Friday, November 18, 2011


Oy!  The mouth again...  This is serious.
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

This is a humbling chapter...  These are the verses that stood out to me, lots of wisdom here.

Proverbs 18

1 An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends
and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.
I've seen this many times.  There are people who have an agenda and will force their personal beliefs on others- even to the point of causing quarrels or creating a judging spirit in the person who's listening.  Probably a good time to wipe the dust off our feet and move on.

2 Fools find no pleasure in understanding
but delight in airing their own opinions.
Guilty!  Boy do I have some opinions.  And, sometimes I'm more interested in sharing my point of view than seeking to understand what others are saying.  Once I get off my soap box and listen, I usually find the other person is right too.

4 The words of the mouth are deep waters,
but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream.
I've gotten myself into some deep water at times, that's for sure.  When someone speaks wisdom it's like a rushing stream, good for the soul.

13 To answer before listening—
that is folly and shame.
I would like to apologize to any of my blogger friends where I may have not completely read a post before commenting (blush).  My mind works very quickly and in many directions.  This is an easy trap for me to fall into.  I hear part of the conversation and think I understand.  Listening is sometimes good medicine for others and also helps me come up with the right response.

22 He who finds a wife finds what is good
and receives favor from the Lord.
See ladies?  We are of value to the Lord.  My thanks to all those guys who recognize on their blogs that God uses women as leaders, some even support women as preachers.  Many have taken (1 Cor 14:34) which refers to disruptive behavior in Church, to mean we shouldn't speak at all.  Paul has some words about women teaching men in (1 Tim. 2:11-15).  I'm not called to be a preacher so it's never really bothered me.  But there are times when a woman needs to speak and shouldn't be chastised for it.  Especially in ministry.  I've heard some say if women lead, the men won't.  We are all called to Christ and service, there shouldn't be extremes in this. Hmmm... wonder where the problem really lies. It's interesting to realize that it was women who told the disciples about Jesus' resurrection (Luke 24:9-10).  Would anyone have dared to tell Mother Teresa to be quiet?  Did I mention I see all sides at once?  I will do as He leads.  I am His servant.

10 The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.
24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
These 2 verses describe Jesus to me.  He is a friend who sticks closer to us than a brother, our fortified tower.  He lifts our spirits above the troubles of our world.

Here's how Jesus is described by Paul- our perfect example in relationships.
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant,being made in human likeness.  8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

These verses are like Proverbs 18:10,24,  Jesus' name is above all names.  There is strength and power in His name.
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:3-11 NIV


  1. Good article, Karen. Proverbs has a lot to teach us.

  2. Dear Karen, Thanks for the thoughtful post! It is my prayer that living waters would flow from my mouth, but sadly, there are many times I find myself in deep waters, or worse yet, with my words igniting a fire (James 3:5)!
    May God bless you and your ministry.

  3. Oh I hate that Laurie, me too... It's such a joy to have the right words for someone who needs them. Just to see a smile and a sparkle, where there was pain and despair. To know the Lord is at work.

    May God bless your ministry as well!

  4. Hi Karen, yes we are the Value of the Lord indeed! Great post as always, i love this "13. To answer before listening— that is folly and shame." Be blessed and have a good weekend!

  5. One of the wonderful things about Proverbs is that it was written more than 2500 years ago - and it is still contemporary.

  6. @Murugi Thanks. Amen! We were designed differently than men but we still have an important part in His plan. I like that verse too. Sooo humbling!

    @Glynn yes it's so amazing. There are books you can purchase that describe what God has provided in the Bible. I'm amazed too by the history of the Bible. God created us, so it makes sense He would know our weaknesses and show us how to overcome. It proves it's the inspired Word of God, timeless. Thanks for your comment.

  7. Having come back from last weekend's conference where my husband and I worked on better communication with each other I do especially appreciation this blog's message and theme.

    Especially about listening. It is easy to read something fast and miss what someone else is saying especially when we are not face to face with the other and online. Sometimes jumping in too soon means that the feedback is not accurate. The person who is on the other end then feels misunderstood, has to repeat, or explain. Better communication is to read something over more than once before quickly replying, making fast answers and conclusions, and, of course, it sure is good to read all of it and not just part. I have to watch these things myself.

    Also good not to assume too much too soon until we get to know someone better. Harder, of course, to do that on line.

    Counselors work on this and try to get others to also work on it. It helps to say, "I think what you are saying is..or something like that..before jumping in to offer an agreement, solution (usually not good to do that anyway) or, Lord have mercy, our opinions! Everyone needs to be heard and it's what friends are for. God does pick up the pieces though and enables us to learn from the times we fall short in communicating what we are saying clearly or else not listening as caringly as we should. He forgives and so do most people.

    Above all..not good to avoid or ignore someone's questions unless there is good reason.

    Move on if things never go right; but not to be too eager to find that as a solution. Communication takes time and work to succeed.

    blessings. J.

  8. Thanks for your very insightful comment J. This is excellent insight into these verses. God bless!

  9. Wow, that was fast..6 minutes. God bless you back!

  10. ..excellent selections from Phillipians to put things into proper perspective...