Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A wise reputation

A wise person knows that their reputation is the most important thing they own.  The central theme of Proverbs 31 is found in a verse that some seem to think is out of place. Proverbs 31:23 says Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. He is able to sit at the gate because his reputation is above reproach and his wife does nothing to harm his or her reputation either.

Last week my daughters bus driver handed me a 5 dollar bill. He said that he thought she had dropped it out of her backpack. I told him that it was possible and I would look into her bank to see and if it wasn't hers I would give it back to him. When I walked into the house I got busy and forgot about it. The next morning I saw the 5 dollar bill and went and checked her bank. Her money was safely tucked into her bank. So now I had two options I could turn the money into the bus driver and admit that it was not her money or I could pocket the 5 and let him think that it was her money. I tucked the 5 into my pocket. When the bus arrived I handed it to the bus driver and told him it was not her money.

As I walked back into the house I thought about all the ramifications that would have come with keeping the money. First, Maybe no one would have ever questioned where the money went. But what if someone had and it had come back to them that I had kept it. Not only would my reputation been tarnished but It would have reflected badly on my husband and children. Would their teachers think that they were not to be trusted because their mom took money that did not belong to her. Would people be willing to listen to my husband preach or give advise if they thought his wife was a thief? Is all of that grief worth it for five dollars?

It does not matter if we think that we can get away with it just this once. Or that no one will ever find out. If it is not something we would want people to find out about than we should not be doing it at all. If it is something that would cause irreparable harm to our relationships it is not something we should be doing. A wise person measures their actions and chooses what is best.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wisdom today

Proverbs 31 can be divided into two areas of wisdom. Wisdom using our resources and wisdom in dealing with people. Wisdom in dealing with inanimate resources can seem like a breeze when the alternative is dealing with living breathing people with their own thoughts, feelings and opinions.

Wisdom in dealing others is a whole body activity. It starts with your thoughts, thinking of others more highly than we think of ourselves. Putting others needs, wants and desires ahead of our own can often feel overwhelming. It does not mean that you loose your own identity in taking care of others but it does mean that a wise person will consider what is better for others before pushing your own agenda.

Your words,The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them. Words can cut deeper than any knife and stay with us longer than any memory. When speaking to those in our lives do we use uplifting, kind words or do we use sarcasm and cutting words to make our point. Does the tone of your words say more than your words ever could?

Your heart, For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. What is in our heart flows out of our mouths. Are the things that enter your heart good, true and wise. Things that your would want to come from you? Or are they things that you hope no one ever finds out about.

Your hands, The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Do the tasks you do everyday help lift and encourage those around you or do they tear down the foundations of your home. Does your husband trust you? Does your wife know that your thoughts are only of her? We can either chip the foundation or repair the cracks by our very actions.

Your feet, Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Where you go during the day reflects on where your priorities are. Do you have lunch with your male co-worker? Do you hang out after work with your female office assistant? Or do you let your feet take you home to those you love? Do you flee temptation?

When we break down wisdom into manageable pieces we can begin applying it to our everyday lives.Wisdom shown in our everyday lives can only make our lives better. Gods plans for us are always best.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Wisdom in Blue Jeans

For years Proverbs 31:10-31 has been held up as a measure by which Christian women were expected to live. And it has become a very heavy burden to bear. But it does not have to be. It can be a vast source of freedom if you let it. Not with more work or more expectations but with wisdom. Wisdom that is for both men and women. The wisdom that comes with knowing what God wants for our lives.

So join me on the journey to discover what wisdom in everyday lives looks like. What wisdom in blue jeans is all about.