Read: Proverbs 13:1-25
Consider: Today’s reading from Proverbs contains words of wisdom that highlight the difference between two contrasting lifestyles. The lifestyles contrasted are those whose lives are centred on God (the righteous), and those who are self-centred (the wicked).
The psalmist doesn’t always spell out the difference between the two lifestyles, leaving it to the reader to think about and meditate on this. An example of this technique used by the psalmist is:
- the righteous hate what is false (v5); by implication the righteous love what is true. The wicked by contrast love what is false and hate what is true.
As you read this chapter in Proverbs think about the contrasts being made and the implications for your own life and witness.
What is the incentive to live righteously? Society at large has the view that the reason to live righteously is to earn God’s favour and to ensure that they will get to heaven after death. For the Christian the desire to live righteously comes from being forgiven by God. Therefore, it does not seek to earn God’s approval to ensure salvation, but is a natural outworking of faith day-by-day.
Part of living righteously is the desire to share our faith with those who do not know God. The psalmist puts it this way: The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death (13:14). This is how the apostle Paul describes this desire to tell others: Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience (2 Corinthians 5:11). Because we love God and have been forgiven by him, we want to share the good news of the gospel with others. Can you see from Paul’s statement that our lives must match our words, so that what we are (Christians) is plain to others?
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
Pray: Father, may we live righteously so that our faith is plain to those around us. Help us to share our faith gently with others. Amen