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Tag Archives: Proverbs

  • Power Creates Pretense

    Posted on April 12, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “Many curry favor with a ruler, and everyone is the friend of a man who gives gifts.” Proverbs 19:6

     

    Do you act differently when you are in the presence of power? Are you able to be yourself and not become pretentious because of someone’s position? Leaders need people around them who will tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. If you are intimidated or awestruck by wealth and stature,  you will tend not to tell the truth for fear of rejection or punishment. Bold believers bow down to no one but the Lord God.

     

    Fake followers of Jesus are in it for what others can do for them. Faith is replaced with favors. Receiving is valued over giving; self-service is sought  over sacrifice. Casual Christianity is an affront to Almighty God, because it creates an inauthentic culture. If there is no confrontation or hard discussion, then life is being lived in a bubble of denial and disillusionment. Someone needs to speak up and be real.

     

    Leaders can preclude pretense by deflecting any air of superiority. Your transparency over loss and disappointment gives the team permission to express their anxieties. Take  time to confess your struggles and inability to trust Christ at times. People in positions of influence have an obligation to invite honest evaluation. When was the last time you asked your family or team how you can serve them? What disappoints them?

     

    Lastly, are you willing to lose a friend for the sake of being real? Genuine grace-filled followers of God are like gold. They are valuable, and wise leaders seek to retain them for their honesty and no-nonsense counsel. Do I have secure people around me who will tell me the truth? Do I honor honesty and appreciate authenticity? Loyalty longs to be around a friend who only seeks favor from the Lord Jesus Christ.

     

    “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father help me to stay true to You and myself in the presence of power.

    Related Readings: 1 Kings 14:6; Jeremiah 3:10; Philippians 2:20; 1 Peter 1:7

     

    Post/Tweet today: We need people around us who will tell us what we need to hear, not what we want to hear. #accountability

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

     

  • Building Your Child's Faith

    Posted on April 12, 2013 by Wendy Blight

    Wendy

    "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6 (NIV 1984)

    As we stood in the parking lot outside my daughter's dorm, waves of grief washed over me. Lauren hugged her daddy and then her brother. Finally, I held her for what seemed an eternity ... no words, just tears.

    When we began the drive home, I prayed for her, just as I had every day for the last 18 years. I knew it was time for the next phase of God's plan for her life. But the ache in my heart was deep.

    As time passed, I learned to accept, and even embrace, our new normal. I enjoyed the extra time I got to spend with my husband and son.

    But I couldn't get used to not encouraging Lauren in her faith face-to-face. We sent her to college with a Bible and a devotional book. But when she lived at home, we did these activities together. In the mornings, we read a devotion and I prayed with her most every day, from the time she was born till the day she packed her bags to move out.

    Questions filled my mind. Without me, who would do this for her? Would she do it on her own? What if she turned away from her faith we'd been building for so long?

    My questions prompted me to pray very specifically. I prayed for Lauren to make her faith her own, as I'd been training her to do all these years. I asked the Lord to work in her life in very real and personal ways, just like the times I'd pointed out for her to notice in her childhood. I prayed for His Spirit to stir her heart to read her devotional book each day, and I pleaded with Him to meet her in the pages of His Word.

    God answered my prayers in a way only He can do. Lauren had been studying for her economics exam for days. She was worried she would fail because she'd been struggling with some of the concepts. My daughter texted me and a few good friends to pray. I wrote her back my prayer and a verse the Lord laid on my heart, Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths" (ESV). As it was sending, I prayed for Him to use this verse to encourage her and give her confidence as she walked into her exam.

    I woke up the next morning to find this text from my girl:

    "I opened my devotional and today's truth was Proverbs 3:5, exactly the verse you gave me!! ENCOURAGEMENT."

