3/8 Reading (Proverbs 13-15; Matthew 5)

Proverbs 13: Here’s the ones I find most interesting in this chapter:

2 People eat well from the fruit of their words,
   but the treacherous have an appetite only for violence.
3 People who watch their mouths guard their lives,
   but those who open their lips are ruined.
5 The righteous hate false words,
   but the wicked create disgust and scorn.
10 The empty-headed cause conflict out of pride;
   those who take advice are wise.
11 Riches gotten quickly will dwindle,
   but those who acquire them gradually become wealthy.
13 Trouble will come on those who despise a word,
   but those who respect the commandment will be rewarded.
14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
   turning a person away from deathtraps.
16 The prudent all act intelligently,
   but fools display their stupidity.
17 Wicked messengers fall into trouble,
   but a reliable one brings healing.
18 Poverty and shame come to those who don’t care about instruction;
   honor belongs to those who heed correction.
20 Walk with wise people and become wise;
   befriend fools and get in trouble.

Still an emphasis on communication and telling the truth. Telling the truth and using facts are things that I highly value. I do try to work with people who also value these things.

Proverbs 14: Here’s the ones I find most interesting in this chapter:

3 Pride sprouts in the mouth of a fool,
   but the lips of the wise protect them.
5 A truthful witness doesn’t lie,
   but a false witness spews lies.
6 A mocker searches for wisdom and gets none,
   but knowledge comes quickly to the intelligent.
7 Stay away from fools,
   for you won’t learn wise speech there.
8 By their wisdom the prudent understand their way,
   but the stupidity of fools deceives them.
15 The naive believe anything,
   but the prudent give thought to their steps.
16 The wise are careful and avoid evil,
   but fools become excited and overconfident.
18 Stupidity is the lot of the naive,
   but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
23 There is profit in hard work,
   but mere talk leads to poverty.
25 A truthful witness saves lives,
   but a deceiver proclaims lies.
29 Patience leads to abundant understanding,
   but impatience leads to stupid mistakes.
30 A peaceful mind gives life to the body,
   but jealousy rots the bones.

Patience, speaking the truth, helping those most in need, trying to be at peace…all things I find important.

Proverbs 15: Here’s the ones I find most interesting in this chapter:

1 A sensitive answer turns back wrath,
   but an offensive word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise enhances knowledge,
   but the mouth of a fool gushes with stupidity.
4 Wholesome speech is a tree of life,
   but dishonest talk breaks the spirit.
7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
   but the hearts of fools have none.
12 Mockers don’t like those who correct them.
   They won’t go to the wise.
13 A joyful heart brightens one’s face,
   but a troubled heart breaks the spirit.
14 An understanding heart seeks knowledge;
   but fools feed on folly.
18 Hotheads stir up conflict,
   but patient people calm down strife.
22 Plans fail with no counsel,
   but with many counselors they succeed.
27 Those who acquire things unjustly gain trouble for their house,
   but those who hate bribes will live.
28 The righteous heart reflects before answering,
   but the wicked mouth blurts out evil.

Communication, listening, understanding, remaining patient.

Matthew 5: Here we see the start of the sermon on the mount. This sermon occurs over chapters 5, 6, and 7.

We see the beatitudes at the beginning of this chapter. Most of them start with “Happy are the people….” They are all pretty cool little phrases. Jesus then jumps into a discussion of the law. Jesus makes it clear to the people that he isn’t there to overturn the law or to get rid of anything. He warns the people that whoever chooses to ignore the laws “will be called the lowest in the kingdom of heaven” (5:19). Jesus specifically focuses on a few of the laws in this chapter: murder (don’t do it), adultery (don’t do it), divorce (don’t do it unless your spouse is unfaithful [the text says wife, but it could go both ways]), solemn pledges (don’t pledge at all), retaliation (see quote below), and law of love (not only should you love your neighbor, you should also love your enemy).

Here’s a quote of the text in the “law of retaliation” section that I like (5:38-42):

38 “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. 39 But I say to you that you must not oppose those who want to hurt you. If people slap you on your right cheek, you must turn the left cheek to them as well. 40 When they wish to haul you to court and take your shirt, let them have your coat too.41 When they force you to go one mile, go with them two. 42 Give to those who ask, and don’t refuse those who wish to borrow from you.

It seems to me that you could argue that this is where “kill them with kindness” comes from. That’s probably not accurate, but it works.

Question: Jesus says that people need to remember to follow the law and that he isn’t there to get rid of the law. However, it seems like Paul kinda set some parts of the law aside. Am I off on this?

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