Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 31st – Proverbs 31: Marrying Material

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” – Proverbs 31:30

I am SO glad that I chose wisely when pursuing my wife! Yes, she looked absolutely amazing when I first started pursuing her (and she still does!) but what really attracted me to her was her passion for Jesus. I first “noticed” Jessica in 1997; she was doing a dance in front of our church and worshiping God with all her heart. Even though she was a close personal friend of my sister and a friend of the family, we had never talked for more than 5 minutes. But that day as she worshiped Jesus with all her heart, I of course saw her physical beauty, but the real attraction was her passion for Jesus… and still is!

Charming women are a dime a dozen and thanks to the miracle of plastic surgery, beautiful women are not that hard to come by (especially in the south!) But young men, if you find a woman that truly fears God, she’s a true gem and you had better hold on to her like grim death! This proverb tells us what is a truly praiseworthy quality in a woman and again, it flies in the face of our sin-soaked and depraved culture. Our culture celebrates beauty and charm, when the Bible teaches us to celebrate a woman that fears God!

Charm, as this proverb says is deceptive and not to be trusted. I can honestly say that my wife did NOT have charm when we were first married. She was totally lacking in grace and tact and was as blunt and straight talking as they come! She’s learned to be more gracious, but I’m warning you, don’t cross her! Beauty, as the proverb says, is fleeting. The word for fleeting here is: transitory, empty, vain and unsatisfying. The bottom line is that you should never marry for beauty ONLY. Thank Jesus my wife has TONS of the stuff, but hey, Jesus loves me! The ONLY quality that truly deserves recognition and praise is the fear of the Lord.

Beauty and the fear of the Lord aren’t mutually exclusive, thank God!

I’m calling out my wife, Jessica Lawson & saying she is worthy of praise ya’ll!


Many men have chosen a wife based exclusively on looks, I call them: “Recently Divorced”.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March 30th – Proverbs 30: The Way of an Adulteress

"This is the way of an adulteress: She eats and wipes her mouth and says, 'I've done nothing wrong.' – Proverbs 30:20

Several years ago, I didn’t understand this proverb very well. Sure, I understood what the writer was trying to tell me; namely that the adulteress would claim innocence after clearly being in the wrong. But it wasn’t until I had several different encounters with women (& men) that committed adultery that I really began to understand what this proverb is all about.

Adultery, which is breaking covenant with your mate and with God, is an especially grievous sin. The covenant of marriage is simple, yet profound. When we get married, we covenant to our mate and to the Lord to be faithful in our emotions, in our heart and in our sexuality to ONE person until our death. Any violation of that covenant is adultery. I’ve watched people wrangle over details and specifics, claiming that ONLY full on sexual intercourse counts as adultery. WRONG. Falling in love with another person while still married is adultery. Playing tonsil hockey and making out with another person other than your mate while married is adultery. Let’s not kid ourselves, when you involve yourself with someone of the opposite sex while in covenant with your mate, you are in adultery!

Nevertheless, each time I have seen someone caught in adultery they have done precisely what this proverb declares, claim innocence. They may admit that they shouldn’t have done what they did, but there is ALWAYS a justification for their actions. Yes, they’ll admit that their actions weren’t ideal and not the best case scenario, but they are most certainly justified in their eyes. I’ve heard those caught in adultery say the same thing many times, “I’m sorry IT happened.” It’s like they were hit by a tornado or something, no personal responsibility, no admittance of guilt or claiming their share of the blame. More than once, I have watched the offending party actually become self-righteous, going on the offensive and try to rectify clearly lesser wrongs while ignoring their own massive failings!

It’s truly amazing, our ability to deceive ourselves. The Bible warns us to beware of sin’s deceitfulness:

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.” – Hebrews 3:13

Make no mistake about it, people don’t just “fall” into adultery. You have to work at it to get that jacked up. It takes effort. And somehow because of sin’s deceitfulness those caught in it can eat their fill and while still wiping their mouth say, “I did no wrong”.


Own your failure while it’s still small or you’ll find yourself claiming innocence while standing over the smoldering rubble of your once wonderful life.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March 29th – Proverbs 29: “Sudden” Destruction

“A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.” Proverbs 29:1

Call it the “Ryan’s Amplified” but this scripture could also read: “A man who is regularly corrected, chastised and rebuked who instead of softening becomes more dense and hardens his back will, faster than a blink of an eye and at an unexpected moment, be completely broken and torn asunder with absolutely no hope of healing, restoration or deliverance!”


