Day 13: Correction – Proverbs 13

Day 13 picture of beach

“If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace. If you accept correction, you will be honored.” Proverbs 13:18

I’ve been in a process of learning to accept criticism and correction as a positive thing. I can get really defensive when I’m questioned, or a weakness is pointed out. It can be simple things, but it’s also with big things. I’ve recently had to get real with why I react the way I do when criticism or correction is being presented.

I’ve come to the realization that as a child and into my early 20’s, criticism and correction were tools used to let me know I wasn’t good enough. Criticism and correction were there to let me know that I failed once again and would probably never get it right. And even though I’ve grown and come to understand those things as lies, there is still a part of me that is being exposed and needs healing.

I’m in a process now where I’m changing my internal dialogue and my outward response. When I face criticism and correction I will begin to take inventory of how I am feeling and what response is coming to the surface. Then, I ask myself, why am I feeling this way? I know and understand that correction is for my benefit. I also recognize that correction isn’t really anyone’s favorite thing. But, it’s not there to point out my faults or my lack. Correction is there to help me make the adjustments I need to stay on that right path.

I pray today for continued healing in this part of my life. I want to receive and respond to correction and criticism with an open heart to make the necessary adjustments. I pray today for a shift in my mind to see correction and criticism, not as a way to point out my faults and failures, but as a tool to strengthen my gifts and abilities. Correction and criticism are there to make the good better. To make my strengths stronger. To allow the light to shine brighter. To continue the work, He is doing in me. And Lord, I pray for discernment to know when the correction is needed and when it’s just someone being critical. And then, to feel free to just let that negative go. Amen.

What is God speaking to you today in Proverbs 13? Share in the comments below or join the conversation on our Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group.

Day 12: More About My Words – Proverbs 12

Day 12 picture of blue flowers in a field

“The words of the Godly save lives.” Proverbs 12:6b

“Wise words bring many benefits.” Proverbs 12:14

“The Wise listen to others.” Proverbs 12:15b

“An honest witness tells the truth.” Proverbs 12:17

“The words of the wise bring healing.” Proverbs 12:18b

“Truthful words stand the test of time.” Proverbs 12:19

“He delights in those who tell the truth.” Proverbs 12:22b

“An encouraging word cheers a person up.” Proverbs 12:25b

“The Godly give good advice to their friends.” Proverbs 12:26

There is just so much in Proverbs about words. How words can tear down, destroy and lead us astray.  My words are so very important. I must seek wisdom and allow the Holy Spirit to filter my words. I desire that my words bring life, healing, hope, comfort, encouragement and that they bring delight to the Lord. I want my words to be truthful and lead others to salvation.

I also want wisdom to know when to be quiet and listen. Often, I think I just need to say what I’m thinking, you know, because what I have to say is so very important……so I think!   The wiser thing may be to just listen. Listen with my ears, but listen with my heart.  Listen in a way that I truly am hearing what is being said and not just waiting for the opportunity to speak.

Lord, I pray today for wisdom with my words. Lead me to know when to be quiet and listen and help me hear what is being said. Give me wisdom with my words, leading me to speak words that are life giving. Words that bring healing and comfort. Words of hope and life. And when necessary, words that bring correction and lead those around me to You. Amen.

What is God speaking to you today in Proverbs11? ? Share in the comments below or join the conversation on our Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group.

Day 11: Give Freely – Proverbs 11

Day 11 picture of little bird on a limb

“Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. People curse those who hoard their grain, but they bless the one who sells in time of need. If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil it will find you. Trust in your money and down you go! But the Godly flourish like leaves in spring.”  Proverbs 11:24-28  (NLT)

You just cannot out give God!  Generosity reaps favor, blessing and refreshing to the giver. Give and more will be given to you.  Prosperity is the fruit of generosity. When you give to others, you will receive refreshing. Blessing, favor and will flourish.

