Written by Jim Johnson
Right out the gate verses 1-7 reminds us about the posture we should approach our day to day walk in God’s presence and the key to doing it right. It reminds us of who holds the knowledge and wisdom. It then immediately calls us to examine and seek to remove unrighteous things from our spirit in order to be a useful vessel for what God would use us. Then it gives us the key to true success; humility & wisdom! We should always carry an attitude of a servant; just like Jesus did. Do not seek attention or position! This is our daily prep work! It might have something to do with placing ourselves under, not only God’s, but the authority of others.
Knowing that we will encounter others and knowing that we might find ourselves in difficult situations. We are provided with simple direct instructions on how to deal with others; not only when there’s a problem but how to avoid them in the first place.
If we paid attention to our prep work in verses 1-7 we should be adequately prepared to go directly to anyone that we might have a problem with! We don’t really know if there’s a problem until we actually approach the situation directly and honestly. When we take on Jesus’ (true wisdom) example we are going to approach everything better.
We are told to avoid court by first settling our differences privately; he wants to also spare us the embarrassment of being found wrong or guilty in a very open way. Do you think that there is a possibility of us being wrong about something?
Then there’s the gossip thing! I find it interesting that God started so early in the scriptures addressing this relationship killing virus! Our reputations depend on how we handle these situations. Proverbs is so good about not only telling us what not to do but then turning right around and telling us exactly what we should be doing or how we should be doing it. Words are powerful and we should be aware of the benefits of good and timely advice! It really truly is a beautiful thing when we encourage others.
God knows that some of us just don’t get it, right away! So he provides plenty of examples for those of us who need him to draw a picture!
The strength of gentle and timely words, don’t eat more than you need, don’t overstay your welcome, again with the gossip, don’t trust someone with a bad reputation, encourage others, love your enemy too and be blessed, spread the gospel, don’t give in to the pressure to be like the world, do not seek the glory of others, and lastly, exercise self-control; so that you won’t be vulnerable to the enemy and the attacks which will continue as long as we are part of this life on earth.
You might have noticed that I might have missed verse 24; I see the problem…
You see, it really is simple; just not easy! You can and should do all that you do for God, then others, and you will experience great joy, peace, and contentment! The order in which you process these things makes all the difference!
Lord help each of us be all that you created us to be according to your will and purpose!!!