Inheriting the Wind

He who brings trouble on his family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise. Proverbs 11:29

One would think that shooting yourself in the foot would be something that most people would be against, but time after time, we see it in families and friends. Someone in the family will have self-destructive behavior that affects the entire family. Alcohol abuse comes to mind. Violent anger is another.

Almost without fail, you probably know someone in either of those two abusive situations. Pray for them. Pray for their families. And pray that the person who is abusive.

We All Fall Down

Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. Proverbs 11:28

Does the West trust its wealth to pull it through hard times such as a depression? Between that and its military might, the nation is indestructible…or so it seems.

In times past, when Israel had this same mindset, they were cut down to size.

If you live in the West, pray against the often subtle arrogance and conceit that people can have because they are powerful. Pray that the nations will humble themselves before God humbles them.

Giver or Hoarder?

People curse the man who hoards grain, but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell. Proverbs 11:26

Are you a giver or a hoarder? Sure you can be both but typically you fall into one or the other category. Interestingly enough, today people resent the wealthy often because they have so much when others have so little. Some might even put those wealthy people into the category of hoarder which isn’t totally fair. It’s not what you have that is of concern, but what you do with what you have.

Similarly, those who have the means to begin doing business with others are “spreading the wealth” in their own way. Yes, they hope to make even more from it, but they also know that hoarding all that money can have catastrophic consequences. They understand the principle of blessing others through their own business.

Look at ways of blessing others in your own interactions. Don’t hoard blessings of encouragement or talent.

Pollyanna or Eeyore?

He who seeks good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it. Proverbs 11:27

It’s the age-old question: are you a Pollyanna or an Eeyore? A Pollyanna is someone who certainly sees the “glass half full” in every situation. Your outlook is great and the sun is shining always.

eyore, on the other hand, is a doubter and a “gloomy Gus.” He doubts everything he does in every way. He is not a positive person. His glass is half empty only because he doesn’t deserve so much in his glass.

The middleground is where the “realist” fits in. Gloomy when needed and full of vigor as the situations warrant it.

Interestingly enough, Pollyannas need Eeyores, and Eeyores need Pollyannas. Both categories of people think of themselves as realists, but few really are.

Much of it has to do with how we actually view the glass. Same glass. Different perspective. Is one right and one wrong? No, not necessarily. But it’s often difficult to look beyond our own pespective.

Searching for Goodwill

He who seeks good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it. Proverbs 11:27

Have you ever known anyone to search out evil? Many of us think the best of people and it’s difficult to imagine that there are people who actively seek to do evil.

Many of our Christian Brothers and Sisters in foreign lands see evil acts committed against them every day, and the world turns a blind eye towards it, often knowingly.

Pray for those undergoing this horrendous treatment. Pray that world leaders will open their eyes to the atrocities that are occurring right under their noses. And pray that those leaders who are perpetrating those acts are brought to swift justice.

Refreshed

A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25

Have you truly encouraged someone lately? Have you thought out something wonderful to say about someone and then tell it to that person? Mark Twain said he could go for 3 months on a good compliment.Today’s your day to encourage someone. Make it great!

Then watch as your own soul becomes refreshed.

But be careful, it could be habit-forming!

It’s All There

One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. Proverbs 11:24

As the years pass, we realize more and more that our time becomes much more valuable than riches. When you give of your time to help someone, you are investing something that is in very short and limited supply. What do you get in return for that investment? Sometimes nothing, but often you get the memories and experiences that your money could never buy. Obviously our motivation for investing in others isn’t a reward, though it does happen occasionally.

The concept of giving freely of yourselves is scattered throughout Scripture: from the widow to the poor to the “alien” to the fatherless.

It’s all there.

Freely Give

One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. Proverbs 11:24

In our Christian walks, we experience various stages of generosity. For some, giving freely has never been an issue. For others, like me, giving freely has been a worthwhile and sometimes painful learning experience. I had to learn how to give freely, and as the New Testament translates it, hilariously.

And still there are times that are more difficult than others. Surprisingly, it’s liberating when it’s done with the right motives and not out of guilt. Most of what we do is better that way.

Now what?

The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked only in wrath. Proverbs 11:23

What do you desire as a Believer? I know it’s a very open-ended question but it’s relevant.

I’ll assume that I’m writing to Believers who know their eternal destiny.

Now what?

  • Do we desire to live holy and Godly lives?
  • Do we desire that many hundreds or thousands of others come to Christ as a result of something we say or do?
  • Do we desire to “know Christ and to make Him known?”
  • Do we desire to draw close to God regularly?

If you said yes to any of the above, what exactly are you doing to fulfill it?