August 14, 2016

Proverbs 30:7-8 Two things I ask of you, O Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.

I would personally say that this writer was a very wise, perceptive man – but that may be because I have a similar philosophy! There are many pitfalls in life on this planet, but these two points go a long way in helping you avoid them. In the first place, since the devil is a liar and the father of lies, (John 8:44) sticking with the truth at all times in every situation is one of the best defenses against him. That isn’t easy to do in the world today, because we are surrounded by lies of all sorts, and political correctness demands that we lie in turn. Not to be sidetracked, but political correctness is certainly an all-too-effective work of the devil! Once we start accepting the “white lie,” it is all too easy to progress to the point that we lose our grip on the truth completely, feeling that there are no absolutes in life. That is a major cause of the breakdown of society and the increase in mental illness, particularly depression. God’s truth is the antidote! The second request expressed here is also vital in today’s society. We are bombarded with advertising that has the specific purpose of generating felt need where there was none. That too is a lie of the devil, but it is a very particular one. The Bible says countless times, in the 23rd Psalm and many, many other places, that when our focus is on God, He is our supply and we have absolutely nothing to be anxious about. As Paul said, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6) The current epidemic of obesity is one symptom of the issue, because we tend to keep eating even though we’ve really had enough. God will give wisdom to avoid the traps of the devil, but we have to be receptive to His supply, to act in the wisdom He gives us.

Following my father, I’ve long held to the principle of absolute honesty in all things, and I’ve found it really simplifies life and makes it more enjoyable. I don’t have to backtrack to cover for things I’ve said! At the same time, I need to be careful not to be needlessly offensive. I don’t always have to say everything I know to be true! I do say things that are incorrect at times, but only out of ignorance – with which I’m quite sufficiently supplied! On the other point of contentment vs. avarice, I’ve come a long way over the years. I’ve never been one to have big material goals, such as a specific car or yacht or the like, and in observing others, I find that such things rarely if ever bring the anticipated joy and satisfaction once achieved. I need to remember that my treasure is in heaven, (Matthew 19:21) and be grateful for whatever the Lord supplies in the mean time.

Father, thank You for this reminder. You have certainly met our needs very graciously. Help us trust You with every challenge, knowing that where You guide, You provide. May our lives accurately represent Christ and so draw people to Him, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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