PROVERBS 10:8 ON 10/8

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The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.  – Proverbs 10:8

You know, the thing about  those Proverbs…  they don’t mess around.  Some portions of Scripture dilly dally around to get to the meat of the matter.  Wow – the Proverbs – not so much.  They say what they mean and they mean what they say! 

Whether your boss is wise in heart or a chattering fool…  once in a while they will criticize you about something.  Let God worry about which they are…  you just make sure you are wise in heart and know how to be accepting of corrective criticism.  😉

with-gods-wisdom-and-quick-witYou may ask, “Can you combine the wisdom you get from God with a quick wit?”  I’d ask how you couldn’t?  Maybe it’s just how God works with me, but more times than not, if I’m enduring some corrective criticism and asking God’s Spirit for help – He not only provides wisdom, but He also gives me thoughts about how to lighten the moment.  It’s very unusual to not have His wisdom and a joke or a story pop into my mind simultaneously.  dont-let-peoples-compliments-get-to-your-head-and-dont-let-their-criticism-get-your-heart-worship-quote

Is it necessary to explain what a chattering fool is – or how they can ruin???  I pray I’ve never been one, but I was young and immature at one time, so…  here’s the thing…  we are all works in progress.  God’s not done with any of us yet. 

By the same token, God loves us too much to leave us in an immature state.  He wants us to grow in our faith.  Let’s focus on the positive…  how do we become WISE IN HEART???  How do I learn to accept commands, to accept corrective criticism, to accept help given by authority to make me better?  What is that key attitude that God wants me to have as part of my armor to navigate this life?

  • PRACTICE DISCERNMENT.  I say “practice” because discernment is a part of wisdom that only comes with practice…  lots and lots of practice.  When a person in authority corrects you and you are tempted to let it hurt your heart, stop that process in its tracks – stop it right there.  Pray that God’s Holy Spirit would help you discern whether the correction is 1) necessary and 2) helpful to your future workmanship.  If God’s Spirit lets you know that it is both necessary and helpful to your future workmanship – then and only then can you accept it, learn from it – and move on.  When corrective criticism is given about your work – something you are being paid or compensated to do a certain way – and it meets this criteria…  it is not aimed at you personally.  Take notes…  do what you have to do to get it right – but don’t let the criticism set in your heart!
  • BE GRACIOUS.  We’ve all received corrective criticism – and a few of us have received the rantings of a fool who just happens to be our boss, am I right?  Regardless of whether you work for a wise person or a fool, always be gracious.  There are times to scream and cry and shout and yell at the top of your lungs.  That time is not as soon as you’ve been chewed out.  Go to the bathroom and stand in a stall or if it’s raining, go outside for a while (rain is great camo for tears).  My new go-to is a workout, followed by a shower.  Take it out on those machines…  they can take it! 
  • TOW THE LINE BETWEEN STRENGTH AND UNDERSTANDING.  God did not make you to be a door mat.  If you are unjustly called on the carpet, do what I call “the quick prayer” – you know, like, “Lord, please help me here – this isn’t right.”  He knows!  It’s amazing how quickly he answers those prayers.  He answers as quickly as you pray them.  If you work for a wise person, they can show understanding and answer any questions you may have.  If you work for a fool, it could get tricky – but God’s going to work that out for you because you asked Him to!  A foolish boss will just chatter and chatter to hear him/herself talk.  It’s frustrating.  But, when God makes your boss need to take a breath, don’t be afraid to be strong and find out more deets about the proverbial raking over said coals.  Ask nicely, but be strong, keeping a calm, even tone.
  • STAY SWEET.  Sweet words are like honey to the soul – even the soul of a foolish boss.  The wise boss will understand where you’re coming from, but the foolish boss will mistake your sweetness for weakness and assume you are afraid of people.  Nothing could be further from the truth, but in any case, stay sweet.  If you have been criticized and have prayed about it – and discern that it is unjustified, don’t lose your cool.  That wrecks your witness to your foolish boss.  Remember that God hasn’t given up on him/her.  You shouldn’t either.  The battle is the Lord’s.  Be still and let HIM fight it for you.
  • BE PRUDENT.  Once in a great while, we really do have to choose our battles very carefully in the workplace.  We need to be wise and think about consequences that follow actions.  Is X worth Y???  Again, we pray and ask God for HIS way to handle things.  When Jesus was taken before Pilate, remember how He didn’t speak, even though He was heading for a horrific beating and subsequent death on the cross?  One without wisdom just pops off without a thought of what follows.  Keep emotions in check – God’s got the big picture under control.  Sometimes it’s a matter of just taking the criticism and keeping your mouth shut.
  • EXERCISE INTELLIGENCE.  Before I explain, I want to say that intellect and common horse sense don’t even graze in the same field.  There are educated idiots running around all over the planet; however, if you are hearing corrective criticism from your boss and you actually have some knowledge about the subject at hand, it’s okay to speak up and explain why you did what you did the way you did it.  If you want God’s wisdom, it’s not always going to be intelligence that He wants you to use – but if it is, you’ll know it.
  • HUMILITY DOESN’T HURT.  If you can accept the criticism from your boss, pray about it (in your head – God hears), and be wise in your response…  add a dash of humility into the mix.  Most bosses, whether wise or foolish, come down off their high horse long enough to let a humble person know that it’s okay to be human now and then.  Again, take a note…  do what it is you need to do to keep it from happening again.  Being humble is a huge (pronounced UGE) part of acquiring God’s wisdom.

