Saturday, October 29, 2011

Good judgment

© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

Sorry to be a day late!  We had a cable catastrophe yesterday and haven't had access for a day and a half.  But thanks be to God, I'm back!

I felt like I should clarify why I've had so many jobs.  I worked for Boeing for 10 years in Seattle. Then when we moved back to New Jersey, I realized I could make more money contracting so I had several jobs.  I took a full-time job for 5 years in a company that was going under fast.  So I contracted again for several Fortune 500 companies.  In fact, I realized my resume had all the companies mentioned in the first financial crash a few years ago.  And I had VP's as references too... rats!  Before my last job, I couldn't find contract work.  So I took a full-time position, 13 hour days, long commutes...  It was my toughest job ever. 

I worked there for 2 years.  My husband became ill and needed hospitalization.  But, praise be to God!  We had insurance to pay for it.  He knew our needs before we knew we needed them.  After he got well, my husband told me it was time for me to pursue my dreams.  He told me if I didn't sign myself up for the New York Institute of Photography Pro Course, he would do it for me. : )  God has supplied our needs ever since.  And of course I love my husband now more than ever.

Proverbs 13

Here's another warning about guarding what we say.  I keep coming up with new ideas to illustrate this, but I think maybe He's trying to tell me to watch what I say.  Hmmmm...  I'll never forget being in a meeting at work and my Supervisor told us if he didn't do a better job and prove he was qualified, he would be let go.  I have no idea what I was thinking- maybe it just slipped out.  But I said, "That's good."  Then I was horrified.  Is there an "Undo" button anywhere?  Eraser?  I wanted to crawl under the table.  I was a hero to my co-workers.  He's probably the worst supervisor I've ever had, maybe 2nd.  My ex-coworkers are still hoping he gets laid off.  But still, you just don't say things like that!  I felt ugly at that moment, lacking discipline, embarrassed, not very Christlike.  So glad He forgives when we mess up.  And it was a valuable lesson to hold my tongue.
3 Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

I'm thinking things probably would've gone smoother with this supervisor, if I'd kept my mouth shut at that staff meeting.  We are not perfect, that's a sure thing!
15 Good judgment wins favor,
but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.

I want to be the one who has integrity, who can be trusted.  Wickedness is like not obeying the authorities, if I do good no worries.  If I am doing wrong, there's reason to worry and be afraid.
6 Righteousness guards the person of integrity,
but wickedness overthrows the sinner.

This is how I see the meaning of this verse.  One person is wealthy.  He lacks trust in anyone.  He drives a Mercedes and has to make sure it's safe every time he parks.  He can't tell the difference between true friends and thieves.  So he's wary of people- he has nothing but money.  Then there's the person who is full of faith sparkles.  They have joy, that's unexplainable.  This person appears to be a poor man, maybe he drives a Volkswagen.   He doesn't worry about what labels are on his clothes, he's grateful for what he has.  He has lots of friends and enjoys Church.  He is wealthy, carefree.  A rich man can pay a ransom if he's kidnapped, a poor man doesn't need to worry about being kidnapped in the first place.
7 One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
8 A person’s riches may ransom their life,
but the poor cannot respond to threatening rebukes.

Fear extinguishes light.  Those who don't need to be afraid, can shine brightly.  It's not easy though, to keep the faith when things get hard.
9 The light of the righteous shines brightly,
but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.

It's soooo hard to wait!  I can relate with my career. I've sold portraits, been published with photos and writing, sold a painting.  Now what do I do?  I so want everything to fall into place and be able to work and earn money like in an office.   But I know the cost of that too well. It requires lots of faith and marketing to freelance.   When something goes well- it's a tree of life.  I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me!  With each success I walk boldly forward.  And, well, with failure I ask, "Are you sure Lord?  This IS the right path isn't it?"  And somehow I know it is.  So grateful for my husband's job and his hard work.
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

I don't have children, so I'm not qualified to give advice about spanking described in this verse.   I know a lot of parents are divided on this.  One of the most effective tools my Mom had was "The Look."  I believe all women have this ability, it may be a gift for self-protection : )  Men hate it (hahaha).  I remember sitting in the backseat of the car with a friend and we were acting up.  I looked at the rear view mirror and saw my Mom giving "The Look."  I immediately told my friend to stop now!  I think if I had children I would spank them if they did something really bad- just on the bum.  And of course use "The Look."

I would love to hear what parents think about this verse.  The most important thing I think (not being a parent) is that children grow up with self-control, discipline.  To me there are extremes- the little soldier who obeys every word and isn't having fun, and the child who is out of control completely.  I like to be around kids in the middle.  They have fun and the confidence to tell jokes, play, and at the same time respect for others. My neighbor kids are like that.  A joy to be around.
24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

It reminds me of this verse from Psalm 23, which would explain why as grown up Christians, we still need His rod and staff to keep us out of trouble.
Psalms 23:4
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,they comfort me.

What do you think?


  1. Hi Karen, I think the Biblical prescription for discipline is important because children (like adults) need boundaries -- it shows them that we love them because we care about them. But the flip side is in Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. So, like any other relationship Paul describes, there is an element of self-sacrificing love, putting the needs of the other person ahead of your own.
    May God bless you and your ministry!

  2. Thanks for your comment Laurie : ) Ephes. 6:4 ties it together doesn't it? I was thinking about pets too (since I don't have kids). The more love and attention I show my cats, the more sensitive they are to discipline- so it doesn't take much. But if I ignore their needs, then discipline them, they get angry. It's the same with horses and dogs too. Actually, my marriage goes better with love : ) This is a great chapter in Proverbs. May God bless you in your ministry as well!

  3. I used to get my butt tanned on a regular basis and I never got a "tannin'" that I didn't deserve. Hey, sometimes you gotta get the kid's attention before you can explain things to him. That's what God does for us, as well, thru suffering and pain.......

  4. Thanks Clint! You bring up a good point. Sometimes we all get a little hard headed don't we? I know I do. God bless!

  5. Our moms must be friends in heaven. My mom had that same "look." :D J.