True to the Word

Day 290

Jeremiah 30:1-31:26; 1 Timothy 2:1-15; Psalm 87:1-7; Proverbs 25:18-19

True to the Word

A man who bears false witness against his neighbor
    is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.
Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble
    is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips. – Proverbs 25:18-19

Proverbs 25:18 seems simple at first, but it applies to so much more. Yes, we should not speak lies, we should not spread rumors, and we should be honest, but this is about more than what we do with our tongues. We are capable of lying with our actions.

What we choose to do and say should reflect our convictions and beliefs. If we confess with our tongues the love of Jesus Christ, and our bodies and actions are unholy, then we have just lied. We are lying to ourselves, our community, and attempting to lie to our Lord. Your actions should not just speak louder than your words, but match them.

The second half of the proverb describes the harm that lies can do to people we lie about. When our preaching does not resonate with our actions we are lying about our faith, our love, and our God to the world. Nonbelievers do not ruin God’s credibility, we ourselves do.

If we truly want to announce the good news, we must not only proclaim it by mouth but live it as well. The secret to doing both is by unifying the tongue and body through the heart.

What is your heart’s foundation? Is it Jesus? Proverb 25:19 describes the flaw of relying on the unreliable. People are unreliable, but Jesus is not. He is forever loving, available, and invested. He is the only one who can give the foundation needed for our hearts. If we begin with Him, all things come together for Him.

Adeemir Dacenay
St. Peter’s Church
Lake Mary, FL

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Day 289

Jeremiah 28:1-29:32; 1 Timothy 1:1-20; Psalm 86:1-17; Proverbs 25:17

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

A woman told her husband, “You don’t look at me and you don’t love me anymore.” He quickly shot back, “How can I look at you and still love you?” Okay, that doesn’t seem too nice; however, there is an underlying principle at play here that, when understood, helps keep relationships from getting to this point.

The simple principle is: “Familiarity breeds contempt.” We all need space. Have you ever noticed in relationships that the closer you try to become the harder it sometimes becomes? Why? Because often we are not giving enough space to the other person—we start to control them by our presence.

The Proverbs point this out:

Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house—too much of you, and they will hate you. – Proverbs 25:17

Overstaying one’s welcome in any relationship can cause harm. I believe that one reason my marriage works is because my wife and I give each other space. Funny thing is, I have to love her enough to do so. Indeed, we have grown together, not apart. After 29 years, we still give each other space.

This is true among friends, love interests, family, co-workers, and yes…even neighbors.

So, here is the key: Give each other space and you will appreciate one another all the more. Let relationships develop gradually, and then nurture them. Few of us can live under the microscope of constant attention (and eventual scrutiny). Do this, and close relationships can flourish, and you can grow together rather than apart.

Jan Puterbaugh
LifePoint Christian Church
Longwood, FL

Sweeter Than Honey

Day 288

Jeremiah 26:1-27:22; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18; Psalm 85:1-13; Proverbs 25:16

Sweeter Than Honey

“If you find honey, eat just enough – too much of it, and you will vomit.” – Proverbs 25:16 (NIV)

Of all the evocative Scriptures in today’s reading (Jeremiah’s brush with death, Paul’s valuable instructions to Christ’s followers, and one of the most beautiful scriptural phrases in the Bible), why does this one stand out? Is it the literal gut reaction we have to this pairing? Now that the Holy Spirit has grabbed our attention as either an attraction to the essence of honey or repulsion, or at least intrigue, to the thought of vomit, why in the midst of this metaphorical and poetic collection of proverbs does He wish to give us this “health tip”?

Greed is the actual root of all evildoing. Consider the need for God to specify all ten of the commandments. In every admonition, man attempts to put himself in the driver’s seat and load up the goods: other peoples’ stuff, their hard-earned reputations, their spouses, the authority owed our elders, the Sabbath for our own use, you know the list. We even want to call all the shots, to be the Boss. We want, not just enough, but we want it all… Large-and-in-charge… To be King of the Mountain. Getting nauseous yet?

Without greed and the desires to personally attain the highest powers and dominions in this world, we find the pathway back to the Garden and our rightful relationship with our Loving Father. Enjoy the blessings He has already placed in our lives, and find contentment and satisfaction in the “just enough amount” that only Jesus, the True King can allot. Sweeter even than honey!

Laurie Mealor
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
Lake Mary, FL