    God taught me such a powerful lesson that morning. My role as a parent is to pray for and with my children and to model, to the best of my ability, what it means to be a godly woman. I was not perfect and often missed the mark. But when we do those two things, God fills in the rest. I only have them at home to teach, guide and train in God's Word for a short 18 years. But they are His for all their lives.

    God showed me through a few minutes of texting that Lauren's faith was still building. On her own, she asked for prayer (which meant she too was praying), and she was reading her devotional book with no prompting from home.

    If you have kids at home, pray for them, read God's Word with them and rest in knowing God is with them. You are building a firm foundation. You are paving a pathway that will lead them in the direction they should go.

    Dear Lord, help me to train my children in the way they should go. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit, lead me as I lead them. Draw each of us closer to You as we walk together in faith. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    Read Lamentations 2:19. Prayerfully ask the Lord how you can pray for the children in your life.

    If you are a parent or grandparent, pray specifically for one of your children. Ask God for wisdom to guide you on how to pray and share with that child you are praying for him or her.

    Power Verse:
    Lamentations 2:19a, "Rise up during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children." (NLT)

    © 2013 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


  • The Right Words

    Posted on April 8, 2013 by Amy Carroll

    Amy

    "Like apples of gold in settings of silver Is a word spoken in right circumstances." Proverbs 25:11 (NASB)

    Church receptionists are powerful people. Just think about it. If your church's receptionist is a godly woman, the congregation, visitors and callers benefit from her kindness, wisdom and patience.

    But if she gossips ... gracious! Think how a lack of discernment, wicked words and malicious intent can spread. One person in a powerful position can poison the entire church.

    Mona, the receptionist at my church, always used her position for good. Situated at a desk at the entrance of the main office, she greeted every person walking through the door and answered each phone call personally. Mona was known not only as a wonderful receptionist, but as a godly woman.

    When I was a young woman in a leadership position, I was advised to seek out Mona as a mentor. It wasn't long until the tapestried bench in front of her desk became one of my favorite spots. I poured out my heart for the women of our church, and Mona joined me both to pray and to recruit the older women. I approached her with problems, and she helped me find wise solutions. I cried when my feelings were hurt and she urged me, "Beloved, run to Jesus!"

    I learned so many important lessons sitting on the bench in our church's office, but the most important one was modeled rather than taught aloud.

    I've always lamented that if we were given the life verse most fitting our untransformed self, mine would be Proverbs 10:19a, "Too much talk leads to sin" ... tattooed on my forehead. Mona taught me (a woman who struggles with an abundance of words) to be wise and discerning with words.

    Mona modeled discretion when my careless words abounded.

    I talked and talked, but watched as Mona listened carefully to everyone.

    Mona prayerfully paused before speaking, while I spoke without thinking.

    I voiced my own thoughts but responded in awe as Mona often spoke directly from God's Word.

    As time went by, I prayed and worked to emulate my mentor. Although I still wrestled with overusing words, I became much more sensitive to their power. I tried to follow Mona's godly example by using words carefully, stopping the constant flow of chatter and re-directing potentially negative conversation to be God-honoring.

    Several years passed, and I thought about Mona's life-changing influence as I packed for a move. Before I left for our new town, I wanted to find a gift to thank her for all the hours she had poured into me. I looked and looked for the perfect memento, until suddenly my eyes lit on a metallic, silver and gold apple pendant.

    Immediately, I thought of the verse which often came to mind when thinking of Mona, "Like apples of gold in settings of silver Is a word spoken in right circumstances" (Proverbs 25:11 NASB). Wise words are valuable and precious, lovely and uncommon. I purchased the pendant, wrapped it carefully and took it to the church.

    As I gave Mona her gift, my eyes welled while thanking her. Without even knowing, she had taught me the priceless lesson of the beauty of well-chosen words. I pray I am doing the same for others in my life.

