Proverbs 20

Proverbs 20

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Proverbs 20 Commentary

by Hank Workman

Sometimes we have to pick our battles.  So often within our relationships, we have to weigh in if it is the right time to speak or not.  Battles come when differences are evident.  Many times we want to simply ‘go to war’ over something that will not be received or is not the right time.  Or let’s be honest, sometimes we go to war over something that in the scheme of things doesn’t matter.  Some battles are worth fighting while others are not.  This is where our wisdom and discernment is essential.

“Prepare plans by consultation, and make war by wise guidance.”

Proverbs 20:18

“The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the innermost parts of his being.”

Proverbs 20:27

These verses speak to this issue.  We are in desperate need of the guidance of the Holy Spirit in such matters of which battles we fight.  He knows us inside and out.  He knows through His searching if our hearts are right, our motives pure for such confrontation.  But He also knows if the party on the other side of the battle line is open to correction or instruction.

This is particularly true with spiritual matters.  Sometimes we pick up arms because we’ve been offended, we’ve taken the issue personally and feel the need to strike.  Nothing usually good comes from such battles when we’re acting on our own emotion.  As the statement goes, sometimes we need to step back before we strike.  But that stepping back should be filled with our own seeking the Spirit’s will and relying on Him to direct us if we are to say something or not.  In that time we should be in prayer for the ‘offender’ asking God to soften their heart.  He will reveal to us if we are to go forward with the battle or not.

Is there a battle looming in your future?  Is there an issue that feels needs to be addressed?  Step back and seek the wisdom of the Spirit in the matter before you strike.  Be in prayer for the one who is on the receiving end.  Act when He tells you.  Speak truth when He gives the green light.  Pick your battles.

Proverbs 20 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

This chapter really addresses a diverse range of topics. Excessive drinking, gossip, pride, and disobedience, just to name a few. Here is what stuck out to me…

“The one who lives with integrity is righteous; his children who come after him will be happy.”

Proverbs 20:7 HCSB 

A lot of people don’t realize how their decisions affect everyone else around them. As a parent, I think about this a lot. I want my daughters to have a solid foundation and to walk with the Lord. The best I can do is live my relationship with the Lord before her, striving for integrity and praying that she knows God. Your decision to live with integrity or not will affect future generations and so many others around you!

“Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am cleansed from my sin”?”

Proverbs 20:9 HCSB 

This is an honest plea for a solution to the problem that has plagued man since the beginning. There is a temptation to say, “I have conquered my sin, because I’ve chosen to be a Christian.” However, we must look closely at the context. Who can say I have…? The answer is no one. Jesus cleanses hearts from sin. As Romans states, “No one is righteous, no, not one.”

Grace is tricky. It provides unbelievable hope and encouragement while also tackling the reality and severity of our sin.

The balancing act for us as Christians is to see ourselves as vessels carrying the image of God to a broken world while also understanding that we are absolutely nothing without Jesus. We are lost and dead in our sin but we are also created in His image with love and purpose. We must see both of these to be truly effective as ministers of the Gospel!

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