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Pulpit Editorial – Profit from Proverbs

The book of Proverbs is filled with wisdom. Obviously, that is why it is classified as Wisdom Literature when one reads about the various genre of Biblical literature. I have often asked counselees to read one chapter a day keeping a journal page marked for each chapter. I ask them to jot down in the journal one lesson that the Holy Spirit highlights from their reading each day from the chapter of the day. Each week when I review their week’s progress, I ask to see the journal. An entry may become one of the subjects for that day’s counseling session discussion as quite often the lesson they record relates to their counseling issue(s).

When dismissing these counselees from counseling, I will suggest that they continue this daily process for the succeeding year. I point out to them that after twelve months they will have twelve lesson for each chapter of Proverbs. “I think you will be amazed at the wisdom you will garner for effective living that will glorify God and improve the quality of your life,” is my final word to them.

One of the projects I assigned to myself sometime in the pass was this. Starting with chapter 14 and running through chapter 30 I placed a “M” in the margin of the text of my Bible beside each verse that provided a word of wisdom regarding the use of the mouth/tongue. In like manner, I put an “I” before each verse that gave a word of wisdom regarding the influence of people and their impact on my life. You might try this. I think you will be surprised at what you observe.

This week one day, I jotted down the following thoughts as I read and meditated upon Proverbs 26. Some interesting guidance emerged. Whether the writer had the following contrast in mind as he penned this set of proverbs, I cannot say. But here is the instruction the Holy Spirit prompted me to observe that morning. Six natural human tendencies and three defenses against these natural bents.

  1. Six tendencies to avoid
    1. Coddle not political favor 1-3
    2. Coddle not the goal of wealth 4-5
    3. Coddle not the favor of selfish people 6-8
    4. Coddle not profit from the less fortunate 10-11
    5. Coddle not rest from disciplining in child rearing 15-16
    6. Coddle not the attraction of vanity 17-21
  2. Three Defenses to employ
    1. Retrain your mouth 9
    2. Guard your heart 12
    3. Direct your heart 19

Perhaps this brief editorial will prompt you to invest fifteen to 20 minutes a day for the next thirty-one days to dip your mind into this pool of clear water from the Word and refresh your soul. I hope you will. If so, share the challenge with a family member, friend or co-worker. It may even be a good ingress to evangelism or a counseling opportunity.

Dr. Eyrich

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