Heavenly Father, may Your truth shape my life today. Strengthen me to live each according to Your better way.
Consider: A quiet and wise person listens, speaks, judges and acts with discernment, fairness and patience.
Why do I sit here day after day, reading my Bible and pondering its sayings? Because my spirit needs nourishing and strengthening so that it does not fall flat in time of trial or tragedy (14). I thank God for friends who stick by me (24), for my spouse if I have one (22) and for the safest Friend of all, whose name I know (10).
Then I retrace my path through this chapter, especially noting the need for caution, carefulness and consideration in my words, assessments and actions. I need to be careful in listening (13), because things aren't always what they seem at first sight (17). Talking too soon, spraying the air with words (2), especially gossip (8), bring strife and shame, and the satisfaction they bring is often deadly (20-21). Verse 4 offers instead wise words, clear and candid, like a bubbling brook, the fruit of wise ears and a discerning heart (15). The world is a harsh place (23). A box of chocolates (but no more) may ease my way (16), but partiality and injustice are not good (5). The rich think their wealth will protect them (11). In a difficult situation am I willing to "cast lots" and trust the outcome to the Lord (18; cf., Prov. 16:33)?
As I cast my eyes back and forth across this chapter, a mosaic gradually emerges of a quiet and wise person who listens, speaks, judges and acts with discernment, fairness and patience. I pray that I may be such a person. Many people in the world live in fear of spirits who make life capricious, unpredictable and unsafe. They may be unnamed monsters in the forest or bad luck in business or the lottery. I thank God for his wonderful names.
Which proverb(s) speaks to you today and what is the theme: the use of words, the matter of friendship, putting your ultimate trust in wrong things, a bad attitude towards your work? What do you plan to do about it?
Lord Jesus, Savior of the world, I thank You for revealing Your name to me, a name to share with all whom I know.