Category Archives: lessons in proverbs

Drinking (yes alcohol)

Alcohol consumption can be a controversial topic of discussion in the Christian community. Some may consider it a “grey area” in scripture. The Bible is actually very clear on this subject, God knew we would have issues with it. There is much to say on the topic in the Old and New Testaments, but I will focus this in on The Book Of Proverbs, as this blog continues in “lessons in Proverbs.”

The basic gist of it is, it is OK to drink alcohol, however it is not OK to be under the control of alcohol. Being under the control of alcohol can include and is not limited to the following: getting drunk, or buzzed, or intoxicated…whatever you want to call it, needing to have a drink or two “to wind down” more often than not, having to drink every day (alcoholism), and turning to alcohol to deal with life’s issues.

Proverbs 20:1. Wine is a mocker, beer is a brawler, and whoever staggers because of them is not wise.
Proverbs 23:29-35. (Too much to type, but you can read at your own leisure). Basically says you’ll do and say stupid things when intoxicated, regret it, and then go and do it again.

These ones are easy…if you drink too much you’re unwise. Have you ever made an unwise decision after drinking too much? Have you seen someone else? You tend to do stupid things that you wouldn’t normally do after drinking too much…saying things you wouldn’t say, physically doing things you wouldn’t normally do, and hurting the people closest to you. That leaves regret.

If you choose to drink, please do so with keeping your wits about you and not falling under control of it.

Proverbs 23:19-21. Listen my son and be wise; keep your mind on the right course. Don’t associate with those who drink too much wine, or with those who gorge themselves on meat. For the drunkard and the glutton will become poor, and grogginess will clothe them in rags.

This goes along with choosing your friends wisely. If you’re hanging around with people who drink too much…you’re going to end up doing the same stupid things as they do. This is not Gods plan for your life.

Do you feel like you have to drink to have fun? I would challenge you to think that the things you are doing must be boring if they require you to alter your sense of reality to enjoy them.

Do you have to drink to wind down? I would challenge you to learn how to manage your stress is a healthy and non habit forming way.

Do you drink to cope? I would challenge you to find a permanent coping mechanism instead of a temporary, damaging choice.

If you need help in this area, please get it. God only wants what is best for you, He doesn’t want you to make mistakes under the influence. God loves us too much to watch us struggle with alcohol, He provided us much instruction in The Bible. Do some looking and feel free to ask me for additional reading on the topic.

I’d love to hear any feedback or any pushback on this.



Gossip: talking about someone else. Simple as that in my opinion.

It is so easy to talk about other people. Especially when you are talking about people who are not present. Even better is when they will see your Facebook status later, and even though you didn’t say their name, they know you directed the statement to them. The best part is when they overreact to your post! Then you can even call them names for thinking the post was about them…even though it really was. Fun!!

It is also so easy to listen to some juicy details about someone else’s life. It’s even better to hear about things that are going wrong in someone else’s life, then of course your life doesn’t sound quite as bad. Hearing these things goes deep into your heart, deceiving your heart. If there are people “worse” than you, then you don’t have to work on your own life…right? If you talk ABOUT someone else, rather than TO them, you’ll solve “their” issues…right?

God gives us some good guidelines to follow when speaking of others in the book of Proverbs.

1. Don’t spread gossip about friends, it is better to conceal their offense. Perhaps you should talk to them in private instead of airing their dirty laundry to others or on social media sites. If you truly are friends with someone you’ll be more interested in actually helping them.
–Proverbs 17:9. Whoever conceals an offense promotes love, but whoever gossips about it separates friends.

2. When speaking about others, less is more. You are less likely to be spreading gossip the less you say about someone. Even if it is unintentional, you may be slandering your friends.
–Proverbs 10:19. Where there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise.

3. Not talking about others will get rid of drama in your life. Are you always finding arguing, drama, and quibbling in your life? Gossip is the problem.

–Proverbs 26:20. Without wood, fire goes out; without gossip, conflict dies down.

4. Listening to gossip is also wrong, and can affect you more than you think. If someone is telling you things that you are not involved in, cannot help with, or is just bashing someone else…you are listening to gossip. Stop them. If they cannot keep their mouth shut…then it is time to avoid that individual for your own safety.

–Proverbs 18:8. A gossips words are like choice food that goes down to ones innermost being.

–Proverbs 20:19. The one who reveals secrets is a constant gossip; avoid someone with a big mouth.

