Today's Lectionary Text
The plans of the mind belong to mortals,
There is so much packed into these verses of Proverbs 16.
“All one’s ways may be pure in one’s own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.” (v. 1)
Oof, that’s a tough one. Why? Because I know I do it. I’m perfectly able to justify myself through the lens of my own judgement. Does that make it right? Nope.
Here’s a few more nuggets:
“Better is a little with righteousness than large income with injustice.” (v. 8)
Yikes! In a society and time that values largess and the voracious need for more, more, more I am admonished that I would be better off with less.
“The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.” (v.9)
Maybe I need to do a better job of listening to that still small voice that nudges me off my planned route and into the plan He has for me.
“How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.” (v.16)
To value experience and knowledge over money and fame. Anyone else getting increasingly uncomfortable here?
“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” (v. 24)
Maybe I would do better to hold my tongue (and our text) and save my words and social media interactions for higher things.
“Gray hair is a crown of glory.” (v.31)
Hold please. As another birthday has passed, I’m not ready to give into going gray. However, gray hair gained by a righteous life, I’ve seen that in my faith mentors and heroes and aspire to it. Just not today.
“One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and one whose temper is controlled than one who captures a city.” (v.32)
Maybe I need to watch my fuse and practice some deep breathing.
“The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is the Lord’s alone.” (v. 33)
A gentle rebuke that even with all my work and good intention, the Lord is still in charge. But this gives me hope! Through scripture, tradition, reason and experience we can use these ancient, yet still vibrant words to guide our faith journey. Scriptures like these continue to challenge me, shape me, and mold me into a better person, and Christian.
Happy are those who trust in the Lord!
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Prayer for Reflection
Heavenly Father, thank you for your word that lasts through the ages and continues to inspire, direct and challenge us today.
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