Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Professional Verbs

I think I remember my English teacher telling me that a verb is an action word like, "run" or "jump." Which makes me wonder about this word "proverb." Are proverbs words that are professional actions, in contrast to amateur actions?

Though the above statements are tongue-in-cheek, I do believe there is some truth to the definition. The proverbs of Scripture are statements that demand action on our part to bring forth the truth which they contain. To quote a proverb is not enough, we must put the proverb into action in order to reap the blessing contain within.

The Book of Proverbs is filled with the truths, which if heeded will keep us from the curse and move us toward the blessing. They are not guarantees of blessings 100% of the time, but they are truths, which when applied faithfully to our lives, move us along the right path which God has set for us to walk.

All the wisdom that we hope to gain from this proverbial book starts with one key truth, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom" To know the Lord and to follow His truth, grants unto us the wisdom that we need to actively move through this life. The active application of these proverbs must find their foundation in the fear of the Lord.

Life is filed with proverbs, not only those found within the pages of holy writ, but also from the pages of Ann Landers. The interesting thing about proverbs, and probably what makes them so powerful, is that they are formed not in the ivory towers of academia, but upon the harsh streets of everyday life. And where they are formed is where they work best.

As I consider the multitude of proverbs I realize how few of them I have actively applied to my everyday life, but even the few which I have sought to live by have had huge and positive effects.

Thus, I would ask this question of you my readers, "Which proverbs have you chosen to live by?" And with that, "What are some extra-biblical proverbs you know?" Maybe spoken from the lips of your parents. Care to share so to help all walk the path of the giants?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For some reason, when I start reading Proverbs, by the time I finish with the firsts few chapters, I end up with a mental picture a teenager rolling their eyes waiting for their father’s endless lecture to end. I have to remind myself that this is a written book of proverbs that the reader doesn’t have to read all in one sitting much less sit patiently in a chair while dear old Dad lectures them endlessly trying to impart all the wisdom they will ever need in one sitting.

To me, the book of Proverbs is best read a little at a time because there’s a lot to digest there. Fortunately, most proverbs come to us that way, in little bits and pieces, in context. Most of them are common sense ways to avoid getting ourselves in trouble or sometimes some wisdom that will encourage us not to keep making the same mistake over and over.

When I was growing up, my grandmother had two favorite proverbs of her own. Her favorite one was, “Right is right and Right never wronged nobody” which meant simply that if someone-ANYONE gets the short end of the stick, there’s no point rationalizing what you are doing and trying to convince yourself you did the right thing.

Her other favorite proverb - if say one of my brothers hit me and I hit them back or visa versa--in answer to the inevitable, “he/she hit me first!” defense was, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

Because I didn’t read them off a long list of wise sayings but because they were repeated to me over and over in context when they applied to a certain situation, those are the two proverbs I remember more than any others, and I have fond memories of my grandmother sitting there in her rocking chair lovingly and wisely counseling me on how to have one of the most important things a person can have – a clear conscience.