God teaches us that we should only be speaking as much as necessary, leave out the rest. The more and more you talk, it is inevitable that you are going to gossip and sin. This applies to talking, and to listening to others talk. If you are enjoying listening to someone else gossip, you are just a guilty as the one speaking. When you gossip, you inevitably are hurting the person that you are talking about. No good will come of this. In the end, gossip can be the end of friendships, relationships, families, jobs, and churches. Gossip promotes separation, Jesus promotes coming together. Gossip promotes judging of one another, Jesus promotes looking into your heart first.

Next time you are aware that someone has misstepped, messed up, said something wrong, etc, provide them some forgiveness and grace…no need to tell anyone else. Obviously, if someone is in danger or other extenuating circumstances, this is not gossip. We should be helping our fellow believers, not talking about them behind their backs. If you are listening to someone gossip, it’s a good time to stop them in mid sentence and let them know that you are gossiping. We are told to avoid those with a big mouth, so those who don’t learn to keep their mouths shut, you may need to get rid of.

Many times you can be gossiping and not even be aware, unfortunately that’s how common it has become. Have some friends help keep you accountable of what you are talking about.

Lets help each other out with this, stop tearing each other down and start encouraging each other! God wants us to work together for His purpose and His glory.

What is your motivation?

When you hear about people doing good things, do you ever wonder why they did it? Sometimes it’s obvious, because they run around talking about it to everyone they know. Sometimes, you hear about good deeds through the grapevine, but no one knows who did it. On the news I heard of an anonymous guy who brought his kids to the layaway department at a Walmart and paid off like 27 people’s layaway that had kids toys in it for Christmas. I would like to think this was a nice lesson for his kids in generosity, a wonderful Christmas gift to 27 families, and good stewardship of Gods money. He didn’t do an interview on the news about it, tweet it to the world, or get a tattoo commemorating his good deed. I think he had pure motives.

It is always easier for me to ponder why other people did things than it is for me to look inside myself and why I do things that I do. Every decision in your life will have some kind of motivation behind it. Are you trying to glorify God with your decision, or are you trying to make yourself look good? Even if no one else sees your motives, God does.

Proverbs 16:2. All a mans ways seem right in his own eyes, but The Lord weighs the motives.

I’ve always been a hard worker and a good employee. When I boil down the motives for doing so, it had nothing to do with the fact that God commands us to do so…I wanted to be well liked by my bosses, get promoted, get more money, and be well respected and envied by fellow employees. I was doing the right thing, but for the wrong reasons. Now I realize that if I glorify God with my work, He will provide for me the things I need. If I were to continue working hard for the wrong reasons and thinking too highly of myself, eventually I will be found out…even if it isn’t until judgement day.

Proverbs 16:18. Pride comes before destruction, an arrogant spirit before a fall.

If you run around being prideful of your good works, things may come crashing down on you.  People won’t want to talk to you because all you do is brag on yourself, people will not believe all you say and think you are embellishing things, and worst of all, you will make your good works an idol that you worship instead of worshiping God. You may be doing great things…helping orphans, feeding the poor, giving your money to charity, etc…but when you do not do this for the glory of God, they can get in the way.

After reading through proverbs at the end of last year, I had to take an inventory of why I was doing the things I do. In some cases, it was a bit painful in some cases. Take a good look at why you do what you do…ultimately, why do you do it? Be sure to glorify God with all you do…He will take care of the rest!

Discipline your kids(only if you love them)

When the 4 year old is asking a million questions and the 2 year old is constantly getting into things hes not supposed to, and they are both yelling and screaming, and all i want them to do is pick up their toys, and im at the point where it will just be easier for me to give up and just pick the toys up myself…what will i be teaching them?

When the 16 year old is making some lifestyle changes that are not ok, and you’ve explained to him 100 times the potential consequences, and you’ ve argued with him, and you’re ready to settle because he seems happy and at least hes not as bad as some of those other kids…what will I be teaching him?

The Book ofProverbs has some very solid and practical teachings on parenting, and in this post we will look at the subject of discipline.

Proverbs 13:24. The one who will not use the rod hates his son, but the one who loves him disciplines him diligently.

Now…to clarify, you do not have to beat your child with a rod. This is a method of discipline used when the book was written. You can discipline your child any way you see fit. The point of this verse is that if you truly LOVE your child, you will do what it takes to steer them in the right direction. If you would rather take the easy road out, skip on the discipline and let your own child settle for second best, then perhaps it is time to take a gut check to see how much you really love your child.

Proverbs 23:13. Don’t withhold correction from a youth; if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.

