Thursday, December 29, 2016

Self-Devastation


Do you remember the first time you lied and you got away with it?

Do you remember when you were finally convinced that lying just wasn’t worth it?

I do not know whether either of these questions apply to you. However, it is likely that you know someone that lies and seems to get away with it. No conscience. Lying is simply a part of life.

I worked with a man who, just a few days before retirement, advised a young coworker, “Never admit that you are wrong; never admit a mistake.” (Translation: Lie to cover your mistakes.)

What the older man did not realize is that everyone already knew. He could not hide all his mistakes, so everyone knew that he lied. He had no conscience and no integrity. No one really cared that he retired (except, perhaps, his wife).

How foolish we are to think that we will really get away with our lies.

     A false witness will not go unpunished, 
     And he who tells lies will not escape.
     --Proverbs 19:5

We have a number of words in the English language to describe lying. It does not matter what word is used; it does not matter how subtle the lie or how minor its impact. A lie is a lie.

I wonder if the most devastating lie is the one we tell ourselves...that it really does not matter!

Monday, December 26, 2016

One Thing You Really Need to Know about Christmas

The Holiday
Yes, it is true. We really do not know the exact date of Jesus’ birth. One writer has commented that about the only thing we know for sure is that Jesus was not born on December 25th.

The word ‘Christmas’ does not come from the Bible, but from the Catholic Church. It is a shortened form of “Christ’s Mass,” a celebration of Christ’s birth that originated about the 4th century A.D.

What are we supposed to do with this information. Some believers simply do not want to be bothered with facts. Some  who do not believe in Jesus look at the facts and think Christians to be foolish for celebrating Christmas.

When we turn to the Bible the birth of Jesus brought joy to those awaiting the Messiah, and it brought praise to God for fulfilling His promise of salvation. Yet, as joyful a time as it was, there is no evidence that the first century Christians ever celebrated His birth, nor were they instructed to do so in the Bible. That said, Christians today are given the liberty to celebrate Christmas if they wish, as they wish, whenever they wish, even in July.

The Wise Men
Yes, it is true. No one really knows how many wise men visited Jesus; and no one knows their names. It is somewhat unclear from scripture whether Joseph and Mary had returned to Nazareth or stayed in Bethlehem when the wise men visited. (Compare Matthew's account with Luke's account.) It is also unclear how old Jesus was when the wise men presented Him gifts. About the only thing we know for sure is that Jesus was not lying in a manger in a stable when the wise men visited. He was inside a house with His mother:

“After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshipped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh."
—Matthew 2:11
There are things we are used to hearing and seeing at Christmastime, things we even expect: trees and stockings, fruitcakes and shopping; fa la la la laa, la la la laaaaa.

Whether you celebrate; in whatever way you celebrate; your Christmas traditions are yours. December 25th, the wise trio, manger & stable scenes; and the jolly, rotund, chimney sweep with a big bountiful bag; it is all up to you. But there is one thing you really need to know about Christmas.

Peace on Earth
An angel announced the birth of Jesus to nearby shepherds. Then the heavenly host appeared praising God and saying:

Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom he is well pleased.

—Luke 2:14 (NASB)
This was not a divine greeting, but a declaration. Peace on earth would be nice, but God never promised ‘everybody’ peace on earth. You need to know that the only ones who will have peace are those ‘with whom He is well pleased.’ And that demands a response, not to the baby in a manger, but the Christ upon the cross.

Jesus, the adult Jesus, the one called Messiah, and Master; the man that God acknowledged as his Son; He said that He had come to bring a sword (Matthew 10:34). The sword represents judgment and tells us that He will make a separation between those who are godly and those who are ungodly.

Jesus did bring peace to earth, but it was peace between God and sinful man. Just read the first two chapters of the gospel accounts of Matthew and Luke and see for yourself.

Zacharias, the father of John said it; Mary said it; the old man Simeon said it; the angel announced it: Jesus came to bring peace between God and man, to those with whom He is well pleased.

Is God well pleased with your response to Jesus???

Thursday, December 22, 2016

No Excuses


The boys did not know there were shallow places where they were diving. They buried their friend.

The driver did not know that there was a hairpin turn at the bend in the road. Three were lost.

