Saturday, July 30, 2016

Wisdom for All Things, Even Eating

Proverbs 25:16
"If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it."

I have found that the Bible contains in it wisdom for life: spiritual life as well as physical life. The book of Proverbs has been speaking to me in ways that I never expected, and today I came across this one at the top of the page. Further on in chapter 25 in verse 27 I read another warning about the same thing, “It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.” As I have been assessing my life by reading through the book of Proverbs, I have come to observe that in my own life I make the same mistake over and over again. Gluttony is a sin that Proverbs 23:21 says “will come to poverty.” Recently I was craving something sweet because I hadn’t dessert in a long time. I was becoming unhappy with the wonderful, healthy meals I have been receiving three times a day of which I did not have to make or clean up. This unhappiness was the same problem Israel was having when God was feeding them manna in the desert but they were craving meat.

The other day I had the opportunity to eat cake. I did not hold myself back at all. Of course, I had my fill and felt sick afterwards. I learned my lesson. When the Bible makes a warning and I choose not to observe it, there is no question that I will reap the consequences. This goes for simple things such as eating too much of a sweet thing as well as the eternal consequences of rejecting Jesus Christ. I learned that there are consequences for eating more than enough, but it warned me of much greater consequences too.

Application: Pray and seek the Lord for discipline when it comes to eating that He would remind me that I reap the consequences of my own actions next time I get a chance to eat a dessert, and also that He would keep me from going down those roads that lead to destruction in any form and instead lead me in the ways of wisdom.

Having a Good Name

Proverbs 22:1
“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.”

What does it mean to have a good name? It is having a good reputation, being someone who is known for conducting himself well, who isn’t deceptive, who is well liked, who has integrity, and good character. It also means they walk in the light and are open with others. A man who has a good name is a man who people trust. God’s word says that a good name is to be chosen rather than great riches. Many people are willing to compromise if it means hanging on to or gaining more wealth. When it comes to a point where character is on the line in order to gain wealth, a good name can be acquired or lost.

Keeping a good name must be more important than getting ahead financially if a man is to have a good reputation. Even if no one sees me compromise, God still sees me and is the One who watches over my life. It is often what is done in secret that comes out in public somewhere down the line. The man who fears the Lord will not go down that slippery slope that always begins with a small compromise. When the love of money ensnares a man, there is telling of the extent to which he will go to hang onto that money of which he so cherishes. I no doubt have been in places where I had the choice to justify my convictions to increase my money. The presence of the Lord is too precious of a thing to risk than achieving my financial goals, but I must remain vigilant and zealous for the fear of the Lord because I can very easily fall into the bondage of the illusion of money. Let alone my reputation, God is jealous for me and wants my heart. He doesn’t want riches to have power over my heart. The Lord will give a good name to the one who choses Him rather than riches.

The fruit of having a good reputation is favor. Doors open up to good character. How often in life do I get judged on my past reputation? Thankfully I am still young and have not had my character on the line. Neither have I developed a solid reputation that people expect of me yet. Now more than ever is the best time to take my character more seriously. I never want to find myself in a position so far away from God that I make a compromise and my whole integrity gets shattered. I know I am only one mistake away from losing a good name. Putting up boundaries for myself could keep me far from crossing that line of no return.

Application: I have recognized a need for boundaries in my life. One line I have been close to crossing is in my speech. When I get wound up in a situation and lose thought of others, it’s easy to make a comment that I wish I could take back. After making the comment I don’t take ownership of it. I have let a habit of complaining and antagonistic speech enter my heart and am recognizing a need to repent of it and ask the Lord to begin working in that area of my life. It has the potential to give me a rotten reputation that the Lord hates and I certainly don’t want to be known for. How can I put this into application? Pray and ask the Lord that He would forgive me and begin to work and give me revelation in this area of my life. Also, I will seek counsel from wise teachers.