Patience

Magnify Proverbs 14 – Anger, Losing it

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The internet is full of quick resources and self-help advice amidst times of calm and times of crisis. Today we talk about Anger. You can find help on literally anything on the go anytime, anywhere. But how much of it is true and actually helpful and how much of it is just click-bait and sensationalism. Thankfully, we have a book that has stood the test of time. King Solomon, the wisest man to have ever lived (excluding Jesus fully-man of course). Solomon, Son of David, when asked by God he can have anything he wants, Solomon responded  “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chronicles 1:10). It is through this godly wisdom that we have the book of Proverbs today! Today we focus on Proverbs 14 – Losing it!

Losing it, anger

Amazing!

Let’s journey through Proverbs!

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Wisdom vs Anger

Proverbs 14

The wise woman builds her house,
    but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Whoever fears the Lord walks uprightly,
    but those who despise him are devious in their ways. A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride,
    but the lips of the wise protect them. Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
    but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests. An honest witness does not deceive,
    but a false witness pours out lies. The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none,
    but knowledge comes easily to the discerning. Stay away from a fool,
    for you will not find knowledge on their lips. The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways,
    but the folly of fools is deception. Fools mock at making amends for sin,
    but goodwill is found among the upright. 10 Each heart knows its own bitterness,
    and no one else can share its joy. 11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
    but the tent of the upright will flourish. 12 There is a way that appears to be right,
    but in the end it leads to death. 13 Even in laughter the heart may ache,
    and rejoicing may end in grief. 14 The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways,
    and the good rewarded for theirs. 15 The simple believe anything,
    but the prudent give thought to their steps. 16 The wise fear the Lord and shun evil,
    but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure. 17 A quick-tempered person does foolish things,
    and the one who devises evil schemes is hated. 18 The simple inherit folly,
    but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. 19 Evildoers will bow down in the presence of the good,
    and the wicked at the gates of the righteous. 20 The poor are shunned even by their neighbors,
    but the rich have many friends. 21 It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor,
    but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy. 22 Do not those who plot evil go astray?
    But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness. 23 All hard work brings a profit,
    but mere talk leads only to poverty. 24 The wealth of the wise is their crown,
    but the folly of fools yields folly. 25 A truthful witness saves lives,
    but a false witness is deceitful. 26 Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress,
    and for their children it will be a refuge. 27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
    turning a person from the snares of death. 28 A large population is a king’s glory,
    but without subjects a prince is ruined. 29 Whoever is patient has great understanding,
    but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. 30 A heart at peace gives life to the body,
    but envy rots the bones.31 Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker,
    but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. 32 When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down,
    but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God. 33 Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning
    and even among fools she lets herself be known. 34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
    but sin condemns any people. 35 A king delights in a wise servant,
    but a shameful servant arouses his fury.
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Anger

I have had the experience of completely losing it many times in my life.

Typically, the situation could go like this: long day, lots of challenges at work, difficult conversations and little irritations have come up throughout the day. I get in the car and head out into traffic to come home.

People cut me off won’t pay attention at the traffic lights. People won’t turn when there’s a green turn arrow, but instead they look both ways.

The heart rate starts to build up. Rage takes over. I can feel it in my neck, and then it just explodes. Horn blasting, and I’m basically shouting in my car for my own benefit. I just lose it.

Anger always finds a way to escape.

Anger causes tremendous issues in our lives. Jesus even said that the distance between anger at someone and murdering them is pretty short because anger basically devalues someone else to the point where we’d be okay if they weren’t alive. (See Matthew 5:21-22.) The word “contempt” comes to mind here (e.g., you’re in my way; you’re not worth paying attention to or respecting; it’d be better if you weren’t there; I can’t control what’s going on with you there).

The wisdom of God has a lot to do with disarming our anger. Anger makes us do things we don’t want to, like lash out (Proverbs 14:3) or act without thinking (Proverbs 14:8). Anger makes really intelligent people act foolish (Proverbs 14:17) and miss the consequences of angry actions (Proverbs 14:12).

So what’s the other side? What does wisdom bring us that helps deal with anger?

Patience

One word: patience.

Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” (Proverbs 14:29)

Patience is one of the wisest virtues because it helps us stop. Then listen and assess reality. Patience keeps us from acting too quickly and violently based on simply what we’re feeling.

Patience helps us take a deep breath and see, really and truly, what matters most.

As you read today’s Proverb, think about how patience and anger have appeared in your life recently. What can chasing after God’s wisdom do in helping you find patience that gives life rather than the anger that takes it away?