Discipline will not kill your kid. Do you know of a kid who died from getting his video games taken away, got his car keys taken away, got put in time out, got spanked, had to miss a school dance or sporting event? In my experience, the discpline is actually harder on the parent than it is on the child. If i have to put my four year old in time out, i feel horrible, because i want her to enjoy all of the time she has with me. She gets up a few minutes later, lesson learned, and moves on. She didnt die. Me, on the other hand, could use a pick me up, even though i know i did the right thing.

Proverbs 29:15. The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a youth left to himself is a disgrace to his mother.

Kids learn how to follow rules, boundaries, and proper ways to treat other people when they are disciplined. They learn how to succeed in this life, how to have great relationships, and how they can raise their own kids someday. Undisciplined youth end up jobless, underemployed, on drugs, in prison, or maybe still in your basement at the age of 30. We, as parents, are responsible for teaching our kids, and for disciplining our kids. You cannot pawn off responsibility to the school, the church, the government, the babysitter, or anyone else. These other avenues are here to help you, not take away your God given responsibility as a parent.

Discipline is a necessity for your kids, because they are born sinners. Kids will naturally do things that are dumb and short sighted. Parents need to be there to steer them in the right direction. This can include gifts and rewards for good behaviors and time outs, groundings, or spanking for bad behaviors. If you are unwilling to
discipline your kids, you are failing them as a parent and setting up their future for failure as well. It’s not easy to discipline them at times…it’s usually easier not to. However, there is a reason that that parenting is the most difficult and the most rewarding job you will have in this life. God has given you all the tools you need to be a great parent, use everything that you have, an give it everything you have. God will take care of the rest.

Please let me know if you have questions or need help!

Choose your friends wisely, you’re going to need them

When your life is going well, it seems that friends are there in abundance. Sometimes, when things take a rough turn for you, it seems that friends manage to just disappear. Everyone is willing to come watch the football game with you, but wouldn’t it be nice to have friends available and willing to help you when you need marriage help, financial guidance, decision-making advice, etc? Also, wouldn’t it be nice if these friends actually had some good advice for you, because their marriage, financial situation, and decision-making are in all solid standing. It just so happens that this is exactly what God has in mind for us.

Proverbs 11:14 says: Without guidance, people fall, but with many councilors there is deliverance.

And Proverbs 12: A fools way is right in his own eyes, but whoever listens to council is wise.

We are not meant to carry life’s burdens on our own, God wants us to have guidance and support from our friends. He even lets us know that we are foolish if we try to do things on our own. That’s a blow to my ego, because I’ve always been one to try to do things on my own, not wanting to place a burden on others. This is not God’s plan for me, and I have been foolish for trying to do things on my own. If we are to rely on others, we don’t want just anyone providing us guidance…we need to choose your friends wisely.

Proverbs 13:20 says: The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.

and Proverbs 14:7 says: Stay away from a foolish man; you will gain no knowledge from his speech.

God wants our friends to actually be able to help us, not drag us down further than we’ve gotten ourselves. If you hang out with people going in the direction you want to go, you will move in that direction with them. They will help you make wiser decisions, be accountability partners with you, and keep you from harms way. If you hang out with those that are moving away from where you want to go, you will never become the person God intended you to be. I have found that a friend will either have a positive or negative influence on you…there is no neutral influence. How are each of your friends influencing you?

Some of us need to drop some friends that are moving in the opposite direction of where you are called to be. Some of us need to have some serious conversations with our friends and see if they are on the same page as us. Some of us just need to find new friends that have their heads on their shoulders, will provide more help than just cheering at a football game, and won’t go running when the times get tough.



You can’t fake it

Proverbs 11:22. A beautiful woman who rejects good sense is like a gold ring in a pigs snout.

Ouch! That one really drives it home. How foolish is that picture…a nice expensive ring stuck up a pigs nose. I certainly don’t want to look that foolish. Unfortunately, I have before, and I’m sure many others have as well.

This proverb obviously speaks to your appearance, vanity, etc. however, this also speaks to being hypocritical, looking on the outside like you are righteous and doing the opposite behind closed doors.

In the news it seems every year you hear of a church leader or a teacher/coach getting in trouble for “inappropriate relations” with someone they were entrusted to lead or mentor. On the outside these obviously appeared to be doing well. they were appointed to lead churches, teach and coach our youth. Not just anyone is able to have these privileges, so you can guess that they had no “red flags” of any big sin issues. In reality, they have some serious sexual sin issues they were not dealing with and setting boundaries for themselves to avoid the sin. Your sin will always catch up with you and be brought into the light unless you deal with it.

