The Journey

The Journey Readings: Week 88… and lessons from Proverbs bringing clarity to James…

Reading through Proverbs these last two weeks… has brought me to a clearer understanding of something James taught in his letter to the scattered church…

But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he looks like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

—James 1:22-25 ESV

James is saying… the Bible is a mirror… a spiritual mirror reflecting… revealing… our hearts…

It’s so clear in Proverbs… with all its contrasts…

When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
Proverbs 10:19 ESV
A man who is kind benefits himself,
but a cruel man hurts himself.
Proverbs 11:17 ESV
Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.
Proverbs 11:28 ESV
In all toil there is profit,
but mere talk tends only to poverty.
Proverbs 14:23 ESV
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
Proverbs 15:18 ESV
The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns,
but the path of the upright is a level highway.
Proverbs 15:19 ESV
I’ll confess… as I read some of these verses I see faces… not all of them mine…
But James teaches us… as we read the Word… we should be asking our self… Is this me…? Is this my reflection…?

Our self is the only one we have any semblance of control over… the only one whose thoughts we can change… the only one whose actions we can restrain…
When we read the Word… we need to see what it’s saying about us…
If we don’t… if we walk away not seeing… we deceive ourselves… and continue on a path of destruction…
No one looks in a mirror… sees a smudge of dirt… or worse… and leaves it there… we quickly take care of the problem…
We need to do the same when He reveals the truth of what’s in our hearts…
The Bible is not just a book to ponder… it is a looking glass into our soul when we allow the Holy Spirit to reveal truth…
Don’t walk away from His Word without a new revelation of self… don’t leave the dirt on your face… receive the truth… persevere… repent… obey…
Journey into the Word… see what it has to say about you…
This week’s readings…
Monday               Proverbs 16
Tuesday              Proverbs 17
Wednesday          Proverbs 18-19
Thursday           Proverbs 20
Friday                Proverbs 21:1 – 22:16

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