Proverbs 23:29-30


Drinking has been a temptation since its creation.  It has destroyed and caused pain in countless lives.  

At some point, you would think that people would wise up to harm it does but instead we just hear excuses and protests about how innocent it is to have 1 (or 3 or 6 packs) of beers a night. Articles on how healthy it is to have wine, only later new articles about how it’s not as great as they thought.

Not only does alcohol poison the body, in excess, it turns normally decent people into monsters.  It is one of the temptations we could do without.
Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns, trying out new drinks.
Proverbs 23:29‭-‬30 NLT

http://bible.com/116/pro.23.29-30.NLT

Proverbs 20:24


Several other translations set this in the form of a question… how then can man understand his way?

We don’t see the big picture as we live our lives day to day.   We might have plans and keep a fraction of a big picture in our heads as we make decisions, but what we see is only a tiny slice.  For every ripple in the pond we create, we only see or anticipate a couple rings…God sees it all, beginning to end.

We can’t understand why things happen when they do or why good people suffer.  We can’t understand why bad people seem to be rewarded, or why no matter how hard we try, things just don’t seem to work out as we want.

There is some good news though.  We don’t have to understand everything, we’re not even meant to.  There is a measure of relief and freedom in that.

The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?
Proverbs 20:24 NLT

http://bible.com/116/pro.20.24.NLT

James 4:9-10


This isn’t an easy passage to study but it is so important.  It has to do with change.  It has to do with unburdening yourself. It has to do with facing youself in truth.  It has to do with repentance and truth. 

If you look back on your life, on who you were before Christ…the tears and sorrow, deep grief, all lead to repentance.  A turning away from who you once were.  

The deeper your sorrow, the less likely you will be to return to that life.  Even afyer coming to Christ, you must be able to look at yourself honestly.

Who is more thankful? The one who was given much, or the one who was given a little?  

Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
James 4:9‭-‬10 NLT

http://bible.com/116/jas.4.9-10.NLT

Proverbs 27:21


There’s nothing that shows the ugliness of pride quicker than praise.

Most people simply can’t handle being praised without succumbing to a measure of pride.  The degree to which we fall varies depending on the situation, but few people are truly able to refuse the praise for long.  Even when we attempt to direct the praise to God, where all praise belongs…true humility is a rare thing.

When God uses a person to accomplish something noteworthy or good, that person faces a test.  Praise, fame, acclaim…suddenly that person finds themselves in a position of temptation.  It feels good to be recognized for our good deeds or actions.  But there comes a point when, after giving the glory to God a few times, the person may just smile and say thank you rather than pointing to God.

Pride enters and it is a sin.

When you keep the glory for yourself rather than giving it to God, that is a sin.
Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised.
Proverbs 27:21 NLT

http://bible.com/116/pro.27.21.NLT

Proverbs 18:14


Physical pain and injury is so much easier to recover from than emotional pain.  With physical injury, you can take active steps to healing.  See the wound, clean the wound, treat the wound, bandage it, and you see daily progress of healing.  

Not so with injury to your spirit.  It’s like being blind and fumbling through the pain to try and find relief.  Is there progress?   Who knows? You can’t see the wound to assess it. Will it ever end?

While you can self treat many physical injuries, you are helpless when it comes to spiritual ones.  You need a healer with 20-20 vision.  You need someone you can trust.  Someone who knows the inner workings of the spirit.

There is only One healer for the spirit.  The One who created it.

God is our Master Healer.  

Men/women get degrees to learn how to adjust the way people think and feel and while they do offer some help in coping with emotions and thoughts, they cannot heal the spirit.

Only God can cure a crushed spirit, because the spirit is of God.
The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit?
Proverbs 18:14 NLT

http://bible.com/116/pro.18.14.NLT