Let It Go

He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. Proverbs 17:8

Even the best of friends argue and have disagreements occasionally. Harsh words can be said; feelings get hurt. Often the words spoken in anger at someone are what is bottled up all along. The solution, and we all know it, is to let things go.

Just Let It Go.

Is there someone you were once close to but need to forgive and make amends? Today would be a great time to check up with that person to see how they’re doing. Drop them an email. Give them a call. Life really is too short to let these things fester for weeks or months or even years. Ask God for the strength to get back in touch.

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Bribes and Favors

A bribe is a charm to the one who gives it; wherever he turns, he succeeds. Proverbs 17:8

If you turn to much of the developing world (or corrupt politicians in the Western world), you know that bribes are a part of the culture. Many view the fees paid as tips since the wages of the customs official or police officer are meager at best. Regardless of the moral rightness or wrongness of it, giving that bribe or tip opens doors.

When I lived in Mongolia I was stopped by the police because I had made an illegal turn. I didn’t know it was illegal and it wasn’t marked as such. I argued only briefly with the officer and asked my translator if he wanted a bribe to settle the issue. “Actually, I think he just wants an apology.” Sure enough, I apologized profusely for being such an ignorant foreigner, bowing a little and speaking as reverently as I could. The officer lectured us, then let us go. The bribe in this case was an apology over something I didn’t think I had done. No big deal. Swallow a little pride and be on my way. Had I been dogmatic about it, I might still be arguing the point with the policeman.

Pray for the families you know living in foreign lands. Pray they will have the wisdom to make the thousands of choices regarding government officials and life in general. Pray that “wherever they turn, they will succeed.”

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Arrogant Foolishness

Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool — how much worse lying lips to a ruler! Proverbs 17:6

There are fools and there are arrogant people. They are not always the same, but when they are one in the same, it would go well for us to just step back and observe. They will make foolish mistakes, though they might not be humble enough to admit them.

A classic example is someone who’s drunk and thinks he is superman. YouTube is full of videos of these people. Satan has blinded the minds of these people into thinking that losing control of your senses and inhibitions is such a wonderful feeling.

But lest we think that foolishness is reserved for those who drink and take drugs, we might want to step back and take a look at our own attitudes and speech. If we’re not careful, though, without even knowing it we can exhibit a smug attitude when speaking about spiritual things with others.

Pray that you will recognize it before you speak it.

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Grandchildren

Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. Proverbs 17:6

Many reading this are grandparents and need no elaboration on the first half of this verse. Suffice to say that you have a responsibility as grandparents to pray for those children as they will be facing many challenges in the days ahead. Those challenges are very different from those we faced growing up. Chances are good, however, that you already pray for them in that way.

Continue pleading to God on their behalf. Pray that they will seek His ways in the midst of so much cultural and moral confusion.

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Mocking the Poor

He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished. Proverbs 17:5

Not surprisingly, God has a lot to say about the poor and the disenfranchised. If you think about it, it’s actually troubling because we in the West have such a large middle class, that it’s easy to mock or poke fun at the poor (and the rich as well). Granted, not a lot of us have face to face interaction with those who are truly poor, but we do mock them in more subtle ways. For instance, have you ever said,

  • If they weren’t so lazy. . .
  • If they took two jobs. . .
  • If they just got out of the slums. . .

 

It all comes back to our attitude towards people in general, doesn’t it? If the tables were turned, how would you want to be treated? Would you want someone looking down their noses at you? If you were busting yourself to provide for your family, would you want to be criticized day in and day out?

Take time today to examine your attitude towards the poor. Pray that God will give you His eyes to see how He views them. Examine the Scriptures to see His attitude, then ask Him what He wants you to do to help them.

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