    Dear Lord, refine my words until they become lovely, pleasing to You, and uplifting to the people around me. Please help me stop words in mid-breath that dishonor You and tear down others. This transformation isn't easy, so I plead for Your power at work in me to change me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Unglued Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst

    NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women includes devotions by Proverbs 31 Ministries authors who are learning, alongside you, how to make our words lovely and God-honoring!

    Reflect and Respond:
    How are you doing with words? Make a point to listen to yourself today.

    Thank a friend who is wise with her words and start to take note and learn from her.

    Power Verses:
    Proverbs 10:19-20, "Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value." (NIV)

    James 3:2, "We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Leadership and Friendship

    Posted on April 7, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Proverbs 27:6 (KJV)

     

    Lead first and be a friend second, for an effective and efficient enterprise understands that leadership trumps friendship. As the old saying goes, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” Wise and intentional leadership is necessary for the health of the organization;leadership is watered down when friendships dictate strategic direction. Friendships should forge the team but not unduly dilute excellent outcomes based on courageous leadership decisions. If a leader is preoccupied with what a friend may think or do, then he risks diminishing his decision for the sake of sparing someone’s feelings. Politics are not the plumb line. The values and principles of the organization are the standards by which leadership decisions are made.

     

    Friendship can become a fruit of wise leadership but it is not meant to drive wise leadership. Indeed, loyalty to friends is an important and valued attribute of an effective leader. But do not allow loyalty to cloud your rationale of what’s best for the team. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for the team and your friend is to either fire him or reassign him. Be sure your leadership is grounded in principle so your friendships will not get in the way of doing what’s right. Let a friend know up front how much you value him, but not to the detriment of what’s best for the business or ministry.

     

    Friends can be the hardest or the easiest to lead. It all depends on your and their expectations. Does your friend perceive you as a partner or a boss? Is your perception of your friend one of high value or just one of expedience that gets results? Lead first in humility, courage, and clarity. Let your friends know up front what you value as a leader and how they fit into the big picture of organizational success. Constantly ask, “What’s best for the team?” instead of “What does my friend want?” You lead first by defining the role of friendship on the team, and you keep leadership a priority by not playing favorites. This promotes teamwork and defuses jealousy.

     

    Lastly, wise leaders make hard decisions, even when it adversely affects a friend. This protects the integrity of the organization. Paul felt this tension when he decided that his friend, John Mark was not mature enough for the responsibility of a mission trip: “Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work” (Acts 15:37-38). Balancing leadership and friendship isn’t always easy.

     

    Post/Tweet: Be sure your leadership is grounded in principle so your friendships will not get in the way of doing what’s right. #leadingfriends

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Pursue Righteousness

    Posted on April 1, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    The Lord detests the way of the wicked but he loves those who pursue righteousness. Proverbs 15:9

    What does it mean to pursue righteousness? We pursue happiness. We pursue financial security. We pursue a husband or wife for marriage, but what is the pursuit of righteousness? It is a standard of behavior that is morally right or justifiable as God defines right. We pursue righteousness when we determine to understand what the Scripture outlines as right, integrating it into our behavior. It is intentional living.

    The pursuit of righteousness begins with the pursuit of God, for He is the Righteous One. He detests the way of the wicked but loves those who pursue righteousness. He loves those who pursue Him for righteousness sake. So we seek Him because we need Him to transform us into the likeness of His Son Jesus. We become what we pursue.

    “The Righteous One takes note of the house of the wicked and brings the wicked to ruin” (Proverbs 21:12).

    It is the path of the righteous He makes smooth, not without bumps along the way, but with clear direction for living. Perhaps you ask, “How do I know God’s will for school, marriage, or work?” Pursue righteousness, and He will direct your steps. Do not worry and fret over step fourteen; instead, by faith focus on the next step. “The path of the righteous is level; O upright One, you make the way of the righteous smooth” (Isaiah 26:7).