The young boy did not know the gun was loaded, and his mother cried.

The realities of our natural world are often seen as brutal. It is so sad when young people ignore advice or take dangerous risks not knowing the likely consequences. It is not a comforting statement, but real, "Ignorance is no excuse."

We are well aware of this reality because of our own experiences or those we hear and read about. The laws of nature are unforgiving.

It is common, however, for people to look at society and morality and spirituality and think that things are different.

     If you say, "See, we did not know this," 
     Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? 
     And does He not know it who keeps your soul? 
     And will He not render to man according to his work?
     --Proverbs 24:12

There are consequences for actions in society and in the natural world...
and there are spiritual consequences for the choices we make.

Ignorance is no excuse.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Glad Dad


     My son, if your heart is wise, 
     My own heart also will be glad.
     --Proverbs 23:15

That’s not so impressive, is it?
It is not one of those proverbs with a stinger, the kind that sets the reader up in the first line and then surprises them with a sharp and piercing dart of truth in the next.

However, let’s consider what the father did NOT tell his son:


My son, if you have fine clothes
My own heart also will be glad.

My son, if you drive a nice chariot (car)
My own heart also will be glad.

My son, if you marry a beautiful woman
My own heart also will be glad.

My son, if you accumulate wealth
My own heart also will be glad.

My son, if your heart is full of laughter
My own heart also will be glad.

My son, if you have many friends
My own heart also will be glad.

My son, if your life is filled of entertainment,
My own heart also will be glad.
My son, if your career is on track
My own heart also will be glad.

My son, if you are a man of great power
My own heart also will be glad.

Wisdom:
     My son, if your heart is wise
     My own heart also will be glad.

Dads, what will make you glad?
Give good, godly advice to your son (children).

Thursday, December 15, 2016

OUCH, OOPS, STUPID!


We live in a nation that boasts ‘independence.’ We are free men and women. We own our own lives. We decide our futures.

And yet, we know all too well, from experience...

     The rich rules over the poor, 
     And the borrower becomes the lender's slave.
                                                                         --Proverbs 22:7

If we know this proverbs to be true by our own observation and experience, why are so many of us in debt ‘up to our ears’? We are ‘owned’ (enslaved) by the banks, credit card companies, department stores, and other lenders.

Warning: "That’s hot; you’ll burn yourself."
   "I know" . . . "OUCH!"
Warning: "You are going to break it if you keep doing that."
   "I know" . . . "OOPS!"
Warning: "You’ll be a slave to your lenders if you keep borrowing."
   "I know" . . . "More money, Please."

There is no other way to put it.
When we know the consequences, but act foolishly anyway, we are...
OUCH, OOPS, STUPID.

Get out of debt.
Be wise.

Monday, December 12, 2016

"You Deserve It!"


I cringe just a little when I hear the expression, “Oh, you deserve it.”

I generally hear this sentiment when someone is about to take a few days off for a vacation. “I’m so happy for you; you deserve it.”

There is nothing wrong with taking time off for rest and relaxation. However, our society, in general, has become obsessed with entertainment and pleasure. Is that wise?

     He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; 
     He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.
     --Proverbs 21:17

The pleasure seeker is not really descriptive of the hard working man or woman who is busy throughout the week with job and family, but occasional takes time off. The pleasure seeker fills every weekend and many week nights with pleasure activities. They eat out more often than not. They sit at their TV, go out to movies, concerts, sporting events; they head out to parks, museums, and amusement parks regularly. They are always looking and thinking about the next event or activity. Then they rush off to the big city for more.

None of these things, in and of themselves, are bad or wrong. Look back at the warning in the proverb: “He who loves pleasure” and “He who loves wine and oil” (symbolic of wealth and happiness). Solomon is talking about the pleasure ‘lover.’ Their mind is not oriented toward helping others. Oh, it's a nice thought, but they crave pleasure and entertainment. Their mind is not oriented toward the Lord. They have appetites to satisfy.

Solomon warns that they will become poor, yet he is not focusing on wealth. He is presenting wealth as the result of wisdom, prudence, and discipline.

The pleasure lover is out of touch with reality. He does not really know God.

