Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

proverbs Archive



January 2024

A fool flaunts his folly

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"In everything the prudent acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly." (Proverbs 13:16) | Read more on hopereflected.com

Words are the streams

James wrote that “the tongue can no man tame;” (James 3:8). It’s funny how such a small thing can wield so much power.

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29).

“Corrupt” here means rotten, worthless, or unfit for use.

In Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, he explains that the root word for “corrupt” is applied to “putrid vegetable or animal substances. Then it is applied to a tree that is of a useless character…”.

The words that proceed out of our mouths are based on our character. As Matthew Henry wrote, “The heart is the fountain, words are the streams. A troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring, must send forth muddy and unpleasant streams. Nothing but the salt of grace, cast into the spring, will heal the waters, season the speech, and purify the corrupt communication.”

Unless we get things right at the source, we are at risk of spewing garbage rather than ministering grace.

We are not alone in our struggle to tame the tongue

Proverbs 13:16 says that “in everything the prudent acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly.” Making a joke of sin and making light of holy things don’t really seem like a big deal because we’ve been conditioned to believe that they’re not a big deal, and that we’re not a big deal unless we’re doing those very things.

Standing up for what’s sacred?

Don’t be a fuddy-duddy; you’re no fun!

Just take a look at what the world laughs at, and who the world holds in high regard.

Paul wrote in his letter to the church at Colosse that we are to put off “anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;” (Colossians 3:8-9). “Filthy” here has the same meaning of the “corrupt” communication in Ephesians 4:29.

Rotten and worthless words that are unfit for use are so provoking that these cautions were included in two different letters to two entirely different groups of Christians. To think that we are alone in our struggle to tame the tongue would be grossly ignorant. Some people are just better than others at knowing when to speak and when to stay silent.

“By their fruits ye shall know them.”

Matthew 7:20

Jesus said in Matthew 7 that “By their fruits ye shall know them.” (7:20).

What are our fruits?

Our character, our actions, and of course, our words.

What do others hear from us in the course of conversation? Jesus also cautioned in Matthew that “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36-37). This is not a threat, but certainly a reminder that what we say—and what we don’t say—is of eternal significance.

We can talk a lot, but when our words and our actions don’t line up, others are going to notice. We can lie with our words but our actions betray us.

Originally published as “A fool flaunts his folly.” Independent Plus. August 25, 2022: 5. Print. Web.



January 2024

Gossiping gives no grace

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"Where no wood is, there the fire goes out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth." (Proverbs 26:20) | Read more about gossip on hopereflected.com

“Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.” (Proverbs 26:20)

We are wise not to speak when we don’t have all the facts. Gossiping gives no grace and only gives us a false sense of importance when in fact it is a fruitless exercise. “He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.” (Proverbs 20:19).

When it comes to slanderers, Proverbs 20:19 gives us wise instruction: Steer clear, avoid sharing sensitive information, and be smart. Let’s call gossiping out for what it is—evil (James 3:15-16). I don’t think I am alone in learning the hard way that no good comes from speaking when we don’t have all the facts.

Think before you speak

While we can apologize for what we say, we can’t take it back, and so it is critically important that we think before we speak. We are not the first generation to be faced with this challenge; there are so many examples of the consequences of the tongue throughout Scripture.

David wrote in Psalm 101:5, “Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.”

Our speech often reveals our pride, and unfortunately, to boost their self-importance, some people purposely speak lies about others and put them down. Matthew Henry wrote that “Many endeavour to raise themselves into the favour of princes by unjust representations of persons and things, which they think will please their prince.”

There is a reason that “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16) is included as one of the ten commandments.

What to do when you’re the target of gossip

Conversely, when we are the target of gossip and slander, we must be equally as careful to guard our tongues.

We need to watch what we say when we’re hurt or angry.

Solomon wrote “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1). We know what keeps the peace (it’s not speaking when we’re angry). The trouble is, it’s upsetting when someone calls our character into question. It’s when we’re overly emotional that we endanger ourselves and can lose control of our tongues.

It is a characteristic of the wise to hold the tongue in the heat of anger— “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.” (Proverbs 19:1)—and even more a demonstration of wisdom to overlook an offense.

Rather than react without thinking, we ought as Matthew Henry wrote to “Give it time, and it will cool.”

Death and life are in the power of the tongue

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue:
and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

Proverbs 18:21

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” (Proverbs 18:21). Matthew Henry wrote that “Many a one has been his own death by a foul tongue, or the death of others by a false tongue; and on the contrary, many a one has saved his own life, or procured the comfort of it, by a prudent gentle tongue, and saved the lives of others by a seasonable testimony or intercession for them.”