God’s wisdom in the workplace will give you true joy and satisfaction of spirit.  It’s true…  read Proverbs 16:16.  🙂

 


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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I got dogged for writing about HALLOWEEN yesterday.  I was called a sympathizer for the devil, uncommitted to Christ and a false witness for God.  Well, say what you will of me – but I was raised in an age of innocence when going door to door saying TRICK-OR-TREAT was a wholesome, albeit calorie laden activity.  I was not raised to have anything to do with darkness, I assure you.  When I was a kid – it was all about the candy, homemade popcorn balls and Mrs. Guffy’s famous Ghostie cookies.  THAT’S ALL it was about.  Now…  can we move on because boy do I have a testimony FOR THE LORD that will give the devil a BIG BLACK EYE!

You know I’m diabetic.  I try not to make a big deal out of it, but I’ve been a type 2 diabetic since 1994.  I’m all too familiar with the dreaded HIGH blood sugar, but hardly have a LOW.  Yesterday, however, I was battling low blood sugar!  Since I’m diabetic, we chose not to buy any Halloween candy because we don’t have that many children in our neighborhood who actually Trick-or-Treat door to door.  They get together and go to the mall.

So I’m thinking, “Oh great!  I could legally have a candy bar – and we don’t have any!”  I try to keep glucose tabs in the house or gel, but I didn’t have either one.  Everything in our house is diabetic-friendly.  We don’t even keep a smidge of sugar here.

I hate low blood sugar – I can’t think straight and I feel as though my insides are just going to fall apart – some of you can relate.  I drank a little buttermilk and ate a piece of bread.  Usually bread or a carbohydrate will raise it up.  It just was not working.

Then I did something really radical…  I PRAYED.  Don’t laugh…  but I asked God for a candy bar.

I want you to know that God can use ANYTHING and ANYONE to provide.  He used the fact that it was Halloween to help me out of a real bind.  There are little girls across the street (we call them our angels).  They occasionally bring nice little gifts to our door – ring the doorbell – and RUN away!  It’s so cute!

I’m not joking – about 2 minutes after I sincerely asked God to help me out – the doorbell rang.  We opened the door, and there was a bucket full of snack-size Milky Way bars.  Attached to the bucket handle was a mylar balloon with a happy face on it!  A sweet card was stuck in the side of the bucket.  Our angels came through!

So…  for those who think my post yesterday was somehow evil – you know what?  You don’t really know me, do you?  Isn’t it amazing in this day of faceless, impersonal cyber communication, we feel we have the right to completely judge a person for sharing a few precious Halloween memories from a bygone era???  Really???  Well, shame on you!

When I was a child – I enjoyed the day, the candy, the popcorn balls and Mrs. Guffy’s famous Ghostie cookies.  I refuse to apologize for the post.  I won’t.  God’s Holy Spirit has not checked me about the choice – and He won’t because He understands the MOTIVE behind what I wrote.  All you see is a kid in a costume.  I see myself and my dad having so much fun with my mom’s make-up and jewelry – trying to look like clowns!  Shame on anyone who would wag their finger at me for sharing childhood innocent fun!

I love the Lord with everything in me.  I intend to serve Him in any capacity I can no matter what circumstances I find myself in.  I wanted to share this special example of GOD’S FAITHFULNESS and HIS PROVISION in my life.  Thank You, Lord!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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When I feel frozen in my failure, I just try to imagine my Father running down the road to meet me. I look in his eyes—brimming with acceptance—and remember that it isn’t about my failures, it is about His love. It is about being God’s beloved daughter, who is always welcome Home.  – Sandi Patty

FROZEN IN FEAR

Have you ever felt frozen in your failure?  Boy I sure have.  It’s a miserable, uncomfortable feeling, especially when you start to believe other people’s assessment of the situation.  When you begin to believe the popular opinion that nothing will ever be right again because you have messed up so badly.

I was very close to shutting this blog down permanently because I came under some harsh criticism about it.  Personal attacks concerning my ability to write and the lack of interest I apparently generate left me crushed and ready to quit.  I felt frozen in fear when it was time to write again.  I want to grow thicker skin – I’ve asked God to help me.  I don’t understand how we can be commanded to be tenderhearted, yet need thick skin at the same time.  And what of these tender hearts of ours?  We are to guard them.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.  – Proverbs 4:23

God provided a wonderful boost to my self-esteem.  I was shown a comment that turned everything around.  You know, God is never early but He is certainly never too late.  His timing and His provision, be it physical, mental or whatever – is perfect!

I also saw this posted on facebook yesterday – and I will probably never forget it:

You will never please everyone – you are not pizza!

Well, doesn’t that just about say it all?  Even though I’m not pizza, I hope something I write blesses your heart or helps you along in life.  We are here to help one another I believe, in any way we can.

Have you felt frozen in fear after a failure, mistake or sin?  You don’t have to feel that way forever because that’s not how God wants us to feel.  He wants to help us get back to feeling happy and free in Him.  God knows we won’t get it right every time, but we don’t have to live life frozen in fear.

There is an answer for failures, mistakes and sins – His name is Jesus.  Pray to Him today and ask Him to help you.  He knows what you need and will provide just the right balm to your sad and aching heart, sad with grief.

Keep going.  Keep doing what God has called you to do.  The only one who can tell you to quit is God – don’t let people get you down and keep you frozen in fear.  Wink!  😉