This is the sermon for Wednesday night, February 11th, 2009.
EVERYDAY WISDOM PART 20
Decisions, decisions, decisions part 2
Last week we started looking at Proverbs 20. We saw that life is full of decisions, and that within the verses of Proverbs 20, we see wisdom in making good decisions.
In fact, the main point from last week is our main point for this week: In Proverbs 20, we have some powerful wise words that can help us in making wise decisions, and also in helping us to avoid the unwise decisions.
Last week we look at two areas where we need wisdom:
• Alcohol consumption.
• Quarrelsome fights.
Let’s continue looking into Proverbs 20 and see what God has to say about some wise choices in our decision making.
Too much sleep leads to poverty.
Proverbs 20:13 NLT (se) – If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat!
Proverbs 20:4 NLT(se) – Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest.
Sleep and rest is important. You body was created by God to have a time of recovery and rest through sleep. However, too much sleep, literally sleeping your life away was not what God intended. You see, the same God who made the body to sleep for rest and recovery is the same God who made the body to work.
So if you sleep too much, or sleep the day away, and never work and provide for your family, there will be no food at the harvest, and you will end in poverty.
However if you do work, and don’t live your life always sleeping, according to v. 13 you will have plenty to eat.
Let’s continue on.
Do not profit by being deceitful.
Proverbs 20:17 NET – Bread gained by deceit tastes sweet to a person, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
The people who made the movies, “Fireproof” and “Facing the Giants,” also made a movie called, “Flywheel.” It was their first move. In this movie it talks about a car dealer. He is unjust and lies about his cars so that he can make sales. He goes to church, but he isn’t a true believer in Christ. He even lies to his pastor about a car so that he can get the sale from him. But after God mercifully saved him, what was once sweet too him (the money made through lying and deceit) became like gravel in his stomach. The horrible feeling wouldn’t go away until he made it right with everyone he lied too. So, he went to everyone he could find that he had lied and manipulated into buying a car, and either offered to by their car back, or give them the money that they paid on the cars that was over what the car was truly worth. He began to lose a lot of money, but that pit in his stomach was gone. But do you know what happen next? People began to spread word about a honest car dealer in town, and he began to make more money because of his honesty, than he did when he was being dishonest; plus that pit in his stomach was gone.
We have a decision to make when it comes to this. Do we profit and not be completely honest with our boss or the customer? If you do this, the profits from it will be sweet at first, but if you are a believer, it will become like gravel in your stomach, and the Holy Spirit will begin dealing with you about it.
So be honest in all your business dealings, your dealings with your spouse, and you dealings with other believers and non believers as well.
Let’s go on.
Before going to battle over something, have a plan and seek the counsel of wise believers.
Proverbs 20:18 NLT(se) – Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without wise advice.
Leaders in countries show wisdom before going to war. They will have their counselors, Generals and war strategists, making plans and providing wise counsel.
In the same way, there are times that we have to fight for what is right. We need to be careful and not only ask for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, but the wisdom of other believers, preferably those who have been through the fire of battles, and have come out, maybe battle scarred, but wiser for the battle.
Don’t listen to gossips, don’t even fellowship with them.
Proverbs 20:19 NLT(se) – A gossip goes around telling secrets, so don’t hang around with chatterers.
There are several reasons why people enjoy listening to gossips and chatterers. One of them, is we want to talk about what is so bad about another person. And sadly, this happens in the church just as much as it does in the world.
The best thing to do with a gossip is to ignore them, and if you warned them about their gossiping, avoid them all together. Gossipers and chatterers promote division and the New Testament is crystal clear in what to do with those who try to cause division.
Titus 3:10-11 NLT(se) – If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. 11 For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.
Do not get even with the person who wronged you.
Proverbs 20:22 NLT(se) – Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the LORD to handle the matter.
When someone hurts us with words or actions, it is natural for us to react back. But for the believer, we need to turn them over to the Lord and trust that the Lord will take care of the situation.
This doesn’t mean that we are to expect God to punish them. It means that God will work it out according to his plan and we must trust him in this.
Do not have double standards.
Proverbs 20:23 NLT(se) – The LORD detests double standards; he is not pleased by dishonest scales.
Treat everyone fair and the same way, regardless of position in life, color of skin, or even religion. Do not hold others in contempt while at the same time lifting up others into positions they shouldn’t rightfully be in. Treat everyone the same way you would want to be treated.
What can we learn from tonight’s sermon?
• Make the decision not to sleep your life away, but be productive in your life.
• Do not try to make a profit by deceit.
• Make plans and have wise counsel before a conflict.
• Avoid gossips and don’t listen to them.
• Don’t get even but turn the wrongdoer over to the Lord.
• Don’t have double standards.
If we make the decisions to do what the Bible says, we are showing that God’s wisdom is leading our life.