ESOCS Devotional 13 September 2023 – Do Not Be Perverse in Your Ways
MEMORY VERSE: “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4 KJV
TEXT: PROVERBS 15:1-15 (KJV)
A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise utters knowledge rightly, but the mouth of the [self-confident] fool pours out folly.
3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch upon the evil and the good.
4 A gentle tongue [with its healing power] is a tree of life, but willful contrariness in it breaks down the spirit.
5 A fool despises his father’s instruction and correction, but he who regards reproof acquires prudence.
6 In the house of the [uncompromisingly] righteous is great [priceless] treasure, but with the income of the wicked is trouble and vexation.
7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge [sifting it as chaff from the grain]; not so the minds and hearts of the self-confident and foolish.
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, hateful and exceedingly offensive to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight!
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination, extremely disgusting and shamefully vile to the Lord, but He loves him who pursues righteousness (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation).
10 There is severe discipline for him who forsakes God’s way; and he who hates reproof will die [physically, morally, and spiritually].
11 Sheol (the place of the dead) and Abaddon (the abyss, the final place of the accuser Satan) are both before the Lord—how much more, then, the hearts of the children of men?
12 A scorner has no love for one who rebukes him; neither will he go to the wise [for counsel].
13 A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken.
14 The mind of him who has understanding seeks knowledge and inquires after andcraves it, but the mouth of the [self-confident] fool feeds on folly.
15 All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances].
It is important to note that we live in a time and season where people are faced with diverse kinds of problems and challenges on daily basis. Every individual you encounter has one issue or the other to deal with, and so it becomes wise that we are conscious of the things we do or say, knowing very well that these can either bring a relief or destruction to our brother or sister. A preacher of the Gospel once said, “People will remember you for two things; the problem you created for them or the problem you helped them to solve.”
Many Christians and unbelievers alike are the architects of their problems through the wrong use of the tongue in responding to certain matters, the text states in verse 1: “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” How do you respond to issues especially when under some kind of pressure? The human tongue, though the smallest part of the body brings great destructions when not used properly. James referred to such tongue as an unruly evil (see James 3:8).
Another point mentioned in the text is the manner of lifestyle and conduct every believing Christian should possess. Believers should know that God detests the ways of the wicked (sinners) and also abhors hypocrisy, unfortunately, many Christians today are hypocritical in the use of their tongues; what they say in the secret is not what they say in the public and vice versa. Some engage in gossip, slander, backbiting, curses, etc. “…the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord, but His secret counsel is with the upright” (Prov. 3:32 NKJV).
The last few verses deal with the attitudes of the heart. Both a happy heart and one oppressed with heartache appears to have physical manifestations. We are encouraged to always maintain a merry heart; it enhances good health, better relationship with God and man. An unhappy heart crushes the spirit, have you noticed that when your heart is unhappy, you find it difficult to pray?
Let your heart condition favour the presence of the Holy Spirit, He is a joyful personality.
- Your prevailing attitude colours your whole personality.
- Lord, help me to be my best in every aspect of my life.
FURTHER READING: 1 Kings 21:1-14
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ESOCS Devotional 13 September 2023