We all know people who can’t stop talking. Yak…yak…yak! How annoying can they get? Never seem to take a breath. So caught up in themselves that they may have no idea if anyone’s even listening. Oblivious. Indifferent and clueless. On and on… about themselves. An endless stream of words. Anyone’s face come to mind? Hopefully, it’s not mine! Or yours!
When you’ve read Proverbs 11, you’ll have read many words. But these are ones to pay attention to. That will make life different for us. Words to heed. A life lived for God. As I read this chapter, I kept writing down all the words that contrast a godly and ungodly person. Took up half a notebook page. For years now I’ve made it a personal habit to take notes on the Bible passages I’m reading that day for my personal devotions. Time with God, noting what impresses me. Like the Lord looking over my shoulder and pointing out a verse or two, a word or phrase. ‘Look at this,’ He says. ‘Now, don’t miss that’. A still, small voice within as I spend time in His Word.
Ever try it? Taking some notes? Paying closer attention to the leading of the Holy Spirit? As I was writing down all the descriptive words used in Proverbs 11 for ‘the righteous’ and ‘the wicked’, I almost ran out of ink–upright…trustworthy…gracious…kind…generous…on and on. Then for the other side–violent…godless…cruel…foolish…and on and on. Thought I was checking out my two new Thesauri that I bought last Christmas!
What about these words Solomon uses to describe the godly and the opposite? I know which column I want to be associated with me. The righteous and godly! Sometimes I slip to the other side, but no way would I want to hang around there for too long. So, I confess my sin and God moves me to the right side of the column. I’m discovering that these are not merely words, but a life. And a life worth living involves more of godliness than the other side.
Here’s a sobering thought. Look closely at verse 10– ‘When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness'(ESV). My life is more than my own. What I do affects others for a long time. Can’t sluff off bad behavior as if it only affects me. Much of what we do, and who we are, lasts a lot longer than we imagine. That gives me pause. With resolve… to follow the godly things in my life. You too?
Prayer: Lord, we want to stand with you. To be godly people. To follow you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.