Tag Archives: Proverbs

Don’t Jump to Conclusions

There’s an old story, as recalled by Max Lucado, about an elderly man in a small village who owned a valuable horse. It was a white horse, and it was worth much money. Many people tried to buy the horse, but the gentleman was not interested in parting with the horse. To him, the white stud was a close friend.

One morning the horse was missing. The stable was empty. The man’s neighbors mocked the man saying he should have sold the horse before it was stolen. How could someone so poor expect to secure a horse of such value. The man responded, “We don’t know the horse was stolen. All we know is the horse is not in the stable. I’m leaving it at that.”

A few days went by and the horse returned home. He was followed by twelve wild mares. The neighborhood rejoiced, telling the man he was given a fortune. The mares could be trained and sold for a great profit, but the man said, “We don’t know for sure. All we know is there are twelve mares here.”

The man’s son tried training the horses, but one of them threw him off. He broke both of his legs. The neighbors gathered around to grieve. The elderly man had no one else to help him, and now his son’s legs were injured. He would surely be desperate. “We don’t know for sure,” came the man’s response. “All we know is my son’s legs are injured.”

As the son’s legs healed, the country went to war, and all the young men had to leave the village to serve in the army. That is, except the son. He remained home because of his injuries. Again, the neighborhood returned to the old man. This time angry because their sons had to go to war and his did not. “We will never see our sons again,” they lamented. “You don’t know that,” replied the elderly man, “all you know is your sons went to war.”

He continued, “It is impossible to have a conversation with you. You always draw conclusions.”

In chapter 12, Job rebukes his friends for drawing a conclusion about his situation. They believe they know exactly why Job is going through this time of suffering, and they speak their minds without truly knowing the plan God has. Job’s friends draw conclusions like the old man’s neighbors. When someone else is going through a hard time, we may not fully know why they are having this experience in their life. Friends should always ask for wisdom before drawing conclusions about someone’s circumstances.

Proverbs 25:8 advises, “Don’t jump to conclusions—there may be
    a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.”

When you or one of your friends is going through a rough time, consider asking the Lord for wisdom to approach the situation in the best way.

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ASK THESE 5 QUESTIONS BEFORE SPEAKING

In the Peanuts Thanksgiving show, Peppermint Patty calls Charlie Brown to let him know she is coming over for Thanksgiving. “My parents said I could come over for Thanksgiving, Chuck. I will be over, Chuck. Wear something nice, Chuck.” She invites a few other people until there is a whole group of visitors going to Charlie Brown’s home for Thanksgiving dinner, but there is a problem. Charlie Brown was going to go to his grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving.

“I’ve tried to tell Peppermint Patty I’m not going to be home,” Charlie Brown says at one point in the show, “but I can’t get a word in. She talks all the time.”

Our words are powerful, and they are like toothpaste. Squeeze too much toothpaste out of the tube. Putting it back is almost impossible, and it makes a big mess in the process. Our words are the same way. We can’t put words back in our mouth, and when too many come out, it can make a big mess. To avoid the mess, Scripture suggests we choose our words carefully.

  • “Understand this my dear brothers and sisters,” James 1:19 encourages, “you must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”
  • According to Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”

Our words carry with them the power to direct our lives. Our words build up or tear down relationships. Words can build someone’s confidence or cause great heartache and discouragement. Our words, whether out of our mouth or via our keyboard, have tremendous power, which is why it is essential we choose our words carefully. Here are 5 questions we should ask before speaking.

  1. Are these words kind?
  2. Are my words beneficial to the recipient? As Christians, we are to build one another up with our words.
  3. Are my words necessary?
  4. Would I be embarrassed if I was quoted?
  5. Would I want someone to say this to me?

The average person can speak 100 to 130 words per minute and type 60 to 65 words per minute. We can quickly get words out and be on to the next one, but the impact our words have can last for a long time. In some cases, their impact can be felt for a lifetime. Being entrusted with something this powerful requires careful use. You and I should be slow to speak; choosing our words carefully is one of the ways we are recognized as being with Jesus.

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5 Tips for Building a Firm Foundation

Firm foundations survive storms.

There seems to be no shortage of storms in the world right now. Glance at the headlines, and you will soon discover storms coming at us from all directions. COVID19, personal safety being at risk, and the like are causing storms. While it may be a particularly stormy time, storms are nothing new to life.

Proverbs suggests we build our lives on a firm foundation to survive these storms. Solomon writes in 10:25, “When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the Godly have a lasting foundation.”

How do we build this foundation?

  • Develop a relationship with the Lord by spending time in the Bible.
  • Seek wisdom through prayer.
  • Search the Scriptures for answers to life’s questions.
  • Always strive to do what is right.

Building on this foundation is not easy, but it is worth the effort involved. Jesus tells a parable of two builders. The first builder did not take the time to dig through the sand to place his home on a rock foundation, while the second builder dug through the sand to rest his home on a rock foundation. A storm came, and flood waters rose. The first house was swept away, but the second house stood, unmoved by the tumultuous waters.

As we are weathering a stormy time, how firm is your foundation? Do you need to allow the Lord to add stability?

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