I once prayed that God would bless us with more so we could be givers. I didn’t think we had enough to give, our income was just enough to meet our own needs. I didn’t see how I could give, especially in those months when there were more days than $$$ in the bank account! It was during this time that my Pastor challenged us to give out of our own needs. He said to us over and over, you just can’t out give God!

And so, we did it, we began to give. It didn’t seem like a lot, but we gave out of what we had. I can remember one time a homeless man showed up to the church office. He was just looking for something to eat. We bought him dinner and David saw that he didn’t have a coat or gloves, it was winter and cold. David took him to the store and bought him a pair of boots, new socks, a coat, gloves and a hat.  This was at a time when our finances were limited, we had just enough to care for our families needs. Once the purchase was complete, David got back in the car and told me we couldn’t spend anything until payday, he just spent our last $100. There were still quite a few days left in the month. But you know what, we had everything we needed. Our bank account never went into the negative and all our needs were met.

One of my favorite moments of giving was at the check-out in Walmart. We were purchasing costumes for our boys for the fall festival. The cashier was a young girl who was so excited for our boys. We asked her if she had any kids and if they would be getting a costume. She said she did have a daughter and she had her heart set on a ballerina costume.  Unfortunately, she couldn’t buy it until payday, so she was hoping it would still be available in her daughters’ size. We asked her what her daughters age and size was, went back into the store and purchased the costume. When we gave it to her she got tears in her eyes, no one had ever done anything like that for her. This time giving didn’t cost us much, but her response blessed us so much, I wanted to go buy all the costumes and give them all away!!!

Giving has become a part of who we are and how we live our life. When we see a need we can meet, we often just do it. We pray for wisdom, so that when the moment to give happens, we don’t hesitate and miss it. We have given out of our own need and we have given out of our abundance. We trust that in all things God is our provider. He takes care of us!  Our needs are met and then some. His blessings and favor are gift and sharing them is joy to my soul

I pray today for more opportunities to give. I pray for an increase in my faith to trust God for everything I have need of. I pray for wisdom now and in the moment of opportunity.  Amen.

How has God prompted you to give? What is God speaking to you today in Proverbs 11? Share in the comments below or join the conversation on our Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group.


Day 10: My Words – Proverbs 10

day 10 picture of flowers

“The words of the Godly are a life giving fountain ; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions. Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offences. Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding, but those lacking sense will be beaten with a rod. Wise people treasure knowledge, but the babbling of a fool invites disaster.” Proverbs 10:11-14

I can remember as a kid chanting the little rhyme, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Something we said to counter what others were saying about us. Oh how untrue that little rhyme is, words are powerful. They can hurt and often it takes a lot longer to heal from hurtful words that from any physical wounds.

I’ve been hurt by words of others and I’ve used my own words to hurt others. Often, it’s unintentional, but nevertheless, it hurts. Words spoken in anger or out of one’s own pain or crummy circumstances can damage and destroy relationships. They can create a chasm so large that only the supernatural healing power of Christ can bridge the divide.

We are seeing this very thing today all over. It’s in our families, our communities, our friendships, it’s all over social media, all over TV and in the news. People are using their words to cause division, destroy relationship, invoke anger and cause others to hurt. Some of it is unintentional, and sadly, there is a lot of intentionality in the words being said. And to top it all off, much of what is being said is being misinterpreted, misunderstood and some are speaking before they think, and it all comes out wrong.

It’s also true that my words can bring healing, comfort and draw people together. But, I have to use wisdom. I must think before I speak and pray before I post. Is what I am about to say or post going to be misunderstood? Is it going to cause people to become defensive and argumentative? I have to be responsible with my words. I am a representative of the Body of Christ and my words must reflect His love and grace!

Lord, I pray today over my words. I pray they are a “life giving fountain.” I pray that I will speak words of love and grace that will heal offense. I pray my words would come from a deep understanding of your Word. And help me know when “to be sensible and keep my mouth shut!” (v.19) Amen.

What is God speaking to you today? Share in the comments below or join the conversation on our Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group.

