify our rumor-mongering under the guise of “But everyone needs to know.  And I heard it from someone who saw it on Facebook who read an article about it, etc.”  What’s being said about that person (even politicians) could well be false-witness.  We need to be careful about what we propagate.

18 Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, But he who regards a rebuke will be honored.

  1. Be humble enough to receive rebuke.  Once again, wisdom listens.  Solomon repeats himself to make the point!
  2. Isn’t it interesting that a king of Israel is the one to hammer this point home so often?  Wisdom listens to wise counsel and correction – even the king.  We think kings shouldn’t have to listen to anyone.  After all, they can do whatever they want.  That’s true, to a point – but they won’t stay king for long.  Kings that disregard wise counsel will lose their kingdoms.  This is exactly what Solomon’s son Rehoboam learned when he disregarded the wise advice of his father’s counselors.  If he had only listened and submitted himself to the Lord in the process, he might have held onto (or at least regained) the 10 northern tribes of Israel.

19 A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul, But it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil. 20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed. 21 Evil pursues sinners, But to the righteous, good shall be repaid.

  1. Those who follow the Lord will be rewarded.  As our wills are surrendered to the will of God, we will see the desires of our heart.  As we surround ourselves with friends who walk with God, we will be protected from the foolishness of sin.  As we seek out that which is good, we will find it.
  2. Follow God & His wisdom as shown through the word of God!  We ignore it to our own hurt.

22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

  1. The wise person looks ahead to the next generations.  It’s good to plan ahead and leave an inheritance to those who will follow.  Instead of leaving our children in debt, we ought to leave them with an inheritance.
  2. Beyond the issue of finances, what is the legacy and reputation you leave behind for your children and grandchildren?  Will people know your family as a godly home, or will they know it as a house of hypocrites?  Our children will many times be saddled with our reputation, for good or for bad.

23 Much food is in the fallow ground of the poor, And for lack of justice there is waste. 24 He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly. 25 The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul, But the stomach of the wicked shall be in want.

  1. Ends by talking about laziness again – specifically in two areas.  Vss. 23 & 25 in labor, and vs. 24 in parenting.
  2. Laziness in labor.  Solomon has often hit this point, showing that the wise person has a solid work ethic.  The lazy person goes hungry for his own fault.  He didn’t break up the good ground that God gave him, did not plant the seed and wasted the opportunities God gave to him.
  3. Laziness in parenting.  Neglecting to discipline our children is nothing short of laziness.  The parent who truly loves his/her child knows that it is necessary to discipline them from time to time.  Obviously not every child needs a literal rod/switch – but we need to find the method of discipline that works.  God loves us, and He does not hesitate to chastise us when necessary.  Neither should we do any differently with our own children.  It’s a sign of our love for them.

Conclusion:
Where do you need wisdom tonight?  Has your work ethic suffered as of late?  Have your words brought hurt or healing?  Have you ignored the counsel of godly people around you?  Have your thoughts and desires been on the things of God or the things of the world?  May God continue to discipline us, and shape us into the men & women He wants us to be!  May He continue to give us hearts of wisdom that seek after Christ and His glory!

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