Our mental image of Jesus does not have him in the fan stands wearing the bright colors of a favorite sports team cheering them on to victory. Our mental image of the Christ does not have him on a party barge at the lake or on a roller coaster at the amusement park.

Jesus: Fasting and praying; preaching and warning about God's judgment; teaching and healing and showing compassion; sacrifice. The cross.

Has our wealth skewed our perception of pleasure, what we deserve, and what is truly important? Has our wealth skewed our perception of God? Of Christ?

Go on vacation. Head out to the ball game. Ride the roller coaster. Enjoy life. But ask yourself; honestly evaluate yourself: "Am I a pleasure lover."

Entertainment and pleasure can truly make you poor, and I’m not just talking about money.

Monday, December 5, 2016

I Know What You're Thinking


Imagine the absurdity...

Everyone in the courtroom stands as the honorable judge is announced. He seats himself, the courtroom is seated; the judge faces the people in the courtroom.

The lawyers are ready to begin the day and the first case is introduced and immediately the gavel strikes and the judge announces, “Guilty. Next case.”

Again, imagine the absurdity.

You know and I know; the judge knows, the lawyers know, everyone knows... that’s not fair! There can be no justice unless the judge ‘hears’ the case. He cannot simply respond to the accusation without listening to the facts.

It seems so elementary, yet, we all sit in the judge’s seat at times in our daily lives. Parents deal with children, husbands interact with wives, wives with husbands; bosses and employees interact; neighbors interact; church members interact; people bump into people in stores, at the park, around town. We are involved in communication everywhere we go.

How often do you ‘decide’ something about a person before you get to know them? How often do you 'decide' how you will respond before listening to the other person?

It cannot work in the courtroom. The judge must first listen, then return a verdict (judgment).

It cannot work at the fast food restaurant. Imagine pulling up to the 'drive through' and just as you begin to order, you hear: “Hello...your order is ready.”

What makes us think it will work in our daily interactions with people. It is so easy to blurt out a response before all the facts are known. It is so easy to ‘jump to conclusions.’

Friendships severed; family members offended; business deals lost; progress stifled. Solomon calls it ‘folly and shame.’

     He who gives an answer before he hears, 
     It is folly and shame to him.
                                                             --Proverbs 18:13

I think 'time' is an important part of the solution. Just pause a little longer, listen a little more carefully, then respond. They say that “time heals all wounds” but perhaps a little extra time could prevent the injury in the first place. After all, I really don't know what you're thinking.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

True Gems


How many times must we be told?
How many ways can it be said?
Will we ever get it?

     There is gold, and an abundance of jewels;
     But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.
     --Proverbs 20:15

Wealth is not wrong, but let’s not even begin to rationalize all the 'stuff' we own.

A person who has wealth knows quite a lot about material things; knows how to obtain material things; knows how to maintain material things; knows material things.
In the end... * poof * ...gone.
What a waste...of life.

A person who has knowledge, true knowledge, knowledge of God, knowledge of God's ways, knows God. And he knows how to truly live...
so he lives...
and he lives...
forever...
...

Monday, November 28, 2016

I Really Fooled Myself


Humans are visually oriented. We generally picture a person’s face in our mind when we hear their name. Yet we understand that a person is much more complex than their face or the physical form that we see.

Many readers will remember the familiar Bible story of the anointing of King David. God had instructed Samuel, the high priest, to go to the home of a man named Jesse in order to anoint the next king over Israel. After Samuel arrived, Jesse brought his sons to Samuel.

Samuel looked at the oldest son of Jesse, Eliab, and was sure that God had chosen him. However, Samuel became confused when God rejected Eliab and six of his brothers. Ultimately, young David was called in from tending sheep. He was God’s choice.

God instructed Samuel, “...for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
(Read about it in 1 Samuel 16.)

We get it. God sees the inner person.

Unfortunately we sometimes fail with regard to our own selves. Not only are we sometimes tricked by the outer ‘shell’ of others, we can easily fool ourselves about ourselves. Solomon wrote:

     All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, 
     But the LORD weighs the spirits.
     --Proverbs 16:2

People are expert at justifying and rationalizing and explaining things to themselves. When things go wrong, we often rationalize and consider ourselves an exception (i.e. not guilty by virtue of good intentions). In general, people tend to behave as if they are right in their thinking, their decisions, and their behavior; always ready to go on the defensive if anyone challenges.