Doesn’t sound like the greasy grace stuff you hear in some churches, does it? While obviously a warning to not be stiff necked, there is more to this proverb than meets the eye. I think it’s interesting that we are told the destruction of the stiff necked man will be “sudden”. After all, this stubborn, stiff necked man has already had “many” rebukes. So the destruction that arrives suddenly wasn’t totally unexpected, was it?

It reminds me of the story of the people of Israel in Egypt. Pharaoh was told MANY times by Moses to “Let my people go!” (Exodus 5:1) He was given MANY signs over many days of God’s power to make his life a miserable mess. He even agreed several times to let the people of God go, only to go back on his promise. (Exodus 8:15) This is telling us that “repentance” without action is meaningless. Another time he had conditions for their release that God did not accept. (Exodus 10:11) This is telling us that when God tells us to do something we must do it HIS way! Doing the right thing the wrong way is still wrong. Pharaoh got no points for obeying on his terms and neither do we.

The morning after the Passover, the Israelites awoke to the sound of weeping and wailing filling all of Egypt. The Lord came at midnight (Exodus 12:29) and wiped out all of Egypt’s firstborn males. Their destruction had come “suddenly” that evening.

But it wasn’t really suddenly, was it?


Treat every rebuke as if your life depended on heeding it. It just might.

Monday, March 28, 2011

March 28th – Proverbs 28: Finding Mercy

“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” – Proverbs 28:13

Another way you could translate this verse is: The person that covers and hides his sin and error will not experience a breakthrough and prosper. But the man that will be bold and speak out about his sins, forever forsaking and refusing to live in them will obtain compassion, love and mercy.

As Steve Thompson put it, we in the church have created a “Culture of Concealment”. As this proverb teaches us, concealment inhibits breakthrough. So many Christians want breakthrough, but on their own terms. They want breakthrough without humility. By confessing and recounting our sins, we humble ourselves, admitting our weakness and our need for mercy. This actually releases the grace of God in our lives, producing breakthrough!

Sorry proud Christian, you can’t have breakthrough without humility.

In the church, we need to be comfortable with confessing and renouncing sin. Right now, the modus operandi is to conceal and cover. Take online pornography for example. Studies have shown that nearly 50% of Christian men are ADDICTED to the stuff. We aren’t talking about seeing a random image from time to time; we’re talking about consistent, daily addiction to smut. But so few men are willing to be open and honest about their sin, insuring their continued bondage!

This has severely limited our impact in the earth as is frustrates the grace of God. The Lord is NOT intimidated with our sin; He died on the cross to pay for it! Likewise, the Lord’s people should not shrink back from sin, but confront it openly and honestly. How many ministers, ministries and marriages could have been saved if at the time of temptation, people felt like they could come clean and ask for help? The grace and love of God IS available to all who need it, but God can’t and won’t take what you don’t give Him. Give it up!


What you defend, you keep. What you uncover, you lose!

Friday, March 25, 2011

March 25th – Proverbs 25: A Broken Down City

“Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” – Proverbs 25:28

Another translation of this proverb goes like this:

“He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a broken down city without a wall.”

The basic premise is that self-control or the ability to rule one’s own spirit is what a wall is to a city. Without a wall, a city is indefensible. Without a wall, a city is ripe and ready for invasion. Without a wall, the inhabitants of the city have no security or hope to defend themselves. Without a wall, a city is doomed for destruction.

It’s interesting that self-control, one of the nine fruits of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22 is likened to a defensive weapon. Like the shield of faith listed in Ephesians 6:16, its purpose is to provide a defense against the attacks certain to come from the enemy. Without it, we have nothing with which to defend ourselves from the coming onslaught.

The ability to rule our own spirit is a direct result or fruit of the Holy Spirit. And if you have the Holy Ghost, God has given you this ability!

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23

I remember seeing a clip from the comedian Chris Rock. He was talking about men and their inability to combat temptation saying, “A Man is as faithful as his options!” His premise (and it is many times true) is that men have no self-control or ability to resist temptation, so if and when it comes, they fall. That’s the picture of a person without self-control or of a city without walls. Having no defense, a city without walls (or a person without self-control) is just sitting there waiting for an invasion, biding their time before being overthrown. That’s not the Christian life and that is no way to live.