Not only do these people look foolish for appearing one way on the outside and being something else on the inside, but they have damaged those closest to them and those they were entrusted to work with.

Remember the Holy Spirit will change you from the inside out. Let your appearance be a reflection of what Christ is doing inside of you. God’s love should shine from us like a light, so He is glorified with all that we do. Don’t appear to be what you think people want to see on the outside. Deal with your sin, don’t wait until it drags you, your family, and the body of Christ down with you. God loves you too much, He wants you to make the most out of your life here.


Laziness is generally thought of as one who just sits around and doesn’t do anything, jobless, bumming off mom and dad, kids running wild with no discipline…however, it goes much deeper that that. Laziness is not doing the things that you know you’re supposed to do. And by the way…that is a sin. I can use myself as a great example of this. I never would have called myself lazy, I was in grad school full time, working full time, engaged to be married, helping to raise who would be my step son, and dedicated to working out. Not the definition of lazy. However, in all of my diligence with work and school, I was still neglecting areas in my life. I was not the fiancé I should have been, I was not the parent I should have been, and I was not spending time with God or reading His word. I was confusing busyness with laziness, as I was doing a lot of good things and neglecting the great things. God has really worked in this area of my life, realigning my priorities and getting rid of my laziness.

If you’re too busy at work, at school, at the gym, then you are probably being lazy in your relationships; with God, your spouse, your kids, and with your health.

God has a lot to say on the matter in proverbs.

Proverbs 10:4. Idle hands make one poor, but diligent hands bring riches.

Proverbs 14:23. There is profit in hard work, but endless talk leads only to poverty.

Proverbs 28:19. The one who works his land will have plenty of food, but whoever chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.

These verses speak of doing, not just saying. Everyone says they want to do the right thing, but how many do? We all want a great relationship with God…how much time do you spend with Him vs thinking about it? We all want a great marriage…how much work do you put into it, do you have the tough conversations, do you still date, vs hoping it turns out or well or just finding the faults in your spouse? We all want awesome kids…how much quality time do you spend with them, how much do you teach them, how much do you discipline them vs just wondering why they wont listen to you? It normally takes diligence and hard work to do anything worth doing…a lot if people would rather do what is easy. Dreaming about things getting better doesn’t make it happen, it takes effort. Paul spoke of doing the things he hates, rather than what he knows is right. This is a struggle for everyone.

God promises riches and profit to those who work hard. This doesn’t mean financial gain, but it can. If you work your tail off at work, you’ll get raises, promotions, bonuses, etc. If you pray and read your Bible daily, God will speak to you and provide blessings to your life. If you work hard on your marriage, have those tough conversations you’ve been putting off, taking time out to date, serving your spouse, etc, God promises you a rich and fulfilling marriage.

Proverbs 18:9. The one who is truly lazy in his work is brother to a vandal.

On the other side, God teaches that if you are lazy, you are as bad as a theif. You are stealing away the gifts God have given you, you are stealing from those around you that God wants you to reach, you are stealing from yourself and the life God wants for you.

You can apply these principles on laziness to any aspect of your life. I have to apply them daily to my marriage and with my kids. It is so much easier for me to come home from work and just sit on the couch and relax. In reality, this is the only good quality time I have with my family during the week…it’s not the time for me to be selfish.

Remember, God’s promises always are true, and they are for all of His followers. What areas is He telling you to change so you can get all of the amazing things God has in store for you?

Don’t waste your time on a fool.

Have you been around someone who has to argue about everything? Nothing can be easy. They always have to be right. Do you offer up good, solid advice in an honest attempt to help, just to be ignored or told “mind your own business” or “don’t judge me?”

In the book of Proberbs, this person who is always right and will reject advice even after asking for some, is called a fool. Don’t waste your time on a fool. They don’t want your help.

Proverbs 15:12. A mocker doesn’t love one who corrects him; he will not consult the wise.

Proverbs 18:2. A fool does not delight in understanding, but only wants to show off his opinions.

Again, they don’t want your help, they want to speak and not listen. They will continue to do foolish things despite anything you say or do.

Proverbs 26:11. As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.

It can be painful watching someone make the same mistakes over and over, especially a family member. However, you cannot force them to change or to listen. These conversations will often lead to conflict.

Proverbs 23:10. Drive out a mocker, and conflict goes too; then lawsuits and dishonor will cease.