God cuts through all the exterior. He is not impressed with the outer shell and he is not fooled by the mental gymnastics of our internal rationalizations. God pierces through to the spirit and weighs, that is, evaluates the inner man.

We are completely laid bare before God.

Find confidence and peace in this reality.
  • God is just. You cannot fool God. So, God will be just with you.
  • God knows you better than you know yourself...and he still loves you.
  • If you are not friends with God, he knows. Don’t fool yourself. Make peace.
Be wise.

Monday, November 21, 2016

'How' as Important as 'What'


Quick! -- Who was your favorite teacher?

Whoever you thought of, there was a reason. For some folks the reason may have something to do with their teacher's unique ability to make the learning process enjoyable. For many, their favorite teacher not only did a good job teaching the subject matter,  she/he really cared about students. So, it was just as much about the 'way' in which things were taught.

     The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, 
     But the mouth of fools spouts folly.
     --Proverbs 15:2

The Hebrew term for ‘acceptable’ carries the idea of ‘good’ or ‘pleasant.’ So, a wise person will say things that are beneficial (i.e. good content). In addition, the ‘way’ things are said will be ‘pleasant’ to the listener.

As always, the fool stands opposite the wise. The words of the fool are described as ‘folly.’ In this proverb the 'fool' is literally someone who is 'weak-minded.'

The ‘fool’ offers little in the way of content. In addition, he lacks the skill (wisdom) to communicate in a ‘pleasant’ way so that the things said are easily accepted.


The ‘way’ we communicate is of vital importance. Just because we have good content , does not mean that we have communicated it well. We must give careful thought to the ‘way’ in which we communicate. So, assuming that the content of our message is good, our goal should be to communicate in a 'way' that makes our words pleasant and easy to hear.

Do you think this advice would help...
  • In our marriages?
  • With our children?
  • Among fellow Christians?
  • In the workplace?
(Just where would this advice NOT be applicable?)

Pleasant communication will not change the content of your message, but poorly chosen words, manners, or attitudes can completely destroy your message. Speak with wisdom; don't play the fool.

Think before you speak. Be thoughtful as you speak.
Be wise.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Reality Checkup


On one occasion, after a long hard day at school, I quipped to a co-teacher of mine, “If it weren’t for the kids, this teaching gig would be really nice!”

We laughed, knowing that teaching really is all about kids, and yet, there were those days....

Sadly, not everyone is in touch with reality:
  • Have you ever known a school teacher who really did not like kids?
  • Have you ever gone to a store and overheard the employees complaining about the customers?
  • Have you ever known an athlete who simply hated to go to practice?
The contradiction in these examples seems so obvious. However, it is likely that at times all of us are a little detached from reality. Solomon described this oxymoron quite vividly:

     Where no oxen are, the manger is clean,
     But much increase comes by the strength of the ox.
     --Proverbs 14:4

What a conundrum! What a contradiction!
   “I want a clean manger (stable).”
   “I want to earn a profit.”
   “Making a profit will require oxen" (so, ox 'scat').
   “But I really want that clean stable.”

Humans can be unreasonable when they desire two conflicting things at once. Perhaps you have heard the expression: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Reality: You simply cannot have both at the same time.

Do you ever sigh in near exhaustion wishing you could keep an uncluttered house; yet . . .
  • You allow your children to wreck the place with no measure of discipline and no expectations for them to help?
  • You find a free moment in your schedule and you immediately turn to your electronics (TV, computer, iThingie, etc.)?
  • You excuse your tired self to relax out on the patio or deck?
  • "There are more important things in life"?
The point is not that you should have an uncluttered house, or that you are not a good disciplinarian, or that you should not rest, or that other things are not important. The point is...
You are out of touch with reality.
You cannot expect to have an uncluttered house AND ... not take the steps to keep it uncluttered.

Have you ever moaned about your boss or your coworkers or your job in general, wishing things were more like your first day on the job when you were getting all the attention and everyone was helpful?

The point is not that you should just accept bad bosses or bad coworkers, or that you should just be grateful for a job. The point is that there was only one ‘first day’ with all the excitement of being the new 'golden-haired child.' You are out of touch with reality!

