Proverbs 12 – Righteousness & Friendships

Happy Mother’s Day!!! I read a great quote today that said, “To all mothers: To those that have lost their mothers, to those who desperately long to be a mother, to those who selflessly love like a mother, to those who mother any and all beings, to the adoptives, surrogates, nurturers and creatives, to those that may not have birthed life but have birthed a life of their own, we honor you!” That. Is. Beautiful!

Let me add, to those that have lost a baby before it came to this earth and even though he or she is with Jesus, you are a mommy and you’re baby will always have a place in your heart! Happy Mother’s Day to you! I pray you are at peace and not sorrowful, knowing that you will see that sweet angel again some day!

As you may know, I’m behind a few days so this post will cover Proverbs 12. Here we see the author compare and contrast the righteous versus the wicked.

First let’s look at what he means by righteous. I have to tell you, my pastor specifically talked today about the righteousness from ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:14 and I think it applies similarly here… it says, “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” Pastor said something profound that I think you need to understand about what it is to be righteous… Because frankly, even I have felt uneasy from the negative connotation the word righteous can have. I know we are to be righteous, but I’ve always wondered about the Pharisees and their false righteousness… how do I avoid this? I don’t want people to think that I’m trying to be righteous in my own eyes… that I’m above them or Christ. That’s not the case. I want to be like Christ. Righteous in him!

He explained that there are two types of righteousness. There is the righteousness in Christ we receive when we are saved. But there is also the literal righteousness. He said, “Of course you can’t be perfect because only Jesus lived a perfect life, but you can try!” We aren’t just supposed to sit around justifying our sins with the fact that we are saved so “oh well… I’m still going to Heaven!” No! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” So if we are really in Christ we are a new creation. Our old self is gone!!! Be righteous! Work and live and speak righteously. Proverbs 12 (really the entire bible) is all about how to do just that.

Now that it’s clearer what it means by the righteous vs the wicked. Let’s look at a few verses and find some practical application for our lives.

Proverbs 12:4 -“A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.”

Like I said yesterday about the gold ring in the snouts nose, I wouldn’t want to be known as disgraceful to the point that I am like decay in my husband’s bones. Even though Solomon used the example of a wife being disgraceful, this isn’t just limited to wives here gentleman. When I googled the word disgraceful I got: “shockingly unacceptable!” I pray my words and actions would never be shockingly unacceptable! In comparison here, it says a wife of noble character is his crown. Wow! I want my words and actions to be noble (Google: having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals).

Proverbs 12:6 – “The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them.”

I’m sure at first glance this verse sounds like it means that the wicked are waiting to take someones life, to kill. But it is really saying that the wicked person’s word wait for blood… I think this speaks to me most in the area of gossip. Do we hope and pray someone will bring up a certain topic or person of interest so we can give our point of view? Do we wait for blood? Do we wait to show our contempt for that person or subject? If we’re being honest, we’ve all probably done this! We feel so strongly against someone or something that we wait anxiously for someone to bring it up in conversation so we can give our opinion.

In contrast like most verses in Proverbs, it tells us how to do the right thing. Think about how your day would go if you weren’t focused on the negative? What if you weren’t so wrapped up in the hate in the world that you don’t lie in wait to talk about it. Even well meaning Christians fall into this trap. And it is a trap, set by the devil himself! He wants us to think that when we gossip, we are helping. That we are sharing the “right” way of looking at a topic. Don’t!!! Just don’t! Remember Phil 4:8 – “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Proverbs 12:15 – “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”

Honestly, this one is so straightforward! But it is worth a quick comment. Don’t be so high and mighty (a.k.a. Foolish!) to think you don’t need advice. I can’t tell you how many times in my life I wish I had listened to someone wiser than me. Don’t make mistakes that you can learn from others.

Proverbs 12:26 – “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”

I’m going to end on this one, because I think it’s super important. First of all, thanks to all you moms out there that warned us against hanging out with the wrong crowd. Whether you knew it or not you were mirroring what Proverbs teaches us here.

He warns that we should always choose our friends carefully. Let’s quickly look at why. If you think about it, your friends are usually the closest to us. We trust them, we lean on them in hard times, we sometimes confide in them things that we wouldn’t even tell our family. We want to think that our friends have our best interests at heart. But if we don’t choose good friends, righteous friends… they won’t have our best interests at heart. They’ll use you! They’ll need you when they are having hard times but are no where to be found when you need them. They’ll expect you to understand how they can’t do right by you when you’ve always been supportive and there for them. Don’t get caught up in trying to depend on the undependable. Don’t trust the untrustworthy.

1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.”Hebrews 10:24 says, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:” The bible says that a good friend is going to provoke (motivate, recommend or inspire) us to love and to do good. Do your friends encompass this description?

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