    Without your Lord and Savior Jesus, your “righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). Indeed, it is not what you do for Jesus, but the work of His Spirit in and through you, to produce the fruit of righteousness. Remain in Him, and He will make you righteous—not holier-than-thou, but humble and loving. Your pursuits are what you become; thus, wise are you and loved by the Lord when you pursue righteousness.

    “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4 nkjv).

    Prayer: Am I pursuing righteousness by abiding in Christ?

    Related Readings: 1 Chronicles 29:17; Psalm 1:6; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22

    Post/Tweet today: Our pursuits are what we become; thus, wise are we when we pursue righteousness. #pursuits

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry
    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Escaping the Rut of Want

    Posted on March 28, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa

    "Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans." Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)

    Fourteen years ago I was stuck in a rut of want. There was an opportunity that looked so promising. A publisher expressed genuine interest in my writing. It seemed to be right. It felt right. I wanted it to be right. It must be right!

    But it never came to pass.

    In my most mature moments I reasoned, "It wasn't meant to be. I trust God and believe in His perfect plans."

    In my not-so-mature moments I wondered, "God, this isn't fair. Why do You keep saying no?"

    And in my immature moments I whined, "God, do You care this hurts me?"

    Have you ever been there?

    Ruts of want are tough places to be stuck.

    When God says no, we are sometimes tempted to wonder if He loves us. In reality, it's because He loves us, He sometimes says no.

    Read that last sentence again and rub it into your heart. The hurting part. The part that throbs and aches when you see others getting the exact opportunity you want. You fake a smile to hide the pain.

    God brought this change of perspective to me through a baking disaster that happened to my youngest daughter Brooke. She came to me at 9 o'clock one night and asked if she and her friend could bake a cake.

    Hope, Brooke's older sister, had offered to help and I was too tired to argue the incessant pleas of a nine-year-old.

    So, the girls began to bake.

    Brooke measured and poured, whipped and stirred, and carefully placed a batter-filled cake pan into the oven. Then she turned on the oven light and watched the cake bake. Her cake became her whole focus. She couldn't stop looking at the cake and grew increasingly impatient with the slow-passing minutes on the timer.

    Nothing kills patience like solely focusing on the object of your desire. And tragically, impatience becomes the breeding ground for compromise.

    About 30 minutes into the 45-minute baking time, the cake looked done. It smelled done. Brooke and her friend wanted it to be done. She reasoned it must be done!

    Hope helped retrieve the cake and placed it on the counter to cool.

    And it wasn't long until the cake imploded.

    The cake couldn't withstand the pressure of an undone center ... and neither can we.

    If we obsess over the cake and make it our whole focus, character atrophies. If we make growing in godliness our obsession and keep our focus on God, our character matures. And a mature character makes for a solid and well-done center.

    I thank God every day for every "no" He has graciously allowed and continues to allow in my life. Our key verse Proverbs 16:3 teaches, "Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans." Through placing my focus on God, I have embraced His plans for me, and I trust that a "no" from Him is really a blessing.

    I used to pray, "God, let me, let me, let me!"

    I now pray, "God, please never let my success outgrow the character necessary to handle it."

    Indeed, it's because God loves us, He sometimes says no.

    Dear Lord, although I don't always understand, thank You for saying "no." I know that You do so as a measure of protection for me. Help me to embrace Your best for my life, Father. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Is there a young woman in your life who is striving for God to be the center of her focus? Lysa TerKeurst's new book What Happens When Young Women Say Yes to God, co-written with her teenage daughter Hope, would make a wonderful gift! Click here to purchase your copy.

    Sometimes a "no" from God can make us feel like we'll unravel. For help in navigating these emotions, check out Lysa's book Unglued by clicking here.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What "no" have you thanked God for lately?