Think about it: what areas do you lack self-control in? What areas are you like a broken down city without walls? What areas are ripe for invasion? Whatever they are, press into the Holy Ghost and working together with Him, rebuild your walls!


Dumb people wait to be overthrown. Wise people fortify their position.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

March 24th – Proverbs 24: RESCUE!

“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?” – Proverbs 24:11-12

The Bible is explicit in its instruction to those who have found the path of life. We’re not to selfishly enjoy our little party with Jesus keeping it only for us, our family and friends. We’re called to bring as many people to the river of life as possible during our time here on earth.

Many are, as this proverb states, “being led away to death” or “staggering towards slaughter”. They are being led to death by the raging rapids of this world with its perversion and lusts. They are tortured by spirits of torment, sickness and death. They are being led away to death by false teachers and false prophets that deny the most basic tenets of the faith, including eternal judgment and hell. They are being led away towards death by a secular humanism that has permeated our culture and even the church. They are staggering like a drunken man towards their own destruction. The pied piper is playing his fell tune and still asleep, they head towards certain damnation.

Most telling in the proverb is the uncovering of the classic excuse, “But we knew nothing about this!” Ignorance will be no excuse on the Day of Judgment, first for the person who has fallen into destruction and then secondly for the one who had the truth, but didn’t help his fellow man. Jesus’ idea of saving the world was to serve humanity with every breath, healing, delivering and teaching anyone and everyone that would listen. He then gave his life as a ransom for many, not so we could escape a similar fate, but rather to show us the way.

He then told us,

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13

Make no mistake about it, we WILL be judged (and rewarded) according to what we do here on the planet.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” – II Corinthians 5:10

I’ve made my decision. My family and I are giving ourselves to rescue as many people as possible from certain death and destruction, laying our lives down for our friends.


Be like Jesus, HELP OTHERS.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March 23rd – Proverbs 23: Don’t Envy Sinners

“Do not let your heart envy sinners, But live in the fear of the LORD always.” – Proverbs 23:17

In our culture of misplaced values and celebrity worship, it can be quite easy to find yourselves doing exactly what this proverb warns us against. We’re cautioned to never envy, be zealous for or jealous towards sinners, but instead fear the Lord. Christians fall to this terrible deception and envy sinners when they lose an eternal perspective.

This life is but a vapor and a shadow, a rest stop on the way to our eternal destination. When the TV programs and media coverage show us the “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” they display the wealth, the riches and the preferential treatment that these sinners “winners” receive, putting a spotlight on and highlighting only the temporal and material wealth they possess. But there is more to life than the stuff we possess.

Jesus said,

“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” – Matthew 16:26

Our values have to match the Lord’s values. We have to place a premium on that which is eternal and not only on temporary things. When we do this, we are given an amazing capacity to look past things that are temporary into the heart of the matter. Sinners can rack up quite a collection of wealth, material possessions, power and influence here on the planet, but the acid test of a life well lived is NOT “How much did you acquire?” but rather “Will you hear "Well Done" at the judgment seat?”

Living in the Fear of the Lord is living life in the light of eternity. When you do that, it’s hard to be jealous of the man that will have NOTHING to show for his opulent lifestyle here on earth in eternity.


Don’t envy someone that will spend eternity in the lapping flames of hell.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 22nd – Proverbs 22: The Hurt Rod

“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.” – Proverbs 22:15

I LOVE the Bible. It’s so practical and NOT Politically Correct. (While we’re talking about that, may I just say that political correctness is a DEMON!) The Word of God simply tells it like it is. No more, no less. The REALITY of the situation is that foolishness (folly, perversion) is held captive in the heart of little children. No one has to teach a child to be foolish. They are that way on their own. Anyone who believes in the inherent good of mankind has never had children. Pretty much before they can talk or barely even walk, they are capable of deception, lying and trickery. It’s absolutely amazing! With each of my kids I have watched in amazement as they naturally do foolish and unwise things that no one has taught them.

