Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Proverbs Challenge


What is a proverb? According to a nice explanation in my new Holman Christian Standard study Bible, "a secular proverb seeks to state a general (not absolute) truth... it is typically pithy, that is, it is brief but rich in meaning:"no pain, no gain." A proverb is practical; it gives advice that is useful in the real world."

My guess is that you know a lot of proverbs.

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
The pen is mightier than the sword.

I'm sure you can think of a lot of other proverbs that we use to deliver some truth or make a point. The writer or teller of a proverb is probably trying to get the listener to take what is said and apply it to life.

There are many ancient Chinese proverbs "Before telling secrets on the road, look in the bushes" and Ben Franklin wrote many in his "Poor Richard's Almanac"  - "Well done is better than well said" for one.

Some - over the years - have quoted old proverbs so much that they think they are biblical. "God helps those who help themselves" is one such proverb that is quoted as from the Bible, but it's really not.

So what's the difference between an everyday Chinese Ben Franklin kind of proverb and a biblical proverb? A biblical proverb not only offers practical advice, but the book of Proverbs will also guide the reader to eternal life: "For the discerning the path of life leads upward, so that he may avoid going down to Sheol." (Proverbs 15:24)
And since Proverbs is a part of scripture we know 2 Timothy describes it's content.

2 Timothy 3:16 CSB
All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness,

I challenged a couple of friends of mine to take a "Proverbs Challenge" with me in June. The challenge is to read a chapