This morning, I woke up, filled my coffee cup, sat down in the little nook between my sofa and coffee table (which is about a foot of space perfect to curl up in with a blanket draped around my body), and read my study with She Reads Truth.
First of all, if you are ever like, “I want to read my bible but have no clue where to start”, She Reads Truth is a great place to look. It has helped me to easily navigate my bible and gives me something to read and study daily. I take what they write and then go from there. I linger on the scripture scattered throughout the text, and use it as a way to catapult my prayer time. I highly suggest it!
We are doing Proverbs now, which is one of my favorite books to read. It is a series of statements, things that will enhance and fill your life. It sounds like a series of do’s and don’ts- but it is so much more than that. Proverbs is a series of statements in which you get to hear exactly what “the good life” is made up of. It’s the Lord directly telling you, “If you want to receive the fullness of joy and hear me the clearest, this is how I have designed for the world to work.” You won’t nail it perfectly, that’s where Jesus comes in, but this is what to strive for- this is what you can look to when conviction arises or you feel something is empty or missing. So many people go to the bible as a “rule book”, a guide to life. And, though the bible is not “a roadmap”, I will say that Proverbs is the closest thing to what you are looking for. I encourage you to read it, but to also know that if you are defining the bible as a rulebook for life, you aren’t quite getting it. That’s an entirely different topic for another day, though.
Today, I read a proverb I have read before probably multiple times. I have seen it, passed over it, and never really thought about it. But today, all aboard the conviction train! I love how scripture, no matter how many times you have read it, it can speak to you differently. Read this with me:
‘A fool does not delight in understanding, but only wants to show off his opinions.’ Proverbs 18:2
I think I quite literally laughed out loud when I read this, because of the conviction I personally felt, as well as thinking about the state of our country (and world, at that) right now.
Five years ago, if I had read this verse, I would have likely thought, “Oh, it’s saying we will be happy if we understand the word of God.” Which, that is somewhat true, but that’s not what this is saying if you read around it and take it within context.
Do you know what this is saying? It’s saying that the wise do not feel the need to be right or prove themselves. It is also saying that the wise delight in understanding (TRULY LISTENING) to another’s opinion and receiving guidance and critique from others. It’s being openhanded to being formed into a better person, recognizing we aren’t ever 100% right or have it all together. To understand means to take what someone else is saying in opposition to you into actual consideration, while even, dare I say, delighting in your differences. It is delighting in receiving wise counsel from a person you have asked to speak into your life. It is enjoying conflict, and responding in a healthy manner.
Uhhhh, wait. Have any of you been watching politics for the last six months?
Furthermore, I can apply this scripture into my marriage. I laugh whenever you guys say “#GOALS” or comment on how great Paul and I have it, because… though we have a great marriage, it is CONSTANT work. We fight, and do it often. I honestly at times have thought, “Good Lord, I am sure our neighbors can hear us and they MUST think we abuse one another.” I promise we don’t, we just argue loudly. We are both opinionated, stubborn, fiery, and passionate. This means we love one another well with these characteristics (don’t ever cross one of us, or the other will fight to the death for them), but it also means we can fight each other dang well. And by well, I mean passionately, loud, and (truthfully) not respectfully more often than not.
(TRUTH: Before this photo shoot above we hadn’t spoken for about 24 hours from a fight. We had to DECIDE with one another we were done fighting. Believe me, we are NOT perfect.)
How is it we are able to love one another so deeply, but fight so dirty? Answer: We want to be right and prove our point at all costs.
What would it look like if I could actually DELIGHT in our differences, though, and respond with understanding to my husband?
That’s all I have to say about that. That would be the most incredible change in our marriage if we could just love one another’s differences, and meet in the middle.
Understanding one another is delighting in our differences, and finding a way to incorporate both of our opinions into a final decision. Furthermore, to delight in someone’s pain or downfall is called spite- not love, not empowerment, not equality, not accepting of one another’s differences.
Think on that.
This is applicable in every single relationship in your life. Your relationship with your spouse, boyfriend, friends, and (yes) country.
Can we do that? Can we love one another, and ACTUALLY love one another. Let’s delight in understanding people who are different from us. Let’s delight in people who have a different perspective on a situation than us. Know what this means you’re going to have to do: HUMBLE YO SELF.
Delighting in understanding ultimately means humility.
I hope this scripture speaks to you as loudly as it did to me. I will be simmering in this one phrase all day.
I love you guys. Have a HAPPY Thursday!!