October 16, 2017


Proverbs 14:1–11

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  The wisest of women builds her house,
    but folly with her own hands tears it down.
  Whoever walks in uprightness fears the LORD,
    but he who is devious in his ways despises him.
  By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back,1
    but the lips of the wise will preserve them.
  Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
    but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.
  A faithful witness does not lie,
    but a false witness breathes out lies.
  A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain,
    but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.
  Leave the presence of a fool,
    for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
  The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way,
    but the folly of fools is deceiving.
  Fools mock at the guilt offering,
    but the upright enjoy acceptance.2
10   The heart knows its own bitterness,
    and no stranger shares its joy.
11   The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
    but the tent of the upright will flourish.


[1] 14:3 Or In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride
[2] 14:9 Hebrew but among the upright is acceptance


Key Verse | Proverbs 14:10

The heart knows its own bitterness,
and no stranger shares its joy.
(Proverbs 14:10)

Central Truth

Only you and God know the condition of your heart. Only when you surrender your heart to Him will you know His love and His people.

Devotional | Proverbs 14:1–11

Have you ever sought identity or self-worth in something other than who God says you are?Has that misplaced identity left a gaping wound?Do you sometimes keep that wound without realizing how long you have been...

Have you ever sought identity or self-worth in something other than who God says you are? Has that misplaced identity left a gaping wound? Do you sometimes keep that wound without realizing how long you have been nursing it?

If so, the seed of bitterness could be taking root in your heart. You can try to bandage it with a smile, some bravado, or sarcasm in hope that no one will notice your pain, but the heart knows it's there, and the wound is festering.

Years ago, I was a young nurse manager in a NICU and a member of CareFlite's specialty team. I thought I was pretty important. Actually, it was just pride. In 2000 I had a (mild) stroke. Life changed. So did my priorities. I stepped down from management, but continued as a staff nurse in the same unit.

A new manager was hired quickly. Suddenly, no one kissed up to me anymore. Those whom I counted as friends were suddenly "best friends" with the new manager. It was humbling and painful.

I began to nurse seeds of bitterness in my heart. I never examined my heart. I never acknowledged the problem might lie with me instead of others. I found myself becoming critical, and my relationships suffered. Bitterness oozed from my pores. I needed the Great Physician. I needed God.

The only hope for healing is to seek Him; and the first step is to pull off the bandage so He can treat the wound, and healing can begin. It will be painful at first, no doubt. But it is necessary to take those first steps in revealing your heart to God and to His people.

He is gentle and loving when we draw near to Him (James 4:8). He knows you. He created you (Psalm 139:13). He longs to comfort and heal you (1 Peter 5:6-7).

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Bio | Vicki Sandefur

I'm so thankful my birth mother said "yes" to life. Now I have experienced being a daughter, a sister, and a bride (for 36 years). I am Mama to three children biologically, plus I mother a host of teenagers and young adults spiritually. I am mother-in-law to three; "Nona" to seven; Aunt Vicki to ten.

To my community group, I'm the "IT person." I am also a NICU/Transport Nurse, a mentor mom for Square One (Watermark's ministry for first-time new mothers), and a small group leader for the Watermark Women's Bible Study.

Most importantly, I am a child of the King.

Discussion Questions

1. Is there bitterness in your heart? Prayerfully ask God to reveal it to you.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!"
(Psalm 139:23-24)

2. Do you have a community of believers that loves you enough to call out sin in your life and rejoice with you over freedom from it?

3. Do you have a friend that is in a difficult place right now? Are you "leaning in" to help, or are you stepping away to see how it turns out?

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