For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life…Proverbs 6:23
A couple of things stood out to me in today’s reading. First, verse 23 reminds me of portions of Psalm 119. I’ve written a series on Psalm 119 in the past, but today I just want to point out a couple of verses. Take a look:
- Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.
- It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.
- Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
I have to wonder if Solomon had his father’s words in mind when he penned Proverbs 6:23? (Side note: It’s unclear whether David actually wrote Psalm 119, but the tone and the wording certainly sound like the shepherd king to me.)
This one section, anyway, calls to mind the light and lamp of the Word, and how discipline and instruction are crucial to life – at least in an eternal sense.
But don’t take my word for it:
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.Hebrews 12:11
And speaking of peaceful fruit, verses 14 and 19 of today’s proverb speak of God’s displeasure with those who stir up strife and discord. An apt word for today with the constant temptation to add our voice to the global conversation on social media.
The younger me gleefully put in my two cents’ worth of nonsense when it came to adding comments, but the younger me did not often think through the impact of my words.
Today, with Psalm 141:3 on my lips as a prayer, I have a greater tendency to ask myself first: Does this need to be said? Does it add to the controversy or dispel it? Is it helpful or hurtful? Is it kind? Is it God-honoring? Is it necessary?
If any of those answers are negative, chances are good my two cents’ worth is exactly that: verbal coin which can’t even buy a stick of cheap candy.
Some things really are better left unsaid.
Holy Father, today we ask that You will set a guard over our mouths and keep watch over the door to our lips. You know how prone we are to speak rashly, without thought. Let Your Spirit be a harness for our speech, whether audible or typed, and ensure that our words bring life, hope, peace, and most of all, glory to You, amen.
When have you spoken or typed words you regret? How does this chapter speak to you?