Proverbs 22 6-22-19

Do you have a mocker lurking inside you? Absolutely. We all do! How do we drive him out? Read on…

10 Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended.

The mocker inside us is that part of us that thinks too highly of itself. It holds others and their opinions and even contributions in contempt. It dismisses out-of-hand what other people suggest and usually rebuffs criticism and rebuke even at its own expense.

Pride is the culprit and we all have it. It is at the heart of our sin nature. Oh–you refuse to admit that you have a sin nature? You have just verified the mocker inside you! Admitting that we have a sin nature and that pride is at the center of it allows us to accept Christ’s gift of salvation. He gives us a new template, His life and His words, over which we can lay any scenario or plan to see if it matches His will. We must keep in mind that God’s overall will is for us to be with Him forever, and it begins the moment He comes into our hearts and lives, and doesn’t stop until we are with Him at His throne. Everything points to that end even while He transforms us into the image of Christ.

So, how do we drive the mocker out? The next verse tells us:

11 He who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for his friend.

We must learn to love what Jesus loves. He loves hungry hearts (see Matt.5:6), therefore, let’s be hungry for His words and thirst for His righteousness. He is gentle and humble in heart (see Matt. 11:29), therefore we must learn to be gentle and humble in heart.

Those with whom we hang around have a lot to do with how we are. We must pay close attention to how we become when we are around them.

24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, 25 or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.

Most of the trouble I got into in my life I did with friends. When it’s just God and me, I tend to listen more closely and hear Him more clearly.

The second part is our words. We need to learn to speak with grace, which means that EVERYTHING we say must be run through this filter:

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

EVERY word must be building-up words and benefit those who listen. How? By taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). We must hold that thought and ask the LORD what to do with it:

  1. Say it.
  2. Modify it.
  3. Don’t say it at all.
  4. Wait for a more appropriate time.

We CAN do this. We have our whole lives to learn it. If we live until we do, some of us may rival Methuselah!

Let’s work hard to be Christ-like today.

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