October 15, 2017
Solomon answers the question, “Can we ever have too much of a good thing?” In short, his answer is, “Yes.” Instead, we should practice moderation, “eating only what we need.”
Our problem: We’re all born with a sin nature that the Bible calls the “flesh.” The flesh always wants more. It is never satisfied. God gave Adam and Eve every tree and every fruit in the garden, but one. Yet, they had to have the one. We are their children. We eat too much, drink too much, sleep too much, say too much… we desire too much, always to excess. We always want more.
Be warned. We have a self-inflicted sickness. It comes from the sin nature, which is the flesh. It has an insatiable appetite. It always drives us to excess. What we need is a new nature, one born from above. We need a new nature that is born again by the Holy Spirit, so that we have the spiritual fruit of self-control. Then, we will be able to enjoy the good things of life… in moderation, “eating only as much as we need.”
October 14, 2017
This proverb describes how to persuade “a ruler.” In modern leadership parlay, this principle is called, “leading up.” Some may think it impossible to lead a boss or supervisor. Yet, Solomon taught how to do just that.
Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs to give his son wisdom on how to live. It is filled with practical instruction. In this proverb, he taught the importance of “forbearance” and “gentleness” when it comes to leading those who have authority over us. “Forbearance” is the art of patient, self-restraint in offering advice. Solomon called this “long forbearance,” because it takes patience to gain influence as an advisor to your boss. “Gentleness” is the second attribute that Solomon prescribed. It is the art of making sure your supervisor feels no challenge, nor rebellion in you. Being gentle in your feedback, your influence grows as the leader’s trust in you grows.
True leadership is more about influence than position. You don’t have to have a title to have influence. You only need wisdom like Solomon’s, which is ours in Christ Jesus. And He would have us use this influence, in forbearance and gentleness, to lead others to hear the gospel and follow Him.
As the apostle Peter wrote, “Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). When we share the gospel, we lead up, not down.
October 11, 2016
Self-promotion often leads to being humbled, while humility leaves room for another to praise you. The world urges us to climb the ladder of success, but the Lord Jesus descended to greatness. He climbed down the ladder of love, leaving behind his robes of majesty and taking on the form of man and humbled himself to death, even death on a cross (Phil. 2:6-8). Therefore, God exalted Jesus to the highest place (Phil 2:9-11). Follow Jesus. Stop edifying yourself and edify others instead. Humble yourself and let God lift you up.
October 13, 2013
Words have power. A thoughtful and well chosen word is like a beautiful and expensive gift to the hearer. It has the power to hang about the neck and wrist of its recipient as a continual reminder of encouraging grace. We have the power in Jesus’ name to bless others with such words.
October 21, 2012
A city wall controls both the coming and going of people. Its gates protect from unwanted entry, as well as keeping safe those who should remain within. Self-control is like a wall. It closes the eye, ear, and mouth gates to harmful things. In like manner, it controls what comes out too. Self-control is the 9th attribute of the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22-23). Are your walls broken down? Or have they been rebuilt by God? Who guards your gates?
October 21, 2011
Anything can come in or out. There is no gate or filter for what this one allows in his mind, heart and body. There is no control for what he spews out either. But the Fruit of the Spirit is love… and self-control. Let the Spirit rebuild your walls and be the guard at your gates.
October 13, 2011
Words can be ugly and destructive or they can be so beautiful and encouraging that the hearer wants to wear them like jewelry. What kind of words do others hear from your mouth? Are they apt? Apt means not only appropriate but timely. Do you recognize the power of words?