    Soak in the truths of our key verse and power verses. Then, think about instances in the past where a "no" from God has really been a blessing in disguise. Use these tools in an area of your life that needs reminding of His faithfulness now.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 31:14-15a, "But I trust in you, LORD; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in your hands." (NIV)

    Proverbs 16:9, "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • A Gentle Answer

    Posted on March 24, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

     

    A gentle answer is not easy to come by in stressful situations. Financial pressures tend to push buttons that arouse my flesh, and in my own strength I say things I later regret. It is hard not to be harsh when the weight of the world weighs us down or when we feel misunderstood or under appreciated. Indeed, this is when the gentleness of Jesus can replace our juvenile gestures. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29).

     

    Harshness seems to hibernate in a heavy heart, awakening when it feels violated or disturbed. However, by God’s grace, a soft reply allows reason to run its course rather than passionate words that provoke insult. Emotion is kept in check by calm communication that promotes peace and understanding. Consider reaching out patiently.

     

    “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up” (Proverbs 12:25).

     

    If you find yourself in a heated argument, take a deep breath and pray together. It is hard to remain angry when you are on your knees confessing sin and sorrow to your Savior Jesus. Take the lead to apologize and ask forgiveness. Humility disarms explosive conversations and brings back the calm of Christ. Remind each other of Jesus’ words, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).

     

    Lastly, a gentle word from God lowers your blood pressure and gives you a peaceful perspective. Listen to the Lord before you lash out, and His Spirit will restrain you from stupid stunts. The work of the Holy Spirit in your heart moves you from harshness to holiness. Pray, “Lord, forgive me and fill me.” It is the fullness of the Spirit that frees you from the foul flesh. As a Spirit-filled believer, you smell sweet to your Savior Jesus and all who love Him.

     

    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23).

     

    Prayer: Lord, my heart desires a daily surrender and refreshing of Your life-giving Spirit.

     

    Related Readings: 1 Kings 9:11–13; Proverbs 25:15; Matthew 12:36–37; Colossians 3:12

     

    Post/Tweet: The Spirit’s fullness frees you from the foul flesh and you smell sweet to your Savior Jesus. #Spiritfilled

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

     

  • A Nation Exalted

    Posted on March 17, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. Proverbs 14:34

     

    What makes a nation, any nation, great? Its goodness is what God blesses. Righteousness is the lever the Lord uses to lift up a nation as an example for other nations to follow. However, like people, a nation can fall from God’s grace. His blessing is removed when a haughty country shows no remorse for sin and even sanctions its use. A blessed nation will cease to be great when it forgets where it came from by jettisoning Jesus.

     

    It is when a nation is hurting that it needs healing most. The nation of Israel experienced this. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Have we drifted as a nation to not needing God? Has our sin found us out? Are we reaping what we have sown?

     

    “In that day you will say: ‘Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted’” (Isaiah 12:4).

     

    The good news is that an exalted nation does not have people sneaking out but instead sneaking in. Peoples of the world clamor to a country Christ has blessed. The best and the brightest are drawn like a moth to a light to live somewhere they can chase their dreams. It is out of its goodness that a nation becomes a magnet for mankind. Righteousness reposes in the heart of a great nation, supporting virtue and suppressing vice.

     

    Lastly, a crippled country can come back, but not without consequences. It starts with individuals repenting and taking responsibility for their actions. “How can I come clean with Christ?” “Have I been financially irresponsible?” “Has greed governed my giving?” “Has fear frozen my faith?” “Have comfort and ease become my idol?” The Lord exalts a nation that stays on its knees in dependence and awe of almighty God.

     

    “He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised” (Deuteronomy 26:19).

     

    God, what do I need to do in order for You to again trust our nation with greatness?

     

    Related Readings: Proverbs 11:11; Jeremiah 22:2–25; Matthew 12:21; Romans 16:25–27

     

    Post/Tweet: Righteousness is the lever the Lord uses to lift up a nation as an example for other nations to follow. #righteousness

  • Window of Opportunity

    Posted on March 10, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “Since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you.” Proverbs 1:25–26

     

    Windows of opportunity are finite, and before long they are gone. It may be a pending deal at work that requires you to negotiate; so do not allow greed to abort a closing. You may have a brief time to woo your woman back into a healthy home, but it requires humility and forgiveness from you as a servant leader. Or this may be a season for you to sit at the feet of a seasoned servant of the Lord.