So kids are born that way; all of them. Deal with it. Move on. The antidote that the Word of God gives is simple, straightforward and to the point. Foolishness is in there and you have to beat them to make it come out! Not striking them in anger, but disciplining them in love. Not striking to hurt, but spanking to teach. Not randomly hitting them willy-nilly all over their bodies, but spanking them on the perfect little area God created for spankings, their butts! It’s like magic. Before the spanking they are angry, belligerent little devils, after the spanking they are humble little angels.

But these days it’s not very popular to spank or discipline your kids. Christian “leaders” call spanking “violence” and would encourage you to manipulate reason with your children to manage their behavior. But what they forget is that you might be able to coerce talk your children into doing the right thing, but until they are struck with that rod of discipline, the foolishness remains in their black little hearts. You have to forcibly eject the foolishness so the light of the Gospel can fill them.

If you don’t, you end up with what we have today; pretty people that are pretending to be Christians on the outside, but full of the devil on the inside.


Discipline is deliverance, not punishment.

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 21st – Proverbs 21: Why We Do Dumb Things

“Every man's way is right in his own eyes; But the LORD weighs the hearts.” - Proverbs 21:2

I used to really be perplexed and struggle over why people do such stupid things to wreck their lives. I would look for reason or logic that leads to such a bad decision. Then I read this Proverb and it all made sense.

People do things because they are convinced that it’s right… in their own eyes. This is why it’s unwise to only keep your own counsel and not seek out wisdom and advice from other people. That’s why we need to live our lives out in the open, not under a blanket, covered in darkness. We have an amazing capacity to deceive ourselves. Sometimes you need an outside source to hear your great plan, your “castle in the sky” only to shoot it down. Sometimes you NEED a little rain on your fell parade. We have this amazing ability to convince ourselves that the particular course we have chosen is correct, even when we know it’s wrong.

Being a pastor, I’ve had the opportunity to interview lots of people after they have made life altering bad choices. I’m talking about losing tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of dollars on unwise purchases, gambling or bad business deals, cheating on their spouses, driving drunk and getting busted, etc. So far, EVERY SINGLE ONE of the people I have talked to KNEW that their actions were wrong; they just BELIEVED that it would work out or somehow they were justified in their actions. They had convinced themselves that it would be OK, in the end.

But here’s the kicker: we are not our own judge, God is. He ultimately determines what is right. He has told us through His word and He’s shown us with His example when He walked the earth. He sees deeper than our actions and looks at the motive and intent of our hearts. You can snow people forever, but the Lord knows what is motivating you. We can try and avoid Him or we can face Him and own the mess that is in our hearts. When we do, He reveals to us the true intent behind our actions and turns our heart towards Him.


Every dumb thing you ever did, you did because you thought it was the right course and failed to get God’s opinion on the matter.

Friday, March 18, 2011

March 18th – Proverbs 18: Foul Air

“A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.” – Proverbs 18:2

Just in case there is any ambiguity to this verse (and there really isn’t), the literal translation of this scripture from the Hebrew goes a little something like this: “A foolish and unwise person is not inclined or predisposed to reason, discretion or understanding. Rather, the fool finds great joy in uncovering and exposing his thoughts, feelings and opinions.”


Wise people listen to and actually seek out understanding and wisdom. You can always spot a wise person; they are the ones asking questions. Only in asking a question can you get an answer. No one has ever learned anything by stating their opinion. Conversely, a foolish person leads every conversation by stating their opinion. They may try and appear like they are asking a question, but questions that lead with opinions aren’t really questions, are they? But this is where foolish people really get excited. They take GREAT delight in airing their opinions, thoughts and feelings. In their minds they are thinking that they want to help “people” by publishing their vast knowledge and wisdom. What they forget is that they brand themselves as fools by constantly revealing their thoughts, feelings and opinions.

Some time ago, I found myself in a lecture conversation with some VERY zealous young people. The conversation was far ranging and covered a wide range of important topics like marriage, evangelism and missions. The problem was that each topic began with an emphatic statement of their opinions concerning the issue discussed. Then, almost as an afterthought, they would look at others in the room and half-heartedly ask the question: “Isn’t that right?” In reality, most of their conclusions were completely insane. What they didn’t know is that I had personally experienced many of the things they were passionately theorizing about and could have really helped them avoid some major pitfalls. I had facts, experience and dare I say it, “wisdom” concerning the issues they were discussing. But they weren’t talking to understand, they were just taking turns sharing their opinions.