Originally published as “Gossiping gives no grace.” Independent Plus. August 18, 2022: 5. Print. Web.



October 2023

Getting rich or laying up?

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"For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven." (Proverbs 23:5) | Read more on hopereflected.com

Proverbs 4:7 tells us that “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” As I recently wrote, we spend most of our lives getting, but we aren’t always getting what’s right.

For some, their main goal in life is getting rich.

Please understand, there is nothing wrong with having money.

A misquote about money

The Bible talks a lot about money and our management of it (Deuteronomy 8:18, Proverbs 13:11, 21:20). Some Christians say that money is the root of all evil, and this is a misquote of 1 Timothy 6:10, which tells us that “the love of money is the root of all evil:”.

We are to keep our lives free from the love of money (Hebrews 13:5). There’s nothing wrong with having money, but loving money and desiring it more than we desire God is where we run into trouble. When getting rich is our goal, we will never be satisfied (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

The love of money leaves no room for what really matters

Not only will the goal of getting rich leave us discontent, it also takes our eyes off eternity. The love of money leaves no room for what really matters. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 23:4-5, “Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.”

It is a certainty that riches are uncertain.

Our time on earth is temporary, and our riches are, too.

Work with purpose will be rewarded

We should work hard and save to provide for our families, and we should work harder to train up our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). A firm foundation for our family is much more than well-founded finances. The Bible tells us, “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children,” (Proverbs 13:22).

When we work with purpose we will be rewarded, but when getting rich is our goal, we’ll end up with the opposite (Proverbs 28:19). There’s a difference between working hard to provide and working hard to get rich.

“Having money, even lots of it,
is not a bad thing.”

Hope Reflected

Proverbs 21:20 tells us that “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.” Much treasure is one of the marks of the wise. Having money, even lots of it, is not a bad thing. While we shouldn’t be consumed with getting rich, we should be mindful about our money and the work we do.

Proverbs 13:11 says that “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.” The Bible says that those who are rich should “be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19).

Is our goal getting rich or laying up?

Originally published as “Getting rich or laying up?” Independent Plus. July 21, 2022: 5. Print. Web.



September 2023

What are you getting at?

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Verses from the book of Proverbs about thinking before we speak

Verses from Proverbs about thinking before you speak. Read more on hopereflected.com

Getting the last word

Proverbs 4:7 tells us that “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”

It seems in life that we use all our getting for things other than wisdom and understanding.

In conversation, we’re more eager about getting the last word in than we are actually listening to what others have to say. We get caught up in getting everything off our chests and venting instead of waiting to react and respond. We’re taken up with getting, but sometimes what we’re getting isn’t good for us, and makes us into fools instead of wise people.  

Responding without listening

We’re all guilty of it; in the middle of a conversation, instead of actively listening, we tend to formulate our next statement.

Proverbs 14:3 says that “In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.”

When we respond without listening, we are being foolish. Matthew Henry wrote that “Where there is pride in the heart, and no wisdom in the head to suppress it, it commonly shows itself in the words…”. Someone once said that the problem with closed-minded people is that their mouths are always open. People who are closed-minded are often that way because they’re more interested in the sound of their own voice than they are in listening to what others have to say.

Getting everything off your chest

As Proverbs 18:2 tells us, “A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.” Wise people want to understand, and so they think before they speak. They’re more interested in getting understanding than they are getting the last word.

While a fool is more interested in getting everything off his chest, a wise person understands the value in purposefully processing before speaking. Wise people think before they speak. “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.” (Proverbs 29:11).

Holding your peace

At one time or another, we’ve all been reminded to “sleep on it” or to “take a breath” before responding to a rude comment, a terse work email, or a backwards compliment. Sometimes, a fresh perspective helps us see that perhaps no response is best. Careful consideration in a conversation can save us from saying something we’ll regret.

I believe it was Mark Twain who wrote that “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.” In Proverbs 17:28 we read that “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”

Getting understanding > getting your point across

This is not to suggest that we should go around quietly and never speak up and speak out, however we ought to know when to speak and when to hold our tongues. While getting everything off our chests may be tempting, there is a time and place to speak and to be silent.

When it comes to our words, we should be more interested in getting understanding than getting our point across.

Originally published as “What are you getting at?” Independent Plus. July 14, 2022: 5. Print. Web.



