February 15, 2022 “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken” (Proverbs 15:13) READING A PROVERB A DAY ( PROVERBS 15)

Proverbs 15 New Living Translation

Proverbs 15New Living Translation

15 A gentle answer deflects anger,
    but harsh words make tempers flare.

The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing,
    but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness.

The Lord is watching everywhere,
    keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.

Gentle words are a tree of life;
    a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

Only a fool despises a parent’s[a] discipline;
    whoever learns from correction is wise.

There is treasure in the house of the godly,
    but the earnings of the wicked bring trouble.

The lips of the wise give good advice;
    the heart of a fool has none to give.

The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked,
    but he delights in the prayers of the upright.

The Lord detests the way of the wicked,
    but he loves those who pursue godliness.

10 Whoever abandons the right path will be severely disciplined;
    whoever hates correction will die.

11 Even Death and Destruction[b] hold no secrets from the Lord.
    How much more does he know the human heart!

12 Mockers hate to be corrected,
    so they stay away from the wise.

13 A glad heart makes a happy face;
    a broken heart crushes the spirit.

14 A wise person is hungry for knowledge,
    while the fool feeds on trash.

15 For the despondent, every day brings trouble;
    for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.

16 Better to have little, with fear for the Lord,
    than to have great treasure and inner turmoil.

17 A bowl of vegetables with someone you love
    is better than steak with someone you hate.

18 A hot-tempered person starts fights;
    a cool-tempered person stops them.

19 A lazy person’s way is blocked with briers,
    but the path of the upright is an open highway.

20 Sensible children bring joy to their father;
    foolish children despise their mother.

21 Foolishness brings joy to those with no sense;
    a sensible person stays on the right path.

22 Plans go wrong for lack of advice;
    many advisers bring success.

23 Everyone enjoys a fitting reply;
    it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!

24 The path of life leads upward for the wise;
    they leave the grave[c] behind.

25 The Lord tears down the house of the proud,
    but he protects the property of widows.

26 The Lord detests evil plans,
    but he delights in pure words.

27 Greed brings grief to the whole family,
    but those who hate bribes will live.

28 The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking;
    the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.

29 The Lord is far from the wicked,
    but he hears the prayers of the righteous.

30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart;
    good news makes for good health.

31 If you listen to constructive criticism,
    you will be at home among the wise.

32 If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself;
    but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.

33 Fear of the Lord teaches wisdom;
    humility precedes honor.

When the String Snaps

Love Worth Finding

Adrian Rogers

Proverbs 15:13-22

Did you know that when a violin string is not tight enough, the music will be flat and dull? And if the string is too tight, the music will be shrill and high-pitched. But if it is tightened even more, that string can snap!

It’s the same with tension in the home. Stress and strife raise tension in our homes. The string can get mighty tight, and sometimes, it can snap.

However, not all stress is bad. It takes a certain tension just to make the violin play at all. But I’m telling you that too much stress is dangerous to our happiness, our health, and our homes. I want to give you four instructions taken from this passage in Proverbs to help relieve stress in your home.
Learn to Laugh

“A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken” (Proverbs 15:13). When it says “the spirit is broken,” that means the string has snapped. Have you ever noticed you don’t have to teach children to laugh; you have to teach them when not to laugh? You see, laughter comes innately. And if you have the joy of the Lord in your heart, it’s going to show on your face! In Luke 6:21, Jesus is looking at people who are down-trodden and sorrowful; and He says, “Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.” He tells us to laugh!

Oh, there’s a time to weep, but you better put some laughter in your home — especially when times get tough. Laughter is God’s way to break the tension when the string gets too tight.
Cultivate Contentment

“Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith” (Proverbs 15:16-17). Many of us are uptight because our value system is all wrong. We think if we have more, then these things will bring us happiness. But many times the striving for things is what brings tension into the home. 1 Timothy 6:6-8 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”

That doesn’t mean that you can’t strive for more or that God doesn’t want you to prosper. The Bible says God takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servants (Psalm 35:27). But you must learn to be content with whatever you have and praise God. If you don’t, before long, the string is going to snap. And that big house, or whatever you’ve been working for, won’t mean anything to you, not a thing.
Alleviate Anger

“A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife” (Proverbs 15:18). This Scripture shows us that anger brings stress and strife. We need to be peacemakers in our homes. We also see in Proverbs 15:1 that “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” The way to control your anger is to control your words — your speech. Perhaps, you might say, “I just can’t control it.” Oh yes you can! You know, sometimes in a home the husband and wife are just snarling, fighting, snapping, down one another’s throat, and their voices are full of hostility. Then, right in the middle, the phone rings. They go to the phone and say, “Hello,” so sweet and nice. You can control it! And you’d better learn to because if you don’t, you’ll be out of control — and the string will snap. 

Walk in Wisdom
“Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly. Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established” (Proverbs 15:21-22). Stress in the home is just simply a sign that you have forsaken the wisdom of God. God is not the author of confusion. He gives wisdom.

Now, in order for your family to have wisdom, I would suggest that you come together in a family counsel. Notice in verse twenty-two, “in the multitude of counsellors” this wisdom is established. You need, as a family, to come together. The reason there is strife is not because you have problems. Every family has problems. But you see, families that deal with problems the right way, learn to attack the problem and not one another. Now, that’s wisdom!

When all else has failed, shouldn’t we just read the instructions? God, through His Word, instructs us to laugh, to be content, and to be happy and wise. If we don’t, the string is going to snap, and the music will be over.

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