PROVERBS 19:1-14 – 7/7/21
Yesterday I was caught between a scam and a scheme. It was very promising indeed and actually a service I’ve been seeking for a while. I listened to a compelling 45-minute spiel that ‘automatically’ popped up on YouTube. I was hooked. I registered for a consultation and scheduled a follow-up visit. The soonest opening was 2 days later. I waited with bated breath. They sent exciting reminder emails that just revved my engine.
The hour-long session was everything I dreamt it would be and more. I was so thrilled. Twenty minutes in I was crystal clear on what was amiss and what I desired. I had every confirmation that this was THE way to go to achieve that desire. I pressed for the price, but it was elusive just then. An hour in, she dropped the bomb: “$14K. But Meg is so invested in your success that she will knock off $4K and reduce it to $10K. And if you pay in full today, it’ll be $9K.”
I’m guessing saying ‘K’ was supposed to insulate the blow of the concept of three zeros. Immediately, my husband’s words came to mind. He is a perennial cynic and, in such situations, says, “I bet they live in a big house.”
I wish I’d recorded that session. The program was amazing but the price factor and their solutions to the problem of the price made it phenomenal scam/scheme material. I’d already invested time and heart into the passionate huddle we’d had. The results would be incredible – and I know for a fact that they would be because I would pour myself into it. I could easily have done the rather immoral things they were strongly pushing I do to cough up the money immediately.
Today’s lesson was almost a day late and I’d be many K short. I love how God’s word buried and constantly tilled in our hearts provides the practical wisdom we need to navigate a world of sharks that live in big houses.
“Even zeal is not good without knowledge,
and the one who acts hastily sins.
The one who acquires good sense loves himself;
one who safeguards understanding finds success.
A person’s insight gives him patience,
and his virtue is to overlook an offense.”
Pr. 19:2, 8, 11.
She worked very hard to hook me by pulling up awesome personality traits we’d discussed earlier (strategically, I see now) liked “being decisive,” and “being resourceful.” Afterall it would be those 2 terms that would get 9K from my account to Meg’s “right now.” When I said I needed to think about it, she told me that if I hung up to think about it, 99% chance is that I wouldn’t call back to enroll. “No *&@!” I should have said.
Our passage today touches on 2 key matters: haste and patience. Read the 3 verses above again.
Our conversation yesterday was marked by zeal. I’m here to tell you that even zeal with knowledge, if driven by hasty action is a sin. Good sense and safeguarding understanding, as the passage outlines are a great boon and must be nurtured in the life of a believer. The bulk of our regrets in life stem from bad sense and not safeguarding understanding. We valued something more than we valued understanding. And we’re still paying the price, and she’s still living in a big house. You are to safeguard it because it is a precious and rare commodity that many seek to undercut it so as to use or destroy you. Do not be a fool. Keep your good sense. Safeguard your understanding. Be patient. Here are some ways to do this:
- Watch your emotions, both positive and negative. They are easily manipulated.
- The more you invest time, personal information, and associated emotions, the more likely you are to be swayed.
- Guard your desire to please people including complete strangers. Experience the thrill of saying no – even to something you want.
- Teach your children these priceless skills and save them a lot of trouble. Deliberately debrief successes and failures and tell them to be ready for the next episode.
- Deceivers will try to isolate you. Think of other wise people in your life and how they would respond to this scenario.
- As I taught my son while he was learning how to drive, “You will rarely regret waiting. Don’t let the guy behind you bully you into rash decisions when you are behind the wheel.”
- Talk to Holy Spirit in real time. If you can’t hear him, defer your decision so you can consult him when your heart is in a quiet place. His still small voice may not be audible against all the pizzazz of the moment.
- Reflect on incidents like these and identify moments when that still small voice was coming through even in the heat of the moment.
- Guard your affections and desires. They make you vulnerable.
- Practice patience a 9K times a day. It’s so important to God that he gives you fourteen thousand opportunities every day. If you can’t be patient in little things, what chance do you stand with big ones?
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