August 2023

Careful cultivation

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We learn how to be content through careful cultivation

Careful cultivation produces contentment. Read more about learning how to be content on hopereflected.com

“Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.” (Proverbs 13:23)

There’s an old saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” A rebuttal to this common phrase is that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, it’s greenest where you water it. We neglect to care for our own lawn when we are focused on someone else’s. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and I would suggest that comparison is also the thief of contentment.

Tillage requires hard work

In Proverbs 13:23, we read that “Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.” Tillage, earth that’s cultivated for the first time, requires hard work if it’s done by hand (and at the time this Proverb was written, tilling ground would have been a manual process). To gather “much food” from the garden requires equal parts diligence and hard work.

While hard work is, well, hard, it produces contentment and as a result, the returns are often great. To work hard requires as much strength of character as strength of body. Like the poor described in Proverbs 13:23, you may not have much, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make the best of what you do have. On the other hand, you may have everything but end up in ruin because you don’t make the best of what you have. Rather than be content, conceit often destroys our judgment and we end up living beyond our means.

Do the best with what you have

Don’t be deceived into thinking that just because you don’t have a lot that it doesn’t matter. On the contrary, the smallest gifts can be of great value when stewarded properly! Alexander MacLaren wrote in Expositions of Holy Scripture that “responsibility does not diminish with the size of the gifts, but that there is as great responsibility for the use of the smallest as for the use of the largest…”.

“…responsibility does not diminish with the size of gifts,
but that there is as great responsibility
for the use of the smallest as for the use of the largest…”

Alexander MacLaren

The stay-at-home mom who gives of herself in raising a household of children and not getting paid at all can be just as content and have just as much impact—if not more—than the person running a large organization and earning millions. Careful cultivation produces contentment, while carelessness in any capacity produces discontentment. The difference between contentment and discontentment is stewardship of what one has been given. Many a great man has been destroyed for want of judgment.

Being a good steward of what God has given us

How are we tilling the ground that we’ve been given? Whether we start with a little or a lot, Jesus said that “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away that which he hath.” (Matthew 25:29). Whether our plot of land is small or great, the faithfulness with which we steward it today will determine the impact tomorrow.

“Much may be made of slender gifts, small resources, and limited opportunities if carefully cultivated, as they should be, and as their very slenderness should stimulate their being.” (Alexander MacLaren)

Originally published as “Careful cultivation.” Independent Plus. June 9, 2022: 5. Print. Web.



May 2023

An unlikely mother

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She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. (Proverbs 31:27) | Read more about Ruth and "An unlikely mom" on hopereflected.com

When we think of mothers, Ruth isn’t usually the first mom who comes to mind.

We don’t know much about Ruth’s history previous to her being married to one of Naomi’s sons, but we do know that Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi, had a great influence in Ruth’s life. Naomi’s influence was so great that when Ruth’s husband died, rather than return to her own family, Ruth chose to stay with her mother-in-law. 

Ruth was diligent, hard-working, and not afraid to get her hands dirty.

When describing the virtuous woman, Proverbs 31:13 says that “She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.” Ruth said to Naomi, “Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace.” (Ruth 2:2). Because of the Levitical law, ever year farmers in Israel left some of the grain in their fields for the poor to gather. Ruth took part in this program, to provide food for herself and Naomi.

Ruth also demonstrated a spirit of selflessness.

Ruth dedicated her life to serving her mother-in-law, Naomi. “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:27). Ruth looked after her household and put the needs of another before her own. We read in Ruth’s history that “she happened on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz,” (Ruth 2:3). Ruth’s coming to Boaz’s field wasn’t something that happened by chance; it was God who guided her there. Because of Ruth’s willingness to work and to live a life of service to someone else, God worked in her life and blessed her in a great way.

Further, Ruth demonstrated wisdom.

“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” (Proverbs 31:26). In Ruth 2:7, we read that Ruth asked permission to glean and gather in the fields. She said, “I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves:” (Ruth 2:7). As part of the Levitical law, Ruth didn’t have to ask permission to glean and gather, but out of respect, she did.

Ruth cared about a job well done.

Ruth provides an example of a woman who not only worked hard, but cared about a job well done. “She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.” (Proverbs 31:18). Ruth didn’t know that she was being watched as she gleaned and gathered, but the quality of her work was observed by the reapers’ supervisor, and reported to Boaz, the owner of the field. He was impressed. Because Ruth cared about the quality of her work, God used her to make an impression on the people around her. We never know who’s watching how we live and how we work.