Day 9 Wisdom’s Invitation – Proverbs 9

day 9 picture of a swing at the beach

“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgement. Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.” Proverbs 9:10-12

There are 2, almost identical invitations in this chapter. In verses 3-5 wisdom sends out her servants and calls out over the city, inviting everyone. She goes after the simple and those lacking judgement. She draws them in so they can leave their simple ways behind and learn to use good judgement. The second invite is from ‘folly,’ in verses 14-16, she also looks out over the city and calls out to men going by, the simple and those lacking judgement. She entices them with food and drink in secret and hidden places. Her invite leads to dead things.

Wisdom or folly? Which will I be led by? Which invite will I accept? How will I stay aware of the enemy’s trap to lead me into foolish things away from truth and good judgment?

I find the answer to my questions here in verse 10, “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom.” This verse doesn’t mean I’m frightened or scared of the Lord, it’s a reverence, a yielding to, a trust in, faith that goes beyond sight, a complete surrender to the disciplines and instructions from Him, from His Word. This yielding and surrender leads me to knowing Him, which leads me to have good judgment because of the wisdom He freely gives.

When I choose Him and grow in wisdom, it brings me life. This is why His Word is so important and why I must read and study it daily. The more I know of who He is, the closer I get to Him, all leads me to more wisdom I gain establishing a strong and lasting foundation for my life. When I fail to go after Him and read His word, I am willingly allowing myself to accept foolish living.

Lord, continue leading me to your Word. I pray for more understanding and a deep hunger for the wisdom it gives. Draw me in and speak to me through the written Words. Thank you for grace that keeps me when I lack judgement and compensates for my simple mindedness. Thank you, Lord, for continued growth in my life and a stronger mind to live by your disciplines and teachings. Amen.

What is God speaking to you today? Share in the comments below or join the Journaling ThroughProverbs Facebook Group Here.

Day 8: Joyful – Proverbs 8

day 8 picture - daisy

“Listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful.  Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home.” Proverbs 8:32-34 (NLT)

To me, joy is more than just a feeling. The Joy of the Lord is more than just being happy or experiencing good times. The kind of joy that I am talking about is possible even during the lows of life, in the difficulties in the uncertainties and it can be present in the chaos. This kind of joy is rooted in wisdom and faith.  It’s rooted in the understanding and in the revelation that He is who He says He is.

I long for this kind of joy to be evident in my life, not just so I can feel it. But so, it can go where I go. It can be so easy for me to think bringing my thoughts and corrections to those around me or into situations I encounter is what I should do. After all, I study God’s Word daily and don’t they need to hear and be set straight? Well, I’ve been there done that, and it gets you about as far as the door. Others around me don’t need to hear, or rather they don’t want to hear what I think they need to do different or better. They need to experience the presence of Jesus. They need me to love them. They need for the JOY inside of me to overflow onto them.

 And here’s the thing about this kind of joy, it doesn’t’ leave when I leave. It’s not just the laughter experienced because of a good joke. It’s not the “feel goods” during a friendly conversation. It’s a kind of joy that leaves residue on those it encounters and leaves them longing for more. It leads them to the Savior.

Here in verses 32-34, I read that joy comes when I seek out wisdom and follow it’s instruction. I can experience joy when I seek out wisdom, when I wait for wisdom. I can experience joy when I respond to wisdoms voice. Wisdom is so much more than just knowing what decision to make. Verse 35 says, “For whoever finds me (wisdom), finds LIFE AND receives FAVOR from the Lord.”

 To sum all this up, when I seek out wisdom, I will find it because it’s waiting for me to find it. Then, when I obey it’s instruction, I will be full of JOY, have LIFE and will receive FAVOR FROM THE LORD. If that doesn’t make me want to pursue and obey wisdom, I’m not sure what will.

 Thank you, Lord, for wisdom. Thank you for this revelation that wisdom is not hidden but is readily available to me. Lord, continue to give me understanding and insight. Let your joy fill me and overflow around me. Lord my prayer is that your wisdom will get in me so I can lead others to You. Amen.