When they finally did get around to the "question", “What do you think?” I just smiled and nodded, keeping the answers they needed to myself. Why? You don’t throw pearls to pigs. (Matthew 7:6)


If you would take a breath while venting your foul air, you may discover that he answer to your problem is quietly sitting next to you on the couch.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

March 17th – Proverbs 17: Level Headed

“A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.” – Proverbs 17:27

The first thing that strikes me from this proverb is the statement that a man of knowledge will use words with restraint, or sparingly. Basically this is saying that people who talk LESS possess MORE knowledge. Holding your tongue and not necessarily saying everything you know is a sure sign that you possess knowledge and wisdom. The flip side is the fact that those who talk too much have less knowledge. Isn’t that funny? Many people try to impress you with their vast knowledge by TALKING your head off. But according to the Bible the way you prove you know nothing is to say EVERYTHING!

Secondly, this proverb tells us that possessing understanding has a direct effect on your temper. Flying off the handle and losing control of yourself is a sure sign that you LACK wisdom! Some angry people like to think that they are just high strung, Type-A go getters that sometimes lose their cool. Well, your friends or family may overlook it and your therapist may support your dysfunction to the tune of $300 an hour, but the BIBLE says that you simply lack wisdom. Wise people don’t lose their cool.

I am always aghast when I hear Christians claim character deficiencies as their personality. They OWN defects of their personality as if it what makes them. In fact, we should take our character defects and give them to the Lord, asking Him to change them. Being fearful, anxious or angry is NOT who God created you to be. It’s something that needs to be healed and corrected by the power of God!


People that know the most, say the least. Wisdom makes you reasonable.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 16th – Proverbs 16: What's Better Than Gold?

“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!” – Proverbs 16:16

When Solomon, David’s son became King, he had a powerful encounter with the Lord. (II Chronicles 1:7) The Lord God appeared to Solomon as he slept and asked him a simple question: “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon didn’t ask for great wealth. He didn’t ask for great power or the death of his many enemies. He asked for Wisdom. Why?

Solomon knew that wisdom and knowledge would cover every area of need in his vast Kingdom. He knew that when war needed to be waged against the enemy, wisdom would know what to do. He knew that if he was faced with a difficulty in ruling the people of God, wisdom would know what to do. God was pleased with Solomon’s answer. He was so pleased in fact that He gave Solomon everything he didn’t ask for! He had the wealth, he defeated the enemies and he had great power. The source of this power, wealth and victory was the wisdom from above.

Paul also prayed for wisdom:

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” – Ephesians 1:17

His prayer for the church was that through the spirit of wisdom and revelation we may know Him (the Lord) better! Surprise Sithole told us: “Wisdom is knowing the solution before the problem happens”.


Many want wealth, many more want knowledge, but we NEED wisdom.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March 15th – Proverbs 15: Lesson Learned Down the Barrel of an AK-47

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

I remember it like it was yesterday. We were in the Congo. The Pastor’s son we were with had just died and we were in the morgue to identify the body and pray for the baby to be raised from the dead. The morgue attendants let us see the body but quickly tried to usher us out before we could pray. The pastor would not be denied. One of the guys on our team stood with the pastor and let the attendants know that we would not be leaving without praying for the baby. Tensions ran high. The atmosphere escalated and neither party backed down.

Finally, the morgue attendants locked our team behind two iron gates. A couple of the security guards came running up yelling and brandishing AK-47’s, waving them in our faces. Through the gates both parties were arguing. Through an interpreter we discovered that they were holding us behind the Iron Gate so that they could call the authorities. Our interpreter overheard the call to the police. He looked at me and said, “This is not good. What we have done is unlawful. We will stand trial and spend 4 years in prison. They are telling the police that an angry mob has entered the morgue illegally and are causing a problem. The police are dispatching 30 men in riot gear to take care of us. They will come with guns and clubs, we will be beaten!”

My heart sank. I REALLY did not want to get beat up by an angry mob of Congolese police. More than that I didn’t want to rot away in a Congolese jail for 4 years, away from my wife and kids. I texted my wife in the US: “Under arrest, PRAY” Now, between the harsh words being spoken through the gate and the fear concerning our beating to come, emotions were boiling. I tried to center on the Lord and I simply asked the Holy Spirit, “What do we do?”