Ruth certainly wasn’t born with all the advantages in life. We don’t know who her mother was, but we do know that her mother-in-law had an incredible influence in her life, and was instrumental in the choices that led to Ruth being included as part of Jesus’s genealogy.

Originally published as “An unlikely mother.” Independent Plus. May 5, 2022: 5. Print. Web.



May 2023

Why do the heathen rage?

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There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12) | Read more of Why do the heathen rage? on hopereflected.com

“And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew a trumpet, and said, We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel. So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri:” (2 Samuel 20:1-2).

Just when it seemed that things couldn’t get any worse for David, he was faced with a rebellion, led by Sheba, a man of Belial and the son of Bichri. It seemed as though things would never go right for David. On the heels of one uprising, Sheba caused another, and quickly new allegiances were formed: The men of Israel followed Sheba; the men of Judah followed David.

Rebelling against God

Upon reading through 2 Samuel, Sheba doesn’t appear to be a significant character in the life of David. He’s mentioned a few times near the beginning of chapter 20, and then disappears until the end of the chapter, when his head gets cut off and thrown out of the city to Joab (vv. 21-22). Why should such a minor character matter at all? There’s a greater lesson here. Rather than follow David and submit to his leadership, Sheba opted to go his own way, and he took others with him. Maybe that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but upon realization that David was God’s anointed, Sheba was really rebelling against God.

When people rage

David wrote in Psalm 2, “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed…” (vv. 1-2). Whether in ancient times or present day, there’s no denying the damage and discouragement that result when people rage, and when they live only for themselves. Raging for “the right” to kill a baby in the womb, right up until birth, or raging on other people because they have a different opinion.

No question at all to Him

While we deal with all kinds of rage here on earth, Psalm 2 continues, “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.” (v. 4). The things that work us up here, that make us question God’s purpose, or how or why things are going the way they are, are really no question at all to Him. Matthew Henry wrote that “Sinners’ follies are the just sport of God’s infinite wisdom and power; and those attempts of the kingdom of Satan which in our eyes are formidable in his are despicable.”

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man,
but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

Proverbs 14:12

Sheba’s rebellion, while it was worrisome for David, was of no matter to God. Sheba met a tragic end, hunted by David’s army and having his head cut off (2 Samuel 20:21-22). We may think we know better than God or that we have a better way than His, but in the end, it will only lead to our demise. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12).

Originally published as “Why do the heathen rage?” Independent Plus. June 2, 2022: 5. Print. Web.



June 2022

What’s in your safety deposit box?

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What’s in your safety deposit box?

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

My grandmother referred to the heart as the safety deposit box of your life. A safety deposit box is used to store items of utmost importance and value, things that you don’t want to lose or don’t want to be stolen – things that you don’t want to misplace and that you want to keep with you for the long-term.

Safety deposit boxes come with two keys: One stays with the owner, and the master key stays with the bank. The idea behind this is to protect against any unwanted access to your safety deposit box. Also, if you lose the key to your safety deposit box, you can show your ID to the bank and regain your access.

Why all the security for such a seemingly small thing?

As the owner of my heart, I get to control what goes into it through what I see, what I read, what I hear, and the things I think about. As a Christian, God should have the overall master key to my heart to help me guard the contents. Why all the security for such a seemingly small thing?

What we put into our hearts matters. What we put into our hearts determines what comes out of them. Think of our hearts as the fountain from which our morality (or lack thereof) flows. This fountain can only produce fresh water or foul. Jesus told the disciples (Matt. 15:11-19), “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:”

Because by our sinful nature our hearts produce such tempers, we must guard our hearts more carefully than anything else. Our hearts are incredibly impressionable. This is why David, famously known as a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14), asked the Lord to “Create in me a clean heart, O God;” (Psalm 51:10). By nature, our hearts are not clean. It’s only with the Lord’s help and work in us that we can get the contents of our hearts right.

“Be careful, it’s my heart”

Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn is one of my all-time favourite films. In it, Bing Crosby’s character Jim Hardy sings the song, “Be careful, it’s my heart”. The lyrics go like this: “It’s not my watch you’re holding, it’s my heart. It’s not the note I sent you that you quickly burned. It’s not the book I lent you that you never returned. Remember, it’s my heart.” Our hearts are delicate and fragile, and it’s critical that we keep them with all diligence.

“Our hearts are delicate and fragile,

and it’s critical that we keep them with all diligence.”

