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Proverbs by Default

by Paula Thompson on February 20, 2014

Bible001-2Let’s face it…life is BUSY!

Whether you are stay-at-home mom with babies, homeschooling, working-outside-of the-home, volunteer, or empty-nester, you tend to be busy. Personally, I was a very busy stay-at-home-mom-volunteer, turned homeschooler until 2000 when I battled a rare tumor. After that, my life became even more focused. I became more grateful for everyday; which meant for me, becoming even busier as if I somehow had to prove to God that I was worthy to stay on Earth another day. But by being so busy something had to give…right?

My house remained clean, my children were well fed and groomed, and from all outward appearances I had all the balls in the air. I went to church, work, school, everything I needed to to….

except (you knew that was coming)…

…spending time reading God’s word. Oh sure, I had my daily devotional delivered to my in-box. I would pull it up at work or on my phone and after reading rather quickly (more like skimming most days), I would then move on to the next thing I had to do.

After a few months of this, I would feel guilty and think I really needed to spend time with my God and His Word but then life would happen and I would get back into my old routine. Recently, I downloaded the NIV Bible to my phone AND my tablet, thinking that it would be more accessible.  Along with the “Our Daily Bread” app, I now had instant access to two different sources at my finger tips.  I have to admit I do use at least one of them daily. Yet one problem still remained for me.  Without a devotional or study guide, I never quite knew where to start reading.

My “go-to” book has always been Proverbs.  If I were to try to impart all of the wisdom I have gleaned from Proverbs, I would first need to quote the entire book.  I would need to add footnotes to each verse specify what I learned and how I applied it to my life. Even now, my Bible falls open to Proverbs 12-13 and the first verse on the first column reads “The way of the fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advise.” (Prov 12:15). The first verse on the second column reads “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin” (Prov 13:3). Hmmm…seems to me guarding my lips has been an issue for me in the past so that is probably why my Bible falls open to that very spot!

Ah, but wait! There is still more glorious wisdom on that same page! In fact, the last verse on that particular page is Proverbs 13:18 “He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.” I suppose that is the root of one my favorite phrases to use with my children. “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Self-control is a beautiful thing.”

Another bookmark in my Bible is Proverbs 19-20, which I read and meditate on routinely, because as we all know, at some point in our lives we will encounter “rich…fools…”and those who bear “false witness” (people who lie and are deceitful).  Oh, I could go on and on about the wisdom that is stored in Proverbs and perhaps that is why it is my “go-to” when I need to hear God speak to me.  There are times I know God is telling me I need to behave in a certain way. At other times, I believe He is telling me how to deal with people who are less than truthful or have hurt me.

For me, Proverbs brings me great comfort as well as wisdom and perhaps that is why it is my ‘default’ when I find myself so busy that I have forgotten to make God a priority in my life.

Below, tell us your favorite Proverb!




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