November 6, 2017

"HOW GOOD DO YOU SOUND ON PAPER?"

Proverbs 20:1–15

0 Comments | Listen | Print

  Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
    and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.1
  The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;
    whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.
  It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife,
    but every fool will be quarreling.
  The sluggard does not plow in the autumn;
    he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
  The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water,
    but a man of understanding will draw it out.
  Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love,
    but a faithful man who can find?
  The righteous who walks in his integrity—
    blessed are his children after him!
  A king who sits on the throne of judgment
    winnows all evil with his eyes.
  Who can say, “I have made my heart pure;
    I am clean from my sin”?
10   Unequal2 weights and unequal measures
    are both alike an abomination to the LORD.
11   Even a child makes himself known by his acts,
    by whether his conduct is pure and upright.3
12   The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
    the LORD has made them both.
13   Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty;
    open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
14   “Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
    but when he goes away, then he boasts.
15   There is gold and abundance of costly stones,
    but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

Footnotes

[1] 20:1 Or will not become wise
[2] 20:10 Or Two kinds of; also verse 23
[3] 20:11 Or Even a child can dissemble in his actions, though his conduct seems pure and upright

"HOW GOOD DO YOU SOUND ON PAPER?"



Key Verse | Proverbs 20:11

Even a child makes himself known by his acts,
by whether his conduct is pure and upright.
(Proverbs 20:11)

Central Truth

Have a heart for the Lord that molds your behavior. Let the deep water guide you to Him alone and not man's approval.

Devotional | Proverbs 20:1–15

Resume…what’s on your list?These days, we are in thoughtful process of searching colleges and consideringaccolades we can add to our son’s application. Our daughter will come next year. Much to consider.

As we think...

Resume…what’s on your list? These days, we are in thoughtful process of searching colleges and considering accolades we can add to our son’s application. Our daughter will come next year.  Much to consider.

As we think about college, we also consider whether we have taught our children all that we can as we prepare to launch them into life. This chapter in Proverbs is full of both conduct to avoid and conduct to attain to. Some behaviors noted to avoid here are uncontrolled drinking, anger, being a sluggard/procrastinator, giving lip service, dishonesty, and pride. Behaviors reflecting God’s wisdom are self-control; being a prudent, honest, hard worker and a man of understanding; discernment; faithfulness; knowledge; and righteousness.

Verse 11 particularly stops us in light of our children, as they will be known by their actions. We can get caught up in how good our kids look on paper or  when viewed by our friends, without totally completing the verse, which closes with, “by whether his conduct is pure and upright.” What is the heart behind our kids? We are so thankful for Watermark, the small groups, lead team, and believing friends around them, but even our kids can do the right motions without the pure heart behind them. Are we willing to keep guiding them to be faithful to the Lord alone, not just keeping the persona going?

Verse 5 reminds me as a parent to seek the “deep water” of my children and not just be satisfied with the surface right behaviors. Galatians 1:10 states, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Do I care more that Austin, Sam, and Charlie are approved by the Lord alone rather than man, or college acceptance, or the team, or _________?

I pray Colossians 1:9b-10 for my kids and you today. “[A]sking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

See Comments

Bio | Suzanne Silva

This devo was written before my son, Austin, went home to be with the Lord on June 15, 2017, after a tragic dental surgery procedure on June 6. That same day, Austin pinned the words below in his journal. (For your ease, I have typed them.) This summer, Austin and his friends had started studying Job. Since then, I have studied Job this fall, being so challenged to trust my good Father in His timing and plan that I would not have chosen for Austin.

“What does rejoicing every day look like? How is that something I can maintain? If God gives me success, then He does, but either way, that’s not the focus. Paul says he has found contentment in all settings, in riches and in poverty. It is my job to lead my family and live my life in such a way that I can show them and teach them that loving God is loving Him in poverty and in riches. The Lord will take care of me.

“Job shows that wisdom knows that evil doesn’t last, it is unsustainable. In my nature, my foolish nature, I speculate . . . wanting, thinking, wishing to know the future. Not only is this fruitless, but unproductive. However harmless, there is no good in it. Goodness is found in rejoicing in God’s love and the freedom, the freedom in knowing what that means.

“Lord, help me to remember the feeling of You when I am tempted. Keep me focused on my purpose for You. My goal this summer is to rejoice in You every morning. Give me opportunities and fill me with Your words in these moments. My work for You is not about creating a resume, but the true desire to show people what You have shown me. Amen.”

—Austin Silva (June 6, 2017)

In light of Austin’s journal, I am so thankful that Austin got it. His college resume was not the goal, but rather to share Christ with others, to trust God to take care of him, and to rejoice in the Lord every day.

God gave us an added gift of Austin giving his testimony at Watermark two months before his passing and letting us have his assurance of faith be known so publicly. http://www.watermark.org/message/4799

We had a beautiful celebration of life that demonstrated to us Austin’s far reach to his friends and family of his faith, loyalty, and deep friendships. http://www.watermark.org/message/4826

Back to The Journey today—“Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright.” (Proverbs 20:11) The Lord was finished with Austin on this earth, and we are thankful that, though he was not perfect, Austin was known as having a pure and upright heart that overflowed in the way he lived and loved others and his Lord.

Discussion Questions

1. What does your resume look like? Where are you finding worth? Is your identity in Christ alone? What are you clouding the picture with? Read Romans 12:3, 1 Peter 2:9, Colossians 3:1-3.

2. Who have you been entrusted to seek the deep waters of:  children, community group, spouse, certain family, or friends? How are you doing going deeper and asking the harder questions and spending the time to get there? Read Hebrews 10:24-25, Genesis 4:9, Ephesians 4:15-16.

3. Have you prayed through where you are serving and sought if this is the best place God would have you? Is pride or visibility of where you are serving any part of your decision, or is humility with your gifts guiding you? Read James 1:5, Romans 12:6-8, 2 Timothy 2:21.

4. Are there behaviors mentioned that you need to walk away from? Are you acknowledging that Christ alone is who gives you the pure and upright heart to walk in a way that honors God?  Confess today to God to receive freedom from the bondage of sin.   Read James 5:16, Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 3:19.

5. What other verses would you add to answer these questions according to God's Word?

0 Comments available
View More Comments

Download The App

  • Jointhejourney app store
  • Jointhejourney play store