Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Proverbs 31--Days 9-11

Okay, I didn't quite fall off the wagon, here, but it's been really tempting! Between working hard on prioritizing properly and getting criticized for not giving more to others and then going on vacation and not having internet access to post and then the aftermath of vacation, let's just say it's a struggle to get back into the practice. But here we go . . .

I actually typed out my S. O. A. P. for last Thursday, day 9 of the study, and now I'll copy and paste it here:

·         Scripture: Proverbs 16:20, 28:25, & 29:25

Proverbs 16:20—Whoever gives thought to the word [or matter] will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

Proverbs 28:25—A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched.

Proverbs 29:25—The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

·         Observations: Trusting in the Lord brings blessings, riches, and safety; however, these terms are defined differently by God’s people (those who do trust in Him) than others. I don’t think I’ve ever associated strife with greed, but I know that I often when my attitude encourages less-than-peaceful interactions, it’s been prompted by my desire for having my own way.

·         Applications: I think it would help me to call my “strong will” and “independent, driven personality” as what it is—sinful greed. Greed isn’t just about materialism and money, after all. I think I excuse this mindset in myself all too often. If I want a peace-filled home and desire to raise my sons to be selfless servant-leaders, then I need to demonstrate the fact that I truly value the kinds of blessings, riches, and safety God promises when I truly trust in Him rather than my own fulfilled desires.

·         Prayer: Lord, help me to see my sin for what it is and recognize how I’m failing to trust you when I care more about my own desires or how others perceive me. You know I’ve struggled with this greatly this week, and You know that Satan would love to have that victory in my life. Help me to be willing to sacrifice my own prideful selfish ambition for the sake of others’ good and Your well-deserved glory.

Today is Wednesday, but I'm only on Monday's reading, so here's my day 11 S. O. A. P.:

  • Scripture: Proverbs 31:12, 1 Kings 11:4
  • Observations: Good versus evil--such a constant struggle, not just on a cosmic level but an individual heart level. I don't want to even admit that it's sometimes a temptation to do him "evil." While it's easy (and true and expected) to say I love my husband more than anyone else, I also know him better and can more easily become frustrated with his shortcomings--after all, I know those better than anyone else, too.
  • Applications: Lot's wife and Job's wife come to mind--and let's not forget about good ol' Eve! It's amazing the power we women can have over men. Of course, men of integrity can sometimes stand up even to our "womenly wiles," but we're still responsible for the influence we weild--or attempt to weild. (As a side note, I love how Dannah Gresh discusses this issue in "Secret Keepers"--the best book on modern, feminine Christian modesty, ever, but so much about feminity and the nature of sin, as well!)
On a side note, over our little vacation, I did finish reading an excellent work of fiction that made sense of the old adage about fiction sometimes holding significant amounts of truth. I'd highly recommend "By the Light of a Thousand Stars" by my college creative writing teacher, Jamie Langston Turner. It's more than a literary success--it's a story of life-touching-life and healing and all sorts of other winding pathways exploring biblical womanhood and goodness and godliness. Yes, it's really that good! It helped me recognized some sinful thinking patterns and ugly aspects of myself that I might not have realized through any other means.
  • Prayer: Lord, you know that sometimes I let my grumpy, discontented attitude spill over into my words and let them attempt to influence the godly man you've entrusted to me. Help me to be like the woman of Proverbs 31 and be a source of grace in his and others' lives.

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