Trying to get caught up on postings in Proverbs. Here are some thoughts from chapter 18.
One who has isolated himself seeks his own desires; he rejects all sound judgment. (18:1)
I am an introvert by nature. That is, I’d much rather spend my time alone playing, studying, writing – anything except being with a lot of people. I think a lot of teachers / writers are like that. But it’s precisely because of our purpose that we need to hang with other people.
It’s hard to teach life principles if all you have is theory or book-knowledge. God has called all of us to be disciple-makers. That means that we have to be with other people, whether we like it or not. When we isolate ourselves from others (whether personally or as a whole church), we begin to think and act for ourselves instead of for others. And that’s not God’s way.
A person’s spirit sustains him through sickness – but who can bear a crushed spirit? (18:14)
This is a powerful question. We’ve all seen really sick people pull through because they wouldn’t let their sickness get them down. We’ve also seen otherwise healthy people go into deep depression and despair, simply because their spirits had been crushed.
We are primarily spiritual, not physical, beings. If we take care of our bodies and neglect our souls, we are asking for disaster. Paul reminded Timothy that “physical exercise has some value, but godliness is valuable in every way. It holds promise for the present life and for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8)
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love its use will eat its fruit. (18:21)
Wow – I had never seen this one before. It reminds me of James’ discussion on the power of the tongue in James 3:1-12. Like the tiniest spark can start a whole forest fire, the smallest word can bring life or death to its hearer.
It also reminded me of one proverb I did memorize early on – Proverbs 25:11 says “Like apples of gold in settings of silver, so is a word skillfully spoken.” I love that word picture!