Proverbs 20 begins with this:
“Wine is a mocker, beer is a brawler, and whoever staggers because of them is not wise.” Proverbs 20:1
While I could state my case for abstinence here, I digress and move on to a less controversial topic. Not out of fear or neglect, but because I don’t want to be tempted to use my blog to stir up a conversation that I deem a personal conviction. While controversy might be popular in social media, I don’t want to use it with wrong motives. (You can read an interesting article on that topic here: Christians, Kindness, and Social Media )
Not by coincidence, I think, that verse three follows with these words of admonition?
“It is honorable for a man to resolve a dispute, but any fool can get himself into a quarrel.” Proverbs 22:3
[If you want to ask me why I believe abstinence is the right choice, you can email me or talk to me personally.]
On to the rest of Proverbs 20!
It seems to me that even in the various topics covered in Proverbs 20, the overall theme of this chapter is integrity.
INTEGRITY: adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. [dictionary.com]
To put it in simple language, integrity is matching your actions with your beliefs. While it is true that your belief system can be wrong, integrity does imply a certain morality. As a believer, Christian ethics should be the basis for our decision-making, for how we relate to one another and for the kind of reputation we will have in regard to honesty.
Trustworthy, loyal, and righteous are all words that are used to describe a man of integrity. On the flip side are words like dishonesty, deception, greed and gossip…
“Even a young man is known by his actions–by whether his behavior is pure and upright.” Proverbs 20:11
I am not so young, but I am reminded that
I am known.
And I’m not talking about my relatives or my peers. What they see and what God sees can be two different things. If I only care what others see in me, then I am missing the point. Yes, I want my life to be an example of godly living. My heart’s desire is to be a living witness of the God who created me, who loves me and who changed me when, by FAITH, I cried out in repentance and asked Him to save me, surrendering to His control over my life.
But is that all? Walking by faith when we are in front of others? True integrity is who I am when no one is looking.
He knows. He knows our heart and our mind–and our motives before we ever step into action.
“A person’s breath is the lamp of the Lord, searching the innermost parts.” Proverbs 20:27
He knows. He knows where we are weak and where we have failed. And he provides the remedy:
“Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people! ” James 4:7-8
If you’ve been following me on this journey of 31 Days in Proverbs, I want to thank you. Writing for 31 days straight has been a challenge, and I can tell you that it would not be possible for me if I didn’t commit myself to time in the Word. The inspiration for sharing only comes as I am learning and growing in my knowledge of Him. I am fallible–God’s Word is not. I pray that my journey through Proverbs is only a catalyst for your own spiritual growth. No one can do this for you–you have to seek the Lord on your own. Maybe Proverbs is only the beginning for you. We have eleven days to go, but maybe you are already seeing the benefit of spending time in God’s Word every.single.day. If so, my heart is full. Thank you for joining me on this pursuit of wisdom.
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