|© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.|
It seemed like Proverbs 22 is all about giving good or bad, and it will be returned to us the same. It's interesting the Lord would lead me here before Christmas. Lots of wisdom here, I italicized some Christmas ideas.
1 A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
It feels so great to have a good reputation. When I've been praised for a good job, it always made me want to work all the harder. A Christmas gift may be acknowledging someone or a gift to inspire someone's talent. I was thrilled when I got my first painting kit from my step-father.
2 Rich and poor have this in common:
The Lord is the Maker of them all.
To me, the message to the poor is that God is your Creator. We shouldn't let financial troubles make us feel like we are worthless. Our true value is in who we are, and Who created us. The message to the rich is you are no better than the poor. The rich have wealth in this life, but their true value is in the One who created them as well. Gifts shouldn't be based on how wealthy others are.
3 The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
I need to keep watch over things and make sure we're not heading toward disaster. When I see a problem on the horizon, I usually start taking action. And pray a lot. To ignore potential problems, will bring a penalty. This applies to all areas of our lives: business, home, family, Church, everything. I need to watch the credit card debt, while shopping for Christmas.
4 Humility is the fear of the Lord;
its wages are riches and honor and life.
Being humble before God is wealth, it brings honor, and life. It's so much better when I ask my husband what he thinks about things than just telling him. We do have our struggles and disagreements. With God as our Lord, we do much better- can't claim perfection though. My gifts to others, shouldn't be a competition with other givers.
6 Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Children need direction. They need to feel safe at home, to understand the ways of God. I should give gifts to children in a way that shows them how to give. Or as my friend Glynn wrote on his blog, "Faith, Fiction, Friends", spending time with his grandson is a gift for both of them.
9 The generous will themselves be blessed,for they share their food with the poor.
In the Bible, giving includes food, time, treasure and talent. Food has two meanings: spiritual like prayer or encouragement, and literal food.
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38Gifts that encourage or prayers are always a big hit. Actually my family loves copies of my photos, when I share my talent. I try not to give gifts I wouldn't want to receive.
12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.
On a good day, my logic is sound. I can visualize solving problems in my head in a nice straight line. However, sometimes my logic goes into reverse. It's really frustrating and sometimes embarrassing. When someone's words are frustrated, I think it means their logic goes in reverse. It's like justifying stealing because the person feels they deserve to have what someone else has. However, once they get that "thing," it doesn't take long for them to get bored with it. Maybe a gift that helps someone understand the Bible or a Bible would be good.
13 The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside!I’ll be killed in the public square!”
I can see two applications for this proverb.
- A sluggard is a lazy person- so they build up excuses in their mind to keep them from working.
- It could also apply to someone who isn't lazy, but is just plain trapped in fear.
There's so many good, inspiring books today. My husband asked me for a desk calendar called, "Facing Your Giants," by Max Lucado. I'll try not to put my shopping off too long- fearing the dreaded crowds at the mall...
What are your thoughts?
What are your thoughts?