As soon as I asked, I heard the reply in my spirit: “A gentle answer turns away wrath...” I quickly instructed the men with our team, “A gentle answer turns away wrath… So calm down and be quiet! When the police get here they will find us as gentle as doves. Got it?!” It took a few minutes, but after taking a few deep breaths, the team relaxed.

When the police showed up, they came ready for a fight. Their faces were steeled for a confrontation. They came with guns and clubs, but when they jumped off the truck, what they saw was NOT what had been described on the phone. We were as gentle as doves, not raging like lions. After being interrogated (with a gun in our faces the whole time I might add) we were let go.


The Bible works. Read the entire story starting here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

March 14th – Proverbs 14: Harvest Is Messy!

“Where no cattle are, the stall is clean, but much gain is by the strength of the ox.” – Proverbs 14:4

I love the Bible. The Word of God is a straight shooting masterwork. This Proverb sets dead in its sights one of the failings of the church today and is telling us something so simple, yet so profound. Sure, when there are no oxen everything is neat and tidy. There is no mess in the stall, no poop to shovel and no stench of ox. But there is also no harvest. There is no produce from the field.

Sadly, many Christians would rather have a clean crib than a full grain house. This is especially true of leaders in the church to whom a “clean crib” is of utmost importance. Many pastors and leaders value a clean, tidy and predictable working environment more than they do fruit! They will gladly trade the glory of harvest to avoid a mess. Many churches more resemble a factory than a farm. The factory environment is sterile, the workers are given simple, monotonous tasks that they must perform time and time again and thanks to the assembly line, the finished product is the exact same, every single time.

But the farm is different. To see any produce you have to get dirty. You are working with smelly animals and every day is different. You cultivate the land, but God produces the harvest. We’re called to harvest, not cleanliness. So many high output Christians are discarded by the “Factory” churches today because they disrupt the status quo and make messes. Many leaders are looking for passive and docile sheep instead of powerful oxen. But I’ll take a messy but productive ox any day. I’ve determined to bear as much fruit as possible while here on earth so I have something to throw at his feet in eternity.

Don’t fear the mess, just start shoveling.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

March 12th – Proverbs 12 – It "Seems" Right!

“The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” – Proverbs 12:15

Everything a foolish person does “seems” right to them, that’s why they do it! Wise people understand that simply believing a course of action to be right, doesn’t make it right. Knowing this, they open themselves to other points of view and receive counsel for major decisions. More than that, when are presented with truth that challenges their opinions, they actually HEED the advice. This is a huge key to Wisdom.

Wise people start with the assumption that they have much to learn and don’t know everything. Foolish people assume that because they think it, it’s right. Wise people see the value of getting advice and understand that there is safety in the multitude of counsel. Foolish people run full steam ahead into every problem, KNOWING that their way is right. Even in the face of crushing personal defeat as a result of poor decisions, the fool rages against all sound judgment. (Pro. 19:3)

Wise people don’t start with the assumption that they are right. They understand that they may not be seeing the entire picture and TRUST those close to them to help them discern the right path. I am ALL ABOUT the priesthood of every believer and our ability to hear from God for ourselves. You shouldn’t have to go to your Pastor or friend to decide what to have for dinner or what to wear to work. But at the same time we need to realize that at best, we see in part:

“For we know in part and we prophesy in part,” – I Corinthians 13:9

We need the body of Christ! Foolish people see no value in sharing their lives with other believers and running things by (many times, older &) wiser people. Why? Because their way “seems” right to them… all the time! Only a great fool would assume that they know all, see all and understand all.

Find someone with lots of wrinkles and gray hair and HEED their advice!

Friday, March 11, 2011

March 11th – Proverbs 11: How to FAIL

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” – Proverbs 11:2

The scripture is clear that pride precedes disgrace. Basically, if you want to be humiliated and debased, allow pride to enter into your life. Disgraced people are proud people. Conversely, humility precedes wisdom. Wise people are humble people. Why? It takes humility to gain wisdom. In order to gain wisdom you must first recognize and acknowledge your lack or need and then secondly, you must seek out the solution to fill the lack. Proud people don’t do this.