Young people, do you sometimes find yourself complaining about your parents when they ask you to clean your room, do household chores, go with them to visit an older person, or they say, “No” to your requests?
You are out of touch with reality!
You are a kid, not a king.

Your parents do not exists as slaves to carry out your every wish. You are completely out of touch with reality to expect a free ride in life. Your parents provide food, clothing, and housing without cost. They have a reasonable expectation for you to take responsibility and help. They have a reasonable expectation for you to honor their rules and requests. When you are out of touch with reality in your complaining, you sound like a selfish baby. Grow up!

Solomon was a ‘reality’ expert. He addressed the attitudes of the heart.
You just can’t have a clean stable, AND enjoy the profit that comes from oxen.

Is your attitude due for a 'reality check'?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Wealth or Relationships?


     Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it
     Than a house full of feasting with strife.
     --Proverbs 17:1

When we read the word ‘better’ we automatically recognize that one thing is more beneficial than another. The reader is given a comparison of the value of two things. A choice is presented.

Without knowing specific circumstances, one might reason that it is not really a sin to be in a house full of feasting with strife, but it is NOT better. The word ‘strife’ in this verse indicates complaining, arguing, and even fighting (probably verbally). So, there is nothing ‘wrong’ with a house of feasting (with strife). Of course, the strife part is not good.

We might be tempted to continue meandering around the words until we eventually wash out the meaning of the proverb. Let’s be reasonable; what do you think God expected us to learn by reading this proverb? What kind of response do you think He expects?

The ‘dry morsel’ and ‘feasting’ are contrasting terms that represent a measure of wealth. ‘Quietness’ and ‘strife’ describe human interaction. How often do we think about there being a relationship between wealth and human interaction?

Surely it is better to have plenty of food instead of going hungry. Feasting is better than starving. However, that is not an absolute truth; there are circumstances that might change the way we look at wealth. Solomon advises that if you are placed in circumstances in which you must choose between wealth and peace in human relationships, choose peace.

One might conclude that, in general...


The way you manage your relationships
IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN 
The way you manage your money!

Manage wisely!
Invest in friends and family.
Invest in people.

(As we approach the upcoming whirlwind of holiday fun, feasting and festivities, we would do well to remember that our relationships with friends and family and fellow believers are more important than finances and gifts.)

Monday, November 7, 2016

Do You 'Believe in Prayer'?



The word prayer gets thrown around a lot these days and I wonder if we sometimes forget what it's all about. You see, prayer is really quite meaningless unless there is a God who listens and responds. Now, I am not trying to pick at words, but you might say...
  • So, I do not 'believe in prayer,' but I believe in the God of Heaven who listens and responds.
  • I do not believe 'prayer works' or that there is 'power in prayer,' yet I know that my God works in the lives of people and that He is powerful.
  • I do not 'send prayers.' Rather, I speak openly with my Heavenly Father who listens to His children.
  • I do not recite memorized prayers. Prayer is not cute poetry for the amusement of others. Clever rhymes do not move God. Chanting memorized verse over and over does not move God. Prayer is heartfelt communication with the God who is real and who listens and who acts.
How meaningful would it be to you if your children thanked you after a meal at a restaurant:
   Thanks for the meal; the food was good.
   Please drive us home; we wish you would.
Sincere? Meaningful? After the tenth time?
        And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans,
        for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
                                                                                              —Matthew 6:7
I believe that prayer is important, not because it makes me feel better, but because I have been given assurances by God in the Bible. He has given me promises so I KNOW that He hears me when I intentionally speak to Him. I am confident that He considers my requests and answers.
     This is the confidence which we have before Him,
     that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 
                                                                                             —1 John 5:14
I cannot tell you whether my prayers are supplication, intercession, or something else. I pray with Intention and I open my heart to God. Sometimes, often times, I lack words; I just need…“Help!”
     ...for we do not know how to pray as we should,
     but he Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings
     too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts
     knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes
     for the saints according of the will of God.
                                                                                           —Romans 8:26-27
There are times when I express my joy, praise, and thanks; sometimes I make a request. I pray for understanding when I do not understand. I pray for discernment when I face uncertainties. I pray for courage to endure life's trials and for courage to stand firm in my faith.
     Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask,
     believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.
                                                                                            —Mark 11:24
I find myself being cautious with my attitude when praying. I never think of prayer as a ‘tool’ or a means to obtain what I want. I realize that I am addressing the Holy God of Heaven who Created the universe, including me.
      You ask and do not receive,
     because you ask with wrong motives,
     so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
     God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
                                                                                            —James 4:3 & 6
Prayer is really quite simple, just open your heart to God, but always watch your attitude. Believe God; believe in God; believe in the God who answers prayer. Talk to God. Pray.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Life or Ruin?...You Choose!