     

    His or her availability will soon pass, and you will be the one to whom others look for answers. God opens windows of opportunity for you to prayerfully move forward in faith. The Lord’s clear glass of possibilities allows you to view vistas of His faithfulness and grace that become companions on your next great adventure in following Jesus. Windows of faith are passages into God’s purpose for you.

     

    “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

     

    However, those who ridicule a relationship with Christ will look ridiculous to Him and His followers. Calamity crushes those without Christ and causes them to look foolish as they flail away without faith and hope. There is a time after death that the window to knowing God is shut. The last judgment is the Lord’s opportunity to ask, “What did you do with my Son Jesus?”

     

    At this point it is too late for a faithless life, that person has the misfortune of spending eternity in hell without God. This is why Christians labor in this life to love people to the Lord. Their window of faith will soon be shut, but in the meantime you can show them your Savior Jesus with your words and deeds. Pray for the relational windows around you to be open and won for Christ.

     

    “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30).

     

    Prayer: What current opportunities from the Lord do I need to immediately pursue by faith?

     

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 1:8; Judges 9:33; Luke 14:17; Acts 3:11

    Post/Tweet: An open door may be a passage into God’s purpose for you, so take one step of faith and see.  #faith

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Unpretentious Living

    Posted on March 2, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant than pretend to be somebody and have no food” (Proverbs 12:9).

     

    Unpretentious living is an invitation to down-to-earth interaction with others. Rest and relaxation attend to those who are true to themselves without acting like someone they are not. However, pretentious speech and behavior require extra energy to engage with their environment. Contentment is illusive and intimacy is an illusion. I become the most stressful when I feel I have to live up to something or be someone I am not.

     

    Moreover, when you are real, not fake, your friends feel the freedom to be the same. You give off energy instead of forever sucking it from others. In honesty I often ask myself, “Am I being myself, or am I trying to dress, talk, drive a certain car, or live in a high-status neighborhood that is motivated by a need to be somebody I am not?” Pretense is birthed out of pride, but humility is the fruit of unpretentious living.

     

    Jesus is clear, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11 nasb).  In Christ you are somebody. High or low net worth, small or large home, new or used car, prestigious university or common college, in Him you are somebody. You are somebody to your Savior Jesus.

     

    The Bible says, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Out of your simple faith and modesty, the Lord takes center stage of your life. Humility positions you to point people to heaven. Therefore, keep your life unencumbered so people can see your Savior shine forth. Ask yourself, “Whom am I trying to impress, people I really do not know or the Lover of my soul, Jesus?”

     

    The Bible says, “Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ” (Galatians 6:12).

     

    Prayer: How can I be more authentic and open with my spouse, children, and work associates?

     

    Related Readings: 1 Samuel 16:7; Proverbs 13:7; Romans 2:28; 1 Peter 3:3

     

    Post/Tweet: Pretense is birthed out of pride, but unpretentious living is the fruit of humility. #humility

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

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Who doesn't love free shipping!? At Family Christian, you can qualify TWO ways:

1. To your door (just $50 minimum)*

No coupon required! Simply add $50 worth of merchandise to your cart and select the "Free Shipping" option under "Shipping Method." Easy as pie.

* Valid on merchandise totaling $50 or more before taxes. Please keep in mind this is valid on domestic ground shipping to addresses within the U.S. only, not valid toward international delivery. Additional charges apply for express shipping. Terms subject to change without notice.

2. To your store (no minimum order required!)*

At checkout, select "Ship to your local Family Christian store" and enter your zip code to find our closest location. Not sure if there is a Family Christian nearby? Find your local store now.

* Valid on select merchandise only
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