Proverbs 17 9-17-18

Awareness and discernment are key to learning. The Spirit gives us both through His Word and conversation with Him.

[10] A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool.

This verse is a life verse for me. I memorized it ages ago and God has used it in my life to shape me more and more into His image (I still have a long way to go!). He gives me truth from His Word, like:

Ephesians 4:26-27 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, [27] and do not give the devil a foothold.

It’s easy to read, but impossible to do without the assistance of the Holy Spirit. I am protected in Christ by His Spirit, but I know I have “chinks in my armor” from my own sin nature. My flesh has a predisposition toward sin; my new nature has a predisposition toward godliness. His Spirit gives me both the desire and the power to do His will and to become more and more like Him!

Philippians 2:13 for it is God [through His Spirit] who works in you to will [my want-to] and to act [the power to do so] according to his good purpose.

Another favorite of mine is:

Hebrews 12:11-13 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

My days in track made this verse very real. Hours spent running bleachers and using that sprint machine, then all the practice at the track jumping hurdles paid off during the races. The next two verses were my mantra:

[12] Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. [13] “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed [capable].

How do we strengthen and how do we make level paths? By walking in step with the Spirit,

Galatians 5:25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Let’s accept criticism as constructive and His discipline as life-giving. We want to be as much like Him as we possibly can!

Psalms 141:5 Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it.

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