Somehow, false teaching has convinced the body of Christ that anyone who is bold or confident is proud. This is not so! Pride has NOTHING to do with volume, personality or confidence. Proud people are confident in THEMSELVES. Wise people are confident in the LORD. Pride is all about self-reliance. Humility is all about dependence. Being confident in who God is and who you are in God is NOT pride. On the flip side, having your confidence rooted in your works or ability is the essence of pride.

The acid test of pride is disgrace and the acid test of humility is wisdom.

Several years ago I acquired a large account through my design business. We were hired to redo all the signage on a large hotel in Atlanta. The project was huge, dealing with factors I had never before encountered. When my Dad heard about the account, he strongly warned me about getting in over my head, encouraging me to either get help or give someone else the account. Arrogantly and with an eye towards the big payday for completing the account, I presumed I could handle it on my own.

Boy was I wrong! Before the nightmare project was over, I would lose several months of time, be threatened with lawsuits and lose my shirt to the tune of $12,000 on the disaster.


Wherever you find a disgraceful chapter in your life, you will find pride.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

March 10th – Proverbs 10: Walking Securely

“The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.” – Proverbs 10:9

Early on in my walk with the Lord I did my best to avoid sin for a variety of reasons.

#1 – Sin is bad and God hates it.

#2 – Guilt & Shame when I sinned.
#3 – Fear of getting caught.

These reasons were moderately effective for avoiding most kinds of wickedness, but sin still had an attraction and hold over me. I mean, why do you think most everyone lives in sin? It’s attractive and enjoyable. The only problem, as the proverb declares is YOU WILL BE FOUND OUT. No matter how well you attempt to hide, cover and disclose your wickedness, it will come out in the end.

Then I had a revelation that changed my life.

I remember having a stark realization that I truly enjoyed the lasting benefits of living in righteousness and holiness much more than the passing pleasures of sin. It was a simple, yet profound truth. The sense of peace and clarity I had when walking in integrity was MUCH more appealing to me than a lifestyle of deception and darkness. My head hitting the pillow with a clean conscience was invaluable.
No longer was I gritting my teeth, trying NOT to sin. I was authentically moved to do right for the pleasure it brought me. I call this grace based holiness. We walk in holiness for the superior pleasures of loving God, not only because it’s the puritanical right thing to do.

These days, I have found it incredibly effective to appeal to this desire when calling sinners out of their lifestyle of darkness. They can look into my eyes and see that I am at peace. There is power in a clean conscience. The security of my walk of integrity is attractive to a world filled with fear, anxiety and insecurity.


It’s ok to live righteously for the benefits, stop trying to be a hero.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March 9th – Proverbs 9: A Love/Hate Relationship

“Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.” – Proverbs 9:8

How you respond to correction, instruction and rebuke reveals what kind of person you actually are. If you love and cherish correction (and the people who bring it), you may be wise or at least on the road to being wise. If you detest correction (and the people who bring it) you are well on your way to being a mocker, if not a full blown idiot.

Getting mad and hating someone for bringing a rebuke in no way belittles them, it just reveals your (lack of) character. Oh, how I have heard mockers rage at the person that dared correct them! At least when someone corrects or adjusts you they are being truthful to the way they see things. Right, wrong or indifferent, they had the conviction to stand for something they believe. You on the other hand have no right to get bent when someone corrects or adjusts you. If they were wrong, analyze and move on. If they were right, analyze and adjust, it’s that simple!

I have long seen that wise people not only respond well to rebuke and correction, but they actually look for it! A fool announces his great plans to everyone around him, while a wise man will ask for counsel and advice before he ever emotionally commits to the decision. That’s important. Some people will have already emotionally made their decision, be completely married to one course of action and then “ask” for advice, with no intention of actually following anything other than what they have already decided.

You get no points for that, sorry.

So think about it for a moment, who do you love? Who do you hate? Does it have something to do with what they have said to you? If you only love those who have never confronted you and hate those that have, you might be a mocker.


Who you love/hate says everything about YOU.


As you may have noticed, I have not updated the blog in a couple of weeks. This is due to a trip I took to Israel. The trip was awesome and life changing, I would highly recommend one. But between the rigorous travel and tour schedule, not to mention the jet lag, I wasn't able to update from February 26th - March 8th.

Coming home I realized that a Monday-Friday format would be best, so I will update the blog 5 days a week (at least) with the occasional weekend post if something strikes my fancy.