“Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.” (Proverbs 29:18)

A vision and goal are necessary for any serious pursuit.  We cannot endure and strive without a clear picture of what it is that we wish to achieve.  Life without goals means that we are simply going to let our lusts and passions go unrestrained.  Such a life will be filled with wasted time and looked back upon with regrets and shame.

How clear is your vision of heaven?  How serious are you about the goal of achieving your eternal reward?  Life is short – know what you are going to spend it on.

So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:26-27)

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

Anger On The Loose

“A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.” (Proverbs 29:11)

Losing your temper is a sign of weakness, not strength.  A man that cannot control himself ought not to be trusted with authority over others.

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

Equally Rights

“The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor; the wicked does not understand such concern.” (Proverbs 29:7)

In the Jewish society of God’s design, being poor did not make you less of a person.  Poverty was a financial state, not a lower state.

As tyranny and wickedness increase in a culture, it often does the opposite.  The poor, who by definition have less influence, are easily oppressed, and the scales tip toward tyranny.  Such tyranny of the rich over the poor is disgusting to God and should be so to all His people.

All humans are created equal, and God’s design is that regardless of financial circumstances, all humans should be gifted with the same rights and protections.  Under such a moral system, all people have equality of opportunity to flourish and be guarded from molestation.

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

A Just World

“The king gives stability to the land by justice, but a man who takes bribes overthrows it.” (Proverbs 29:4)

We do not wish to live in a world without justice.  Justice is what allows mankind to live in harmony with one another.  It is the level playing field that creates safety for people to start businesses, trust one another, and build communities.  A world without justice is full of anarchy and division.  A world with it allows civility and teamwork to grow.

We may find it hard to enforce prison time, fines, and punishment for actions, but a world that doesn’t have enforcement of justice cannot have peace.  The world may not always be fair, but justice tips the balance towards the good guys.  Compassion for repentant wrongdoers must not overshadow the responsibility to offer justice for victims and fair standards for society.

But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he {the governing authorities} does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. (Romans 13:4)

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

The Courage to See the Need

“He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.” (Proverbs 28:27)

Generosity begins with the willingness to see that which makes us uncomfortable.  If we are unwilling to look at poverty, sorrow, and need in our fellow man, we will never cultivate the character needed to show generosity to them.

We cannot be empathetic to what we ignore.  Human suffering doesn’t go away just because we do not wish to see it.  Open your eyes and open your heart.  Generosity begins with not expecting others to take care of the need.

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

A Bold Truth

“The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Proverbs 28:1)

Conviction is the stuff heroes are made of.

If our scruples are for sale, we must constantly pander to whomever is the highest bidder.  Only a love of truth and righteousness will provide the steel that makes our backbones strong.

Principles makes you bold.

“But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.’” (Acts 4:19-20)

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

The Price of Applause

“The crucible is for silver and the furnace for gold, and each is tested by the praise accorded him.” (Proverbs 27:21)

Nothing will test a man’s character more than fame.

The love of praise is the death of integrity.

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

Invest in Service

“He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who cares for his master will be honored.” (Proverbs 27:18)

Our investment in the happiness and well-being of others will pay off.  Forget all the drivel about putting yourself first and self-care before all else.  A selfish society only shares its unhappiness.

The road to joy runs right through the town of Service.

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

The Temptation to Linger

“A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, the naïve proceed and pay the penalty.” (Proverbs 27:12)

It is not strength to endure temptation when you could avoid it.  It doesn’t make you brave to put yourself in compromising situations or unhealthy environments.  The recovering alcoholic that decides to visit the bar isn’t strong – he’s deluded.

Stay away from things, people, and places that you know lead you to evil.  The brave are humble enough to understand their own weaknesses.

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

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