Separating the Best of Friends

A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends (Proverbs 16:28).

3D illustration of best friends whispering

Don't let gossip separate best friends.

Consider this in the New Living Translation: “A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.” It’s an odd quirk of human nature that we sometimes trust a troublemaker more than our best friends. Such is the danger of gossip.

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Digging Up Evil

An ungodly man digs up evil, and it is on his lips like a burning fire (Proverbs 16:27).

Illustration of digging up dirt

Digging up evil can mean finding the "dirt" of others' mistakes...

Digging up evil can mean finding the “dirt” of others’ mistakes, or it could be referring to digging a ditch intending for others to fall into it (John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible).

The lips of fire reminds me of James’ warnings about the dangers of our words:

“Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell” (James 3:5-6).

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The Husband of the Virtuous Wife

The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain (Proverbs 31:11).

Image of husband and wife in heart shaped frame

"The heart of her husband safely trusts in her..."

What a blessing to have a faithful, virtuous wife! I hope all us husbands are truly appreciative and trustworthy in return.

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Warnings About Wine

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?

Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine.

Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper.

Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things.

Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: “They have struck me, but I was not hurt; they have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?” (Proverbs 23:29-35).

Illustration of drunk person with a wine bottle

"Who has woe?... Those who linger long at the wine..."

“Alcohol alone contributes to about 1.8 million deaths worldwide each year, with 100,000 of those in the United States. It is the third most common cause of death in developed countries, and the leading cause of disease and illness in some countries. About a third of alcohol-related deaths result from unintentional injuries” (“Breaking Free From Addictions”).

For more information and help in overcoming, see:

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Without Counsel

Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established (Proverbs 15:22).

Cartoon image of angel and demon giving advice to a man

Seek lots of advice--and follow the good advice!

The Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on this verse warns us “not stubbornly to follow one’s own heart (head), and not obstinately to carry out one’s own will, and not in the darkness of wisdom to regard one’s own plans as unimproveable, and not needing to be examined; but to listen to the counsel of intelligent and honest friends.”

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Stirring Up Strife

A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention (Proverbs 15:18).

Coals and flame photo

"A wrathful man stirs up strife..."

John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

comments that the wrathful man stirs up strife “as a man stirs up coals of fire and raises a flame… He stirs up strife in families, sets one relation against another, and the house in an uproar; he stirs up contentions in neighbourhoods, and sets one friend and neighbour against another, whence proceed quarrels and lawsuits: he stirs up strife in churches, breaks brotherly love, and causes animosities and divisions; he stirs up strife in kingdoms and states, whence come wars and fightings, confusion, and every evil work.”

In contrast, the “man of a quiet and peaceable disposition, possessed of the true grace of charity; who is not easily provoked, longsuffering, bears and endures all things; he allays the heat of anger; he quenches the coals of contention; he calms the storm and makes it quiet.”

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Rebuke Better Than Secret Love?

Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed (Proverbs 27:5).

Close up photo of an eye

Yoruba proverb: "When you take a speck of dirt from the eye, we always show the eyes."

Oludare Akinbo, a United Church of God minister in Nigeria, told me this proverb has the same sentiments of a Yoruba proverb: “When you take a speck of dirt from the eye, we always show the eyes.”

Or, if someone offends you, go to the person. Thanks, Dare!

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