There are quite a few verses that stood out to me in chapter 17. They all have a theme and are directly related to a situation that my family and I are going through right now. Since this is a personal devotional and meant to be applied in my own personal life, today, I’m going to share all the verses that popped out at me. I need to reminding of these verses.
Clearly there was a reason that the Holy Spirit led me to do one chapter of Proverbs a day, even though I had done it a few times in the past. The wisdom gleaned from the Proverbs is very much needed currently in my life. I’m not going to share every single verse that stood out, but I’ve taken note of those.
All the verses are in TPT. I’ve read them all in NASB as well. TPT elaborates and brings clarity to some of the verses – at least to me.
A simple, humble life with peace and quiet is far better than an opulent lifestyle with nothing but quarrels and strife at home. Proverbs 17:1
Those eager to embrace evil listen to slander, for a liar loves to listen to lies. Proverbs 17:4
The one who returns evil for good can expect to be treated the same way for the rest of his life. Proverbs 17:13
There is nothing God hates more than condemning the one who is innocent and acquitting the one who is guilty. Proverbs 17:15
The one with a perverse heart never has anything good to say, and the chronic liar tumbles into constant trouble. Proverbs 17:20
It’s horrible to persecute a holy love of God or to strike an honorable man for his integrity. Proverbs 17:26
Needless to say that we are currently facing a situation where we are being slandered. Slandered probably isn’t even a strong enough word for it, but it’s definition describes exactly what is going on. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have seen evil. Reading my blogs, I’ve also shared how darkness at one point was so strong it caused me to consider the possibility that God didn’t even exist. What we are going through now, is just as evil, if not more.
I know that in the sight of God, sin is sin, but going through what I’m facing now I sometimes wonder, “what’s worse? someone who actually harms a person or someone who blatantly lies and fabricates stories that someone harms them?” Then I wonder, “who is more wicket. The person who lies and slanders or the person who listens to the slander, believes, and enjoys it?”
There are people who do not know me. Some I’ve never met, some I’ve met but never had a conversation with, and some I’ve met and had one or two brief conversations. However, they cannot say they know me. We don’t talk. They don’t have my number. We can’t even say we are acquaintances. Yet, for some reason they don’t like me. And not only don’t they dislike me, they speak ill and make accusations, with the intent of turning people against.
I can remember of one time I did that. It wasn’t because of anything I experienced, but because of what someone kept telling me about another person. I was deceived, but not blameless. It was my fault that I allowed someone to gossip and have the slander enter my heart.
In the same way that gold and silver are refined by fire, the Lord purifies your heart by the tests and trials of life.Provers 17:3
This chapter has so many verses…if it was the only chapter in Proverbs we would still have tons of wisdom from Proverbs to lean into it.
There was a time I was associated with a divisive person. I didn’t realize just how bad it was until the person was no longer a part of our lives, but at some point I had to analyze where my thoughts about different people and things came from. I had to wipe the slate clean…everyone had a clean slate. Many will say that I’m exaggerating, but that’s how serious it was to me.
I have seen the pain caused by false allegations and slander. I have personally experienced the pain of what slander. I do not ever want to be the cause of that in anyone’s life. I repented and made a change. Not only in what I allow myself to listen to, but also in my own heart. Now, I’m not flawless, but I always shoot for the target.
What I have been experiencing these last few months has convinced me that slander, deceit, and lies are arrows of death being shot at someone’s life. Clearly I’m speaking in a spiritual sense. That is something I never want to be a part of. I don’t ever want to align with what darkness is up to in order to shut down the purposes of God in someone’s life.
I want to be better about measuring my words and opinions when it comes to people. Sincerely, I don’t ever want to cause someone to have ill feelings towards another simply from something I say. We must all have our own experiences, feelings, and opinions about someone. We should never judge someone or be critical, especially when they have never done anything to us – nor witness them do anything wrong towards anyone. Sometimes we listen to people and their experiences and take it as a source of truth, but we never really know the extend of truth in the story, if there is any. We need to learn to listen, be empathetic, and love whoever is sharing a story about another, but we can not take on their hurt, bitterness, or pain towards the person they are speaking of. As a matter of fact, we should also Holy Spirit to show us how to lead the person into a place of healing and love.
Well, now I’ve poured out my heart in an extremely vulnerable way – and to people I don’t even know. I’m sure if I think too much, fear of being rejected, ridiculed, and judged would cause me not to post this. However, I am not looking to live a life of appearances and facades. I want to live a life that is open, real, and raw. I am not flawless, but I do strive to please Father. There are times I mess up. There are times I feel pain. There are times my life is far from perfect. But I can say that my life is HIS. My entire being is surrendered to the person I most love in this entire universe, Jesus Christ.
If sharing my life stories, good or bad, can help teach and demonstrate truth, then I’m willing to get vulnerable. Aren’t we all tired of the cover-ups anyway?
I encourage us all to ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and clean out any junk. That any thoughts or feelings we have about someone that doesn’t please Him may be washed away. May we measure our words when sharing a story about someone who hurt us and make sure that our heart’s motive when sharing the story isn’t to bring division. May we take the moment to stop, turn our heart to God, and ask Him to show us His heart for that person. That simple action makes the world of a difference. And lastly, may we continue to pursue loving as Jesus loves. It is the only commandment Jesus left us, so it must be important to Him.
Be bless richly in every area of your life and in every relationship you have.