Today’s passage: Proverbs 27
- God is sovereign. He alone knows and is in control of the future. Our job is to rest in Him and do all for His glory. ( Matthew 6:33-34, James 4:13-17)
- The added benefit of resting in God’s sovereignty and being mindful of the limits of our responsibilities is less anxiety.
- When we know that our greatest friends and brothers and sisters in Christ are truly loving one another, and when we are humble and willing to learn and grow and build into each other, we will speak the truth in love…and receive the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16)
- Speaking the truth in love means speaking something that will bless and benefit the other if they hear it and receive it. We speak to encourage growth and we listen to grow to love the Lord and others better. Iron sharpens iron.
- The praise of man that we receive is not where we accumulate value or reward. Instead, it is a test. When gold and silver are burned/melted, the impurities are discovered and removed. When people praise us and tell us how wonderful they think we are, our impurities are discovered. When we are motivated to do things by the praise of man (People pleasing) their praise only brings that out of us all the more.
- Being motivated by love will allow us to delight for their benefit when they enjoy things and to still do what’s right even when they don’t.
Questions to consider:
- How could we compare/contrast verses 2 and 14? Who should be doing the praising? What should the purpose of praise be (For whose benefit)? When does praise turn into flattery? Why would praising ourselves have the same effect as flattery?
- How could verses 23-27 be applied to your workplace, your home, the church, etc.? Why do we sometimes wait until we hear that “squeaky wheel”? What might we need to do if it seems all we ever do is fix “squeaky wheels” because they are so plentiful?
- What proverbs stuck out the most to you? How can you put it into practice today?
Father, thank you for the relationships you have given us. I pray that we would look first to our relationship with You, brought about by the sacrifice of Christ! May we remain humbled as we consider the sacrifice and may we remain confident in our secure standing in Him so that we can love people selflessly. Lord, may the Gospel be central in our thinking as a church and in our families so that we might be ready to love one another and receive love, building into one another, praying for one another, receiving constructive criticism from one another when necessary. And Lord, I thank you for the growth and closeness and love and friendship that would be ours as we walk forward together in this way.