Today we continue with the encouragement to have holy relationships with those around us, including our closest friends and family. Within our inner circle, it is much easier to allow our weaknesses to flourish. You’ve heard of the saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt,” right? We tend to be less thoughtful with family, thinking maybe that our family is stuck with us, so we let things slip. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
In today’s reading from Proverbs below, we see more examples of holy relationships. We hear of wise lips, and pursuit the righteousness. We hear about discipline and reproof. These topics are meant to improve our relationships with others.
We can learn a lot from our relationships. Contrary to what we may think, we don’t know everything, but unless we are willing to hear wisdom and be reproofed, we gain nothing but self-righteousness and self-pity. Today’s reading teaches us the God loves those who pursue righteousness. If we think we are already righteous, we will not pursue it, and therefore forfeit the blessings of God.
Fight the temptation to know everything all the time. Allow your friends to teach you. They know more than you realize. Even greater will be the opportunity for you both to learn from each other. That is love.
The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the minds of fools. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is his delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but he loves him who pursues righteousness. There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way; he who hates reproof will die. Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD, how much more the hearts of men! A scoffer does not like to be reproved; he will not go to the wise. A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken. The mind of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly. All the days of the afflicted are evil, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast. Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it. A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention. The way of a sluggard is overgrown with thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway. – Proverbs 15.7-19