27 May A Proverbs A Day // Proverbs 27
The 27th // Proverbs 27
Better is open rebuke than hidden love.”–Proverbs 27:5
In chapter 26, Solomon talked about the fools in our lives that have the potential to bring us down. In chapter 28, he addresses the people in our lives who bring us up and how we have a role to play in allowing them to make us better.
I’ve talked about my own pride before during this challenge. So often a friend, family member or my husband will call me out on something and I’m too prideful in the moment to take it for what it is; an act of love. Solomon talks about just that in today’s reading and it’s like he was talking straight to my heart. God places people in our lives for a reason, but just as much as it’s up to us to allow someone to tear us down, it’s up to us to allow others to build us up and spur us on to greatness as well.
Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”–Proverbs 27:6
Solomon talks a lot about friendship in this chapter and he synonimizes friendship with words like “wounds” and “rebukes”… Sound backwards, right? But it’s not. When the wise choose friends, they choose people who love the LORD and who encourage them and hold them accountable for the ways of their faith. That’s why so many churches emphasize community groups and accountability groups. Becoming this type of friend calls for vulnerability and trust. Of course when a friend calls us out, it hurts. That’s why Solomon uses the term “wounds”. He tells us that it’s so much better to have a friend who calls us on our trespasses than a friend who lets us act according to our sinful nature [27:5] and that a Godly friend [who loves at all times according to Proverbs 17:17] may cause a little bit of pain when they speak truth, but that our enemies will kiss our butts without making us better people [27:6].
Solomon warns us to never leave sight of our Godly friends and family [27:10] and turn toward those who aren’t true to us. While those people are tempting with their butt-kisses and their “honey” [27:7], Solomon reminds us that those who feed into our pride will only brings us farther from God… Which ultimately leads to darkness [27:12]. He reminds us of pride and how boasting brings reality checks [27:1] and reminds us never to take credit for our good… That all the glory should be God’s… So, while others may praise you for your accomplishments, never boast or expect praise, because to God be the glory [27:2].
Solomon leaves us with a great analogy and a warning… He tells us that just as iron sharpens iron, Godly people sharpen Godly people [27:17]. But he also tells us that no matter how hard you wor to sharpen a fool, you may grind him in a mortar, or use a pestle, but they will never be sharpened [27:22] until THEY decide for themselves to turn from their ways. Just another warning that the people we choose to surround ourselves with have an affect on our lives.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”–Proverbs 27:17
Today, I pray that I remember four things in life:
1. That I choose to surround myself with people who are better than me [along with my family].
2. That I choose to be vulnerable enough with those people so that they may know how best to encourage me in my life and in my faith.
3. That I put my pride aside and allow them to spur me on in love.
4. That I never forget them, leave them or forsake them.