Hope Reflected

In 2 Peter 1:5, Peter wrote about adding virtue to our faith by “giving all diligence”. To keep our heart with diligence requires work, and it requires sacrifice. Diligence requires carefulness and consistency; it’s not a one-time thing. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:” (Proverbs 23:7). We think about what we see and what we hear, and we must be careful to consider the qualities of the contents we’re putting in our hearts.

Originally published as “What’s in your security deposit box?” Independent Plus. January 27, 2022: 5. Print. Web.



November 2021

Countenance Sharpeners

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"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:" Hebrews 10:24 | Read more of Coutenance Sharpeners on hopereflected.com

The victor’s material

In Biblical times, iron was the victor’s material for weapons of war. We read in Judges that Judah could not defeat the Philistines of the valley “because they had chariots of iron.” (1:19). Before the days of steel, iron was popular for the making of swords and other weapons, because it was stronger and could be sharpened better than other prominent metals of the time period.

"Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." Proverbs 27:17 | Read more on hopereflected.com

Sharpening is important

In woodworking, a dull blade can ruin a good piece of wood. In the kitchen, an unsharpened knife can cause serious injury to the person using it. King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 27:17 that as “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Good friends help to keep each other sharp. You know the feeling when you finish a conversation with a good friend, and you feel better, lighter, and refreshed? That is the countenance sharpening that Solomon referred to. True friends help to refine, encourage us to grow in wisdom, and point us to the Lord. “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:” (Hebrews 10:24). True friends prepare us for action.

Realignment and straightening

Many people have a knife set in their kitchen. A standard knife set usually includes an unusual-looking column of steel or ceramic. This tool is called a honing rod. Contrary to popular belief, a honing rod doesn’t actually sharpen knives. A honing rod is used to realign and straighten knife blades that have become blunt or curled. Beyond countenance sharpening, a good friend offers correction when we’re going astray. Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:2 that in addition to exhorting one another, we are to reprove and rebuke when necessary. Jesus Himself said that when a brother sins against us, we’re to “go and tell him his fault,” (Matthew 18:15). As much as we all need sharpening, we also need to be realigned and straightened out once in a while, too!

"True friends help to keep each other sharp. They help to refine, to encourage, and to grow." | Read more of Countenance Sharpeners on hopereflected.com

True friends point one another to Christ

Some commentaries suggest that to “sharpen” in Proverbs 27:17 is to antagonize or exasperate. A true friend doesn’t provoke; a true friend promotes others to be better people and most importantly points their friends toward Christ. Anything contrary to this is not friendship.

C.S. Lewis wrote in his book The Four Loves that, “In friendship… we think we have chosen our peers…for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,’ can truly say to every group of Christian friends, ‘Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.’ Friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to us the beauties of others.” The opposite of sharp is to be dull, blunt, or blurred. We’ve all had occasions where we’ve felt less than our best. In such times, it is prayer answered to have a friend come alongside to sharpen our countenance.

“It is prayer answered to have a friend come alongside to sharpen our countenance.”

Hope Reflected

Originally published as “Countenance sharpeners.” Independent Plus. June 10, 2021: 5. Print. Web.



April 2020

Counsellors of Peace

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"Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil, but to the counsellors of peace is joy." (Proverbs 12:20) | Read more at hopereflected.com

“Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil, but to the counsellors of peace is joy.”

Proverbs 12:20

The Bible is filled with verses about peace. We are all familiar with Psalm 34:14, John 16:33, Hebrews 12:14, Colossians 3:15, and more. Perhaps one of the lesser referenced verses on the topic is Proverbs 12:20. Proverbs 12:20 refers to “counsellors of peace”, and that one of the benefits to such people is joy.

Are we counsellors of peace? Are we sowing peace in our relationships, and cultivating the characteristic? It can be hard, especially when there is uncertainty all around. Counsellors of peace are those who promote peace not just in their own lives, but in the lives of others as well. In Gill’s Exposition, he describes counsellors of peace like this:

“…such who consult the good of others, who advise to peace, concord, and unity; who seek to cultivate it in their families and neighbourhoods, and in the church of God…”

John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible

How can we become counsellors of peace, as described in Proverbs 12:20?

  • Rather than fretting about our circumstances, may we find our confidence in God. (Proverbs 14:26)
  • Instead of complaining, may we practice an attitude of gratitude (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • Remember that though we may not understand the timing, we can rest in the fact that God is in control. (Luke 12:22-26)
  • When we are going through challenging and uncertain times, may we remember that nothing is a surprise to God. (Revelation 1:17)

We have peace when we have a relationship with God. In this life, we will never find peace in and of ourselves, but only when we look to Him and His Word.

“And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

James 3:18