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in Devotional, 0 comments

Light my path and search me, oh God

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Psalm 119:105: Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Light on my path

Life is truly a journey, but sometimes while on the trip we are faced with turns, stops, and forks in the road where we desperately need God’s divine guidance. In the middle of the indecisive moments in our lives, we must do our part in seeking God’s will.

The word of God is designed specifically for the believer to utilise in reading, studying and meditation regarding any situation. God additionally provides his children with the Holy Spirit to guide us in all truth and revelation concerning our life’s purpose, plan, and assignment. Frustration often occurs when we independently choose our own plans apart from God’s word and the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

John 16:13-14: 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.

Similarly, irritation attempts to creep in when we follow God’s word and heed to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and change in our situation doesn’t happen instantly. During those waiting periods, I encourage you to wait some more, trust, pray, and praise the LORD because additional guidance and revelation is on the way.

Hebrews 11:6: And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God and sometimes He doesn’t provide the entire picture of your life’s plan, just one pixel at a time. When you feel like you don’t know where to turn, remember God’s word is the light that guides you and illuminates your path.

2 Timothy 3:16-17: 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

God continues to reveal, speak, and guide his children. Be encouraged today and make sure that you are in alignment with his will, word, and way. Then you will begin to notice God’s divine guiding power in your life.

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Search me, oh God

Psalm 139:23-24

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

If we’re not careful, our hearts can become like double-sided tape, picking up slights and hurts with increasing ease. And God is never duped by our outward appearance. He, better than anyone, knows that no human being is exempt from needing to declutter our hearts.

Even David, described as a man after God’s own heart, asked God to examine the contents of his soul in Psalm 139:23-24

His prayer gives us three practical steps to follow in decluttering our hearts.

1 Ask God

David courageously asked God to conduct an internal excavation. This was a brave request considering God knows all things, even that which we hide from ourselves.

And though the combination of our mind, will, and emotions may look like a long overdue garage sale, He is not hesitant to delve inside. He is not repelled by the complexity of our soul. Fully aware of the sum total of who we are, He delights in us.

2 Listen to God

David not only asked, but was prepared to listen to all that God would reveal to him about his heart. This was evident by his asking “See if there is any offensive way in me,”. David wanted to know God’s opinion of who he was at his core.

If we choose, like David, to declutter our hearts, we need to be prepared for what God has to say about us. He may ask us to part with a piece of ourselves we feel intimately connected to. Though it may be difficult, we can rest in the truth that God loves us extravagantly.

He is a master heart pruner, who purges because He knows it will make us better. Gently he persistently prompts us to release the jumbled hodgepodge of clutter we’ve piled up in our hearts. As our Creator, we can trust He has a purpose when He says “Let it go.”

He alone knows what needs to be kept or discarded.

3 Follow God

David ends his Psalm by saying “. . .    and lead me in the way everlasting.” If you are like me, sometimes I think I am a shepherd instead of a sheep. Foolishly, I get confused into thinking I can do a better job leading myself; but I can’t.

This is futile because a self-led person is headed for ruin. It is better to be led by God who sees our beginning and our end. If He can speak to the waves and bring peace then he can speak to our cluttered souls and bring order. We must surrender to Him: believing His infinite understanding of who we are is far superior than our finite perspective.

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Love each other deeply

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1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Christians ought to work hard at loving each other. The Greek word translated as “deeply,” “earnestly,” or “fervently” is ektenē, used to describe the muscles of an athlete straining to win a race. Peter writes that Christians should do this above all. A follower of Christ must make demonstrating the love of Jesus to others his or her first priority. This is always a requirement, but especially crucial during seasons of suffering.

Loving each other is also a proper response to the realisation that the end of all things is near, as mentioned in 1 Peter 4:7 “The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.” Knowing that the Day of the Lord could come at any time should cause believers to double down on our commitment to each other.

Finally, loving each other in this way covers a multitude of sins. We need to be careful with this statement. This doesn’t mean that our acts of love for each other can earn God’s forgiveness. Nor does Peter mean to imply that we are paying our sins off through good works. That would contradict what Peter and other New Testament writers clearly teach: that our sins are paid for by Christ’s death on the cross, and forgiveness for sin comes only through trusting in Him.

Rather, the idea that our love for each other covers a multitude of sins relates to our imperfection. Christians are not yet sinless. We are not perfect. We have set the course of our lives away from sin, but we still fail to obey sometimes. We make mistakes, even when we mean well.

Love for each other includes forgiving each other, overlooking past hurts, and building each other up when we fall.

It is difficult for sin and resentment to flourish in a community rich in Christ-like love.

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