Scripture: Proverbs 10:1-12
Key verses: (5-8, 12)
5 A child who gathers in summer is prudent, but a child who sleeps in harvest brings shame.
6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
7 The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.
8 The wise of heart will heed commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
Reflection: It’s a great time for Proverbs in my household. Our son will turn 21 in a couple weeks, and just started his first real internship, with hours and a paycheck. Our daughter is in the homestretch of her senior year, applying for a summer job, prepping for college. I am wondering if we have adequately prepared them for all the changes ahead. I’ve found myself spouting something like Proverbs at them recently: A penny saved is a penny earned; Early is on time; Find friends who’ve got your back; Whites in hot, colors in cold … I am sure they are tired of it.
The book of Proverbs pulls together instructions and wisdom about how to live rightly. It’s chock full of great and sometimes puzzling sayings, with high expectations of ethics, of industry, of thought, word, and deed. It’s a particular kind of scriptural writing, to be taken as wise counsel and advice. I think Proverbs like these probably work better when one seeks them out for oneself. When suggested to others for their behavior, they sound like the best advice of over-anxious parents, who desperately hope something worthwhile will stick. Or perhaps like the teacher in Charlie Brown, whose lecturing tone is indecipherable. Maybe we should all find our own proverb to work on and let others do the same…
Prayer: Loving God, every day I need a new chance to get things right. Every day I need encouragement to try again to follow you. Help me know your hopes for me. Help me expect no less from myself. And help me leave others to work out their own behavior with you. Through Christ the Lord I pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].