Pathways Through Proverbs
February 26, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 26
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Following Scripture Verses
- As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool.
- As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.
- A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back.
- Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
- Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
- He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.
- The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
- As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool.
- As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
- The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors.
- As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.
- Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
- The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.
- As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.
- The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.
- The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.
- He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.
- As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death,
- So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?
- Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
- As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
- The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
- Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.
- He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;
- When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.
- Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.
- Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.
- A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.
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Have you ever had an experience like this? Someone does or says something derogatory towards you, and then when you protest the antagonist says, "I was only kidding". The speaker is under the impression that he can say anything he wants, no matter how hurtful or deceitful it may be, and then be absolved from responsibility by making the statement, "Just kidding". Here's another question: has there been a time when you were the "kidder" yourself?
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Our text states that a man who deceives or hurts another with his words or actions and then says that he was just "in sport" is like a madman who has possession of all sorts of weaponry. He has "arrows" and "firebrands", but he does not realize the damage that they can do. His words may, in fact, be implements of death: death to a relationship, or death to a man's spirit. Yet, because he is a fool, he does not realize the harm that he is doing. How many children have been harmed by insulting parents, or even other adults, who pick on one supposed "flaw" in the child's appearance, abilities, or personality and make fun of it? Then, when the child gets upset, he is informed that the adult "doesn't mean it" and was "just joking". Unfortunately, the hurt is already there and will be hard to forget. This problem does not only occur among children, for many adults carry scars from experiences that were supposedly done in jest, but certainly did not seem to be humorous to them.
Here is a general rule of thumb: if the person you are teasing doesn't find it to be funny, then it isn't funny. But be careful, for sometime people will laugh along with you because they think that they should, but deep down inside they are still hurting. We can try to excuse ourselves by thinking that the "victim" should just get over it, but always remember that God says that the aggressor is a death-dealing lunatic.
The Bible says that our speech should always be gracious and edifying. Is yours?
Pastor Mark J Montgomery