 What is God speaking to you today in Proverbs 8? Share in the comments below or on the Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group. 

Day 7: Pay Attention – Proverbs 7

day 7 picture of poppy field

“So listen to me, my sons, and pay attention to my words.” Proverbs 7:24 (NLT)

This chapter tells of the seduction of a young, simple minded and unaware young man by a bold, brash, loud and experienced harlot. The man wonders up the path, by her home in the dark of night. She approaches him, she throws herself at him, kissing him and drawing him into her room. She continues the seduction by telling him how she has prepared for him and how they will enjoy one another. Her words and actions entice him to follow her.   He allowed her to lead him away, “like an ox going to the slaughter…..little knowing it would cost him his life.”

This man was naïve, lacking common sense. He was unaware of the danger. I must “pay attention” to what the Word is speaking to me. The enemy is prepared and waiting to approach and entice and flatter me with temptations that will ruin me.

Oh how I would like to think I have more sense than this young man, that I could not be so easily led away.  And though it is true, I am not quite so naïve. I have gained some understanding and am aware of an enemy that is out to destroy my life. I must continue to “pay attention” to the commands and instructions. Continuously seeking them, keeping them before me, memorizing them, guarding them and allow them to take deep root in my heart.

Immorality speaks and has words to draw me into sin. I need the greater power of God’s Word to keep me from falling victim to sins flattery.  It’s not enough just to hold His Word in my hand. I must read it, learn it, gain wisdom from it and understand it’s instruction.  This is the exact reason the enemy would want to keep me from reading and studying the Word. Excuses like, it’s to hard to understand or there just is not time are tactics of the enemy to keep me distracted from reading and learning the Word. And when I am distracted, I become like the naïve man in this chapter and can easily find myself  wandering down a dark path unaware of the danger

Lord, give me a greater desire for your Word. Increase the depth of my understanding. Open my eyes to see the traps the enemy has set before me. Help me to stay alert keeping your commands and instructions before me and anchor them deep in my heart.  Thank you for grace that covers me when I slip and for forgiveness where I fail.  Amen.

What is God speaking to you today through Proverbs 7? Share in the comments below or on the Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group.

Day 6: For Life – Proverbs 6

Day 6 picture of sunrise at the beach

“For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light. Their corrective discipline is the way to life.” Proverbs 6:23-2 (NLT)

The whole idea behind this group, Journaling Through Proverbs, is my deep conviction that the Word is living, powerful, relevant, life giving and necessary for peace and hope. It is my personal experience that without being in the Word daily I lose peace of mind and become anxious, lost and am easily overwhelmed by basic life stuff, not to mention the big stuff. I am also aware that the habit of reading the Word daily can easily be skipped, and before you know it, you’ve gone days or weeks without time in the Word. My hope is that together we would create new habits or restore old habits of daily reading and journaling. And together we would encourage one another. So, I’m really loving this verse about the lamp and light, because I think it’s exactly why we are all here!

The word “command” here is the same word used for God’s 10 Commandments. The word “understanding” means teaching or instruction. When the lamp (or commands) is used properly, it can omit light from it. When we allow the Holy Spirit to instruct us in His Word, then it becomes light. This is a powerful picture of how God instruct and teaches us. We come to the Word and the Holy Spirit brings the understanding.

Then the verse goes onto say, “corrective discipline is the way to life.”  Probably the part of Bible study that I would rather skip. I definitely look to the Word for encouragement, answers to my questions, to feel love and hope. But the Word is also there to bring me correction.  I know that if I will submit to the correction and repent, then I can experience more life.   AND, I must remember that the “corrective discipline” is FOR ME! Not for those around me I think have some issues.  I’ve got to be real and honest; I need corrective discipline.

It can be so easy for me to read the Word and list all those who I think need to hear and apply what it says. But then, I’m totally missing it. His Word is for me. The commands, instruction and correction are for my life. And it is out of that process I can reflect Christ’s light to those around me.  My prayer today is for greater insight into the Word. For the courage to allow it to transform my life, even when it is bringing correction. I desire to be submitted and changed by it.