Off the top of your head, how many words can you list that describe negative, hurtful, or sinful speech?
  • Slander,
  • Lies,
  • False Witness,
  • Gossip,
  • Flattery,
  • Deceit,
  • Guile,
  • Loose tongue/lips,
  • False accusation,
  • Babbler.
My list is not exhaustive and some of the words describe attitudes that may or may not come out in speech (i.e. Deceit). But you get the idea. Our language is full of words to describe a person who either cannot or does not control his/her tongue.

Even the last item on my list is bad. My dad had a rather unflattering way to describe the babbler. He said it was a person with ‘diarrhea of the mouth!’

The babbler may not actually be saying bad things or hurting others, but the babbler does not listen; cannot be taught; always has more to say. Babblers are selfish talkers.

Life or Ruin . . . You Choose!

   The one who guards his mouth preserves his life;
   The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
   --Proverbs 13:3

The one who guards his mouth gives thought to his words before speaking. He uses his words to encourage, to speak truth, to honor God and men, to express love and appreciation. He uses his tongue for instruction; he uses his tongue for discipline when necessary.

The one who guards his mouth chooses his words wisely. He does not excuse himself, “That’s just the way I am.” He thinks first and is considerate of the feelings of others.

The one who guards his mouth is teachable, knowing that there is a time to talk, but also a time to listen. He knows that he is not all-knowing, not all-wise. Even when he ‘knows,’ he allows another to share an idea; after all, he may still need to be taught.

The one who guards his mouth is often silent. . .
. . .
. .
.

.


.



.

Monday, October 24, 2016

A Pair to Remember


Pride. Pride. Pride. Pride. Pride. Pride. Pride. Pride. Pride. Pride. Pride.
Humble. Humble. Humble. Humble. Humble. Humble. Humble. Humble.

A person cannot read the Proverbs without learning something about God’s attitude toward pride and humility. The Apostle Peter summed it up succinctly:
   God is opposed to the proud, 
   But gives grace to the humble.
   --1 Peter 5:5

Not only should we see God’s attitude toward pride and humility in the Proverbs, we should learn how to avoid pride and its pitfalls, as well as how to embrace humility and its blessings. Perhaps the real question is whether we believe the words of Solomon and Peter or simply wish to blunder through life indulging our human nature.

Consider the proverb...

   When pride comes, then comes dishonor, 
   But with the humble is wisdom.
   --Proverbs 11:2

Dishonor follows pride. This is a principle of life that God has put into place in his creation. It is like gravity; God made it to be that way.

Some folks look for exceptions, or, at least, occasions that appear to be exceptions. People that challenge God and His word by pressing a supposed exception are scoffers. Their na├»ve assessment of God's word demonstrates pride in their thinking.

Jesus taught a parable that illustrated the principle found in the proverb. It is worth a quick look. 

And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, 9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. 10 But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you."


His conclusion in verse 11:
   "For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, 
   And he who humbles himself shall be exalted."

Looking back to the proverb...
The second line of the proverb contrasts the first, but with a notable difference. Dishonor 'follows' pride, but wisdom is 'with' the humble.

Dishonor and pride are a pair, but one follows the other. In contrast, wisdom and humility are paired together as close companions. We can safely conclude that a wise person will demonstrate humility, but also, that a humble person pursues and lives according to wisdom.

Are you able to read this proverb and accept it at face value? Or, do you find God to be out of sync with the people of our day? Do you have insight into truth that surpasses God's understanding? Are you a scoffer?

See pride for what it is. Embrace the noble pair, humility and wisdom, and enjoy the results, grace from our Creator.