It's time for our weekly wisdom from the book of Proverbs. Today we are up to chapter 29 (from the Message Bible translation):
Vs.1. For people who hate discipline and only get more stubborn, there'll come a day when life tumbles in and they break, but by then it'll be too late to help them.
Do you take feedback seriously and with an open heart? Are you teachable? Do you listen to your critics? Or are you defensive? It's wise to listen and learn …
Vs.11. A fool lets it all hang out; a sage quietly mulls it over. Vs.20. Observe the people who always talk before they think – even simpletons are better off than they are.
We all need to engage our brain before opening our mouth. God has given us two ears and one mouth so we should listen more than we speak. Think first. Let your words be few and well chosen.
Vs.14. Leadership gains authority and respect when the voiceless poor are treated fairly.
How you treat the less influential and seemingly less important people defines you. Ultimately, we treat people based on the value we place on them. Jesus treated everyone as if they were a #10. Do the same and see everyone as incredibly valuable to God.
Vs.18. If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.
Take time to look and listen to what God is up to. He is a God who reveals himself and his plans to people. Prophetic vision gives purpose and meaning to life.
Vs.23. Pride lands you flat on your face; humility prepares you for honors.
Pride is a bit like bad breath. Everyone else knows someone has it, except the person! Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less. Humility is acknowledging that God and others have been influential in anything we have become or accomplished.
Vs.25. The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.
Someone once said, "If you want to avoid criticism, do nothing!" It's impossible to please everyone all the time. Focus primarily on pleasing God while being sensitive to people, but without being dependent on their approval.