Monday, November 21, 2011

Proverbs 13 - On Wisdom and Longing

LINK: Proverbs 13

BACKGROUND

These proverbs of Solomon are in the section (Proverbs 10-22) comprised mainly of "authentic" proverbs -- proverbs where there is a contrast introduced by the word but. They are written in short couplets and give wisdom for living on a wide variety of topics.

REFLECTION (written in 2008)

I have been chewing on Proverbs 13 all week. My dear, soulmate friend, Kim, and I got together today, and I found myself drawn to praying through these verses as we prayed over a wide variety of topics.


Here are the verses that stuck out to me as I was praying:

A mocker does not listen to rebuke. (13:1) 

I really want to be open to correction. A sure sign of a fool is someone who does not admit that she needs to listen to those wiser than herself. I do not want to be that kind of fool! 

From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things. (13:2)

I want "fruitful lips" that speak positively, help others, and build them up (see also 12:14, 18)! 

He who guards his lips guards his life, 
but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin. (13:3)

Last night in my exercise class, I didn't guard my lips, and a person shot me a dirty look. I felt pretty silly. Then, I felt convicted this morning as I meditated on this verse. Got it God! 

The desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. (13:4)

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (13:12)
 

A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul. (13: 19)

I grouped these together because they deal with longings and desires. Don't we all have them? As I prayed through them, my heart went to considering my biggest longing: developing a network of "women investors" who are making intentional investments in other women. I believe there is a gold mine of women with so much to share who just need a "gentle elbow" and a little encouragement in helping other women grow. I have had the joy of discipling women since 1980, and I have a deep longing to spread the joy!

My hope has been deferred on a few occasions, but things are looking very positive that something will be happening in January regarding this. I have been trying to carve out time to be diligent in putting together a four week training for disciplemakers called "Discipleship Discussions." I am continuing to pray that that longing would be fulfilled very soon!

(2011 Update: The "Discipleship Discussions" went OK, but my hope was deferred in many ways, and my heart was pretty sick and disappointed. It just was not the right time.  Yet, God continued to keep it in the heart of many people at my church. Last spring, we had a group that defined core values at our elder and staff retreat, and this was a rousing topic of discussion!  I am happy to say that the women's ministry Sunday Study is going to go through 
Discipleship Essentials in twos and threes. That is so sweet to my soul!)

(2105 Update: I was also not the person to bring discipleship to my church. “Discipleship Discussions” was in January 2009. By August of 2009, He open wide a door that we walked through. (I say “we” because the ministry with my church did not include a partnership with my husband, and the new door He opened in August was with him. I like it so much better that way!) God has made it very clear to me that I am to establish and equip those who are intentionally reaching out to others outside the walls of the church. The "Discipleship Discussion" class was a closed door so that God could open a window more suitable for my gifts and calling.) 

One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor,
  yet has great wealth. (13:7)

This verse hit me in light of a recent conversation with a financial agent who has been talking to many of the people in our town who are losing their six figure salary jobs but have little in the way of assets because they have taken out lines of credit on their homes. He said, "They drive really nice cars, but they don't own them." I am praying this economic crisis helps us to be more fiscally wise with our resources in the future!

He who walks with the wise grows wise. (13:20)
                                                                                            

This made me grateful for wise mentors who have given me the privilege of walking with them! I especially give thanks for my mentors, Ginny and Lorraine! (Ginny passed away in 2013.)  I am also thankful for wise friends!

APPLICATION

What is your biggest longing right now?

Pray through the proverbs in this chapter that have ministered to you today. Better yet, find a friend and pray through them together!


"The opposite of ignorance in the spiritual realm is not knowledge but obedience"

PRAYER

Lord, teach us to be wise as You are all-wise. We love You. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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