Proverbs 26:4. Don’t answer a fool according to his foolishness, or you’ll be like him yourself.

These arguments will only lead to you wasting your time and looking dumb yourself. Many times you may end up saying something you want to take back.

Proverbs 9:8-9. Don’t rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Instruct a wise man, and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man, and he will learn more.

Don’t give up on them, just spend more time growing yourself and growing those willing to listen. They will love you for your help. Be sure you are willing to learn from those around you as well.

Proverbs 26:12. Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than him?

Keep a strong team of advisors around you. Realize that you do not have all the answers. Submit to Gods teaching, He invented wisdom! Never stop learning. Don’t interject your opinion in everyone’s life, that is what fools do. If you live according to Gods word, people will ask for your advice.

That being said, we have a whole book of proverbs of teaching from the wisest guy ever…maybe we should live this book out!

Flee sexual sin! Love your spouse!

Proverbs 5:7-8,15,18-20. So now, my sons, listen to me, and don’t turn away from the words of my mouth. Keep your way far from her (a promiscuous woman). Don’t go near the door if her house…drink water from your own cistern, water flowing from your own well…let your fountain be blessed, and take pleasure in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful fawn, let her breasts always satisfy you; be lost in her love forever. Why, my son, would you be infatuated with a forbidden woman?

Be sure you stay far, far away from sexual sin, anything that draws you away from your spouse. Don’t even go near it! God teaches us to stay far away and not go near her door. Don’t tempt your fate with sexual sin, you will lose.

If you have problems looking at things online that you shouldn’t be looking at, then put a web filter on and have it email your spouse (or another accountability partner) every site you visit. Don’t get in one on one situations with those of the opposite gender, anything can happen. Avoid watching any movies or shows and/or reading any books or magazines that cause you lustful feelings. (Guys…you’re not getting playboy for the articles and you’re not getting the swimsuit edition because you’re interested in the latest in swimwear design) (gals…you’re not reading 50 shades of grey for the great plot and you’re not watching magic mike for the great acting)

Instead, enjoy your spouse to the fullest! God has provided you the perfect mate. Craig Groeshel says it well in his book “weird,” “if the grass looks greener somewhere else, it’s time to water your own lawn.” If you dont work on your marriage, it will fall apart. Get out your hose, plant some grass seed, pull the weeds, whatever you need to do. The hard work pays off with a wonderfully satisfying marriage. This will be a good example for future generations of your family and can fight the pattern of divorce in our country. The battle starts in YOUR marriage…no pressure 🙂

For more help with sexual sin go to and click on messages and media. Scroll down to the guardrails series and listen to run, forest, run!

For more help in your marriage you can check out our marriage ministry at And you can stick around Friendship Church for our “woven” series coming up. Also, read the five love languages by Gary chapman and real marriage by Marc Driscoll.


There’s always a lot of talk about heart; an athlete who does something great is said to have a lot of heart, someone who does something cruel is said to be heartless, and the Grinch was said to have a heart that was too small. I like to think your heart is a reflection of who you are. The things you do in your life and the things you are passionate about really show what God has placed on your heart. Sometimes we may not even be aware of what is on our heart, but others around you may see by what your actions are…whether for the good or bad. Lets see what God has to say about our heart.

Proverbs 4:23 says guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.

The phrase “above all else” really stands out to me. Obviously God is very concerned with the condition of our hearts. He knows that what is on our heart will direct our path. We tend to protect our homes with locks, alarm systems, guns, etc. we tend to protect our physical selves with seat belts, helmets, medications, sunscreen, homes, etc. God says our heart should be protected above all else.

How do you guard your heart? First I think it needs protection. Put up a shield around it. Block out the people who will coerce you into doing wrong, avoid places that will tempt you to do wrong, set up guardrails in your life so your heart isn’t swayed. We are merely human, we will fail if we leave our hearts unprotected. for help with setting up guardrails in your life scroll thru to find the guardrails series.

Second, we need a strong offense. The more we can fight away evil from our hearts, the farther away it will be. We need to be praying for Gods protection of our hearts and reading Gods word for direction and instruction. Read Ephesians 6:10-17.

Once your heart is protected, you need to start growing the areas God has placed on your heart.

Proverbs 16:9 says A mans heart plans his way, but The Lord determines his steps.

We can plan to head in the direction of passion that God has placed on our hearts, God will take care of the rest. He will open doors for you, provide funding for needs, provide opportunities for you, bring people into your life, etc.

Protect your heart and follow it! God has amazing things planned for you!