Author Archives: andywendling

Proverbs 21:3

In the Old Testament, people would sacrifice animals to atone for sin. This was a way for us to tell God we realize that we screwed up and for us to follow specific guidelines He set up for us to show Him obedience. 

Proverbs 21:3 tells us what is even better than atonement for our sins:
Doing what is righteous and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

Now, we will never be perfect. However, God finds favor with us when we make Godly decisions. Lets work more and more daily to be wise, not foolish. 

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Proverbs 20:1

​Anyone made a wise decision after having too much to drink? Anyone? Didn’t think so. 

Wine is a mocker, beer is a brawler, and whoever staggers because of them is not wise.

Proverbs 20:1 HCSB

Want to be wise?  Don’t drink in excess. Don’t make any decison unless you are sober. 

Proverbs 19:18

Proverbs is filled with good parenting advice, one of my favorites is:

​Discipline your son while there is hope; don’t be intent on killing him.

Proverbs 19:18 HCSB

Nobody enjoys disciplining their kids, and kids don’t make it easy on us. It’s hard, but it’s necessary. This proverb equates a lack of discipline to killing your kids. Think it’s extreme? Not so, it’s true. 

An undisciplined kid will never learn how to work hard, treat other people, respect authority, or what is right or wrong. Maybe they end up struggling through life learning hard lessons they should have learned as a kid, maybe they get involved in substance abuse, maybe they end up in jail, or truly they may end up physically dead. 

It’s never too late to discipline your kids. Start now! They won’t like it now, but it’s the only way to guide them to a fruitful life.  

As parents we have 2 choices, discipline or death…we have to pick what we want for our kids. 

Proverbs 18:10

In the days of the Old Testament, battles were won and lost on the ground. There were no airplanes or missiles. If you wanted to protect something you put it behind a thick wall and up high. Using these principles of protection, a big tower was the best form of protection. From the top of the tower you have good vision and are able to defend. It would have been very difficult for a foot soldier to get in and up the tower. 

Proverbs 18:10 uses a tower as an analogy:

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are protected.
God is the best protection, and those who turn to Him are protected. Even though times may be tough, His promise to take care of us remains.  Who do you turn to for protection?  

Proverbs 17:28

​Even a fool is considered wise when he keeps silent, discerning when he seals his lips.

Proverbs 17:28 HCSB

This one speaks for itself. When in doubt, keep your mouth shut. Talking without thinking makes you look foolish, even those who are foolish can appear to be wise by not blurting out the first thing that comes to mind. 

Proverbs 16

What an amazing chapter! There is some great insights into decision making and giving control to God. 

Verse 25: There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

We are born from imperfect parents, into an imperfect world. We are all born with sinful desires that try to pull us away from the path God wants us to take. We truly need to evaluate everything we think or do, because we may be headed in the wrong direction. 

Verse 2:All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord evaluates the motives.

Again, this verse starts with us thinking we are doing the right thing. We can do something “right” and still have it be wrong. God wants our hearts, and wants our actions to glorify Him. Even if you are doing a good thing….what is your motive? Do you give to a charity because you simply want a tax break? Do you serve at church so others think you’re a good person? To you help the homeless to win a humanitarian award? Be sure God is your motive and nothing else…then you will know you are on the right path. 

Verse 9: A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps. 

The path you are on may have it’s ups and downs. Not everything will be easy. We truly need to rely on God to determine which step to take, even if it doesn’t feel like part of your own plan. 

Verse 3: Commit your activities to the Lord , and your plans will be achieved. 

Success will be found when we give up control to God. He may tell you to stop and do something else, He may provide affirmation that you are on the right path. You don’t know unless you commit to Him. 

Proverbs 15:1 

When I was in college I worked in retail to help pay the bills. After working for several years, I learned how to work in multiple areas of the store. I started on the sales floor, learned how to cashier, trained in the electronics department, worked in grocery, spent several years in the stockroom, and even did a summer in receiving. The one area I had no desire to learn was the customer service desk. I had seen enough up there to know that I didn’t want to deal with the people that visited that spot. I was always amazed when a customer would be sitting there chewing out the teenager at customer service for no reason and the teenager would keep their cool. A simple, “I’m sorry sir, that’s our policy” was gently and quietly asserted. I know deep down inside the employee would like to stab the guy for being so rude and undeservingly mean, but a cool and composed response was what would come out. 

After witnessing one of these interactions, I asked how they did it. “That’s what we are trained to do” was the response. “We stay calm and speak quietly to try and dissolve a potentially bad situation.” 

Proverbs 15:1 spells this out perfectly. A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.

If you are the one speaking harshly to someone, you will cause an argument…not a solution. You can get your point across and seek a solution, without stirring up anger, by choosing gentle words and speech. 

Would you like to be known for your gentle speech or your harsh words?

Proverbs 14:23

​There is profit in all hard work, but endless talk leads only to poverty.

Proverbs 14:23 HCSB

One of my favorite proverbs. First, lets discuss profit and hard work. Profit can certainly mean monetary profit, but it also means so much more. 

Hard work at your job will also bring profit in the area of satisfaction, perfecting your craft, and positively influencing others. 

Hard work at school can lead to profits in your knowledge, satisfaction, and future prospects. 

Hard work in Bible study,prayer, and serving can lead to profits in decision making, relationships, self worth, and success. 

Man, all this profit stuff sounds nice. The hard work part, well, that sounds hard. We all want the profit, but aren’t so willing to work hard for it. This brings us to part 2 of this proverb. 

When we talk about doing something, poverty is the answer. Again, this can mean monetary poverty…no job, don’t work hard, slack off? No money, no raises, no promotions. Maybe your poverty is another area…bad grades, fractured relationships, self esteem issues, and bad decisions. 

Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk. 

Look up James 1:22. It’s all about action, not talk. 

Proverbs 13:20

​The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.

Proverbs 13:20 HCSB

One of my favorites, simple and to the point. What kind of people do you surround yourself with? What outcomes do you expect from it?

Proverbs 12:16

I’m sure we all know someone who complains about everything. If you around them enough, you can almost predict when the next complain will come out of their mouth. Everything could be nearly perfect, however they will find the one thing that didn’t meet their standards…and quickly let everyone know about it. It’s difficult to be around people when this is the response to eveyrhing. 

Proverbs provides us some wisdom on this topic. 

A fool’s displeasure is known at once, but whoever ignores an insult is sensible.

Proverbs 12:16 HCSB

Those who are displeased, and quickly let everyone know, are considered fools. I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of this. The littlest thing happens and we are quick to jump on it. Proverbs provides us with a wiser response. 

Ignore the first offense. Show grace. Look to understand, not to complain. This does not mean you have to put up with constant issues and get walked on, it does mean we should give others the benefit of the doubt. 

The Bible teaches us to be patient and kind with each other. Lets not get so easily offended.