I’m reminded of these two verses, so I am just going to put them here:

“Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalms 119:105 (NLT)

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize a what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” 2 Timothy 3: 16 (NLT)


Share what God is speaking to you today in the comment section below or on our Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group.

Day 5: Listen – Proverbs 5

picture of bird in spring for day 5

“Listen carefully to my wise council.” Proverbs 5:1

“Listen and obey!” I say it to my kids all the time! Since they were old enough to follow any kind of instruction, I would remind them, listen to what I am saying and obey. When I would say these 3 words, my boys have learned to stop, be quiet and listen. They grew to understand that what I was about to say was non-negotiable AND it would require action on their part. This was not just a thing I need them to do for me, but it’s a life principle, listen to God and obey His instruction.

Listening requires me to be quiet. I must allow time in my day to be quiet and listen for God’s voice. There is so much noise in our lives today. So many distractions that keep us moving. I know I must be intentional to set time to just listen.

I’ve read somewhere that listening is a learned skill. It’s a practice that we must work on getting right. I know I have lots of words to say. I have strong opinions and ideas I’ve been intentional about teaching my boys to listen, but I myself must learn to listen. I must create space in my life to listen to my Father.

And then I must obey! This step is easy if the obedience action is something I like. Or, something easy. But it can be hard when He’s calling me out of my comfort zone. It can be hard when He is identifying sin in my life and calling me to repentance. It can be hard when He is asking me to forgive and extend grace to someone who has hurt me deeply.  It’s in those difficult moments that I must remember that He is for me and His instructions are for my good. They will keep me from destruction.

Father continue teaching me to listen. Help me to create more space in my life to just listen. Lead me to quiet moments where I can hear You. And give me the understanding and courage to walk out those things you speak. Amen.

You are invited to join us in the Journaling Through Proverbs  Facebook Group. I want to hear how you make intentional space in life to just listen to Him.

Day 4: Guard Your Heart – Proverbs 4

Picture of flowers for day 4

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23

My heart will determine the course of my life. Those things I love, long for and desire will give direction to my life. It’s so easy for my heart to fall for and desire things that are not good for me. Sometimes there are things around me that draw me to them, they can easily become something I long for and crave. Sometimes they are simple things like books and TV that keep me distracted and use up my time. If I allow the longing to lead me, then I may miss out on something God has for me.

I think that “guarding my heart” may be one of the most important things I do in life. Being a guard of something isn’t a passive responsibility. A guard is constantly on the watch for danger. They are continuously watching, looking and preparing for the potential and likely infiltration of the enemy. And typically, a guard is needed because there is someone or something of great value that has the potential to be harmed, stolen or destroyed.

What does it look like practically to guard my heart? What can I do to keep it protected?  For me it starts with what I allow myself to listen to, read, watch and interact with.  I recently had this very conversation with my 17-year-old son concerning a kind of music he likes to listen to. He was surprised that I knew some of the songs on his favorite station. He hadn’t realized we had some of the same interests in music. I cautioned him to be aware of how the songs affected his thinking and actions, being aware of their influence and knowing when you’ve had enough.

I’m also aware that stuff will creep in subtly a little bit here and a little bit more there until my heart’s desire begins to shift.  That shift will then begin to affect the course of my life. I cannot let my guard down. There is an enemy who is out to infect my heart through comparison, discontentment and unrealistic expectations and their seeds are planted in my heart through what I listen to, watch, read, look at and give my time to.

Today’s wisdom is that “above all else,” I must ‘guard my heart.” I must be aware and continuously be alert to those things that want to alter my course. Thank you, Lord, for wisdom and understanding. I pray today for an increase in my ability to sense danger. To recognize the subtle attempts to breach the perimeter of my heart. I pray today for more awareness in my life of those things that try to entice my heart to get me off course. Amen.

Join the conversation here in the Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group.