Have you ever played the game “Follow the Leader?” I remember as a child parading around the room all mimicking the person at the front of the line. We would take turns. Some people were better leaders than others. I never wanted to be the leader. I was shy and unsure of myself. Why would people want to follow me? That was then. Now, it bothers me when I don’t have control. What changed? I have been walking with the wise.
Verse 20 spoke to me today. (As always, I encourage your
comments if another verse spoke to you.) It says, “Walk with the wise and
become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” I can almost
hear my mother’s voice reminding me “be careful who you associate with.” I
remember being constantly on the look out to keep away from those “fools” who
might get me in trouble. But then, I hit my teen years and a bit of rebellion
burst forth. I didn’t get into serious trouble, thankfully, but I certainly
wasn’t hanging out with a wise bunch all the time.
Do you sometimes pretend you’re someone you’re not? Why do
we do that? Sometimes it’s easier to hide behind a mask rather than admit to
our own failures or insecurities. I have seen plenty of people in the business
world put on a “wealthy” face when, in fact, they had very little in their bank
It’s all about appearance. If you want people to take you
seriously, you must look a certain way. Isn’t that right? I know in our
coaching business I run into people who are afraid to do videos because they
are conscious of their appearance or lack confidence in what they might say. We
can often tell ourselves “stories” that are not true that limit our greatness.
God can see our hearts. He knows the truth.
There are so many great truths and promises in today’s
reading. I would love to talk about working hard, or telling the truth, or how
the way of the godly leads to life. Instead, we’ll reflect on something we all
do or have done. Worry.
Why do we sometimes consume ourselves with worry? Do we
think that the outcome will change if only we worry more? On the contrary, I believe
we are more apt to change things if we trust more. When we can let God handle
it, it’s in much better hands. Don’t you agree?
The nugget of wisdom that stood out for me today was verse
14, “Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards.”
Who doesn’t like a good reward? The hard work part may be difficult for some,
but the reward should help to entice.
We’ve all worked alongside a slacker. That is, someone who shows
up but never really gets into the job. They are more interested in the talking
about the weekend that’s coming or asking if it’s time for the next coffee
break yet. Their work is sub-par, but they have a false belief they are promotion
bound. They expect a reward but don’t put in the work. Unfortunately for them,
that’s not how it works.
There is a lot of talk in today’s reading about wickedness.
To whom was Solomon referring? Perhaps to violent people, to those guilty of
sin against God or people, or even to the one who is perverted trying to keep other
people from God. I’m not going to focus on that, but I did want to mention it
because it did strike me. There are many wicked people we need to be wary of.
If we ourselves are wicked, these verses will surely call us out.
What did speak to me loudly was verse 1, “To learn,
you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.” This
probably hit a little close to home because of how I despise being wrong and
being caught or called out when I have made a mistake. I need to be easier on
myself. We are all going to make mistakes. It’s a great way to learn. We should
welcome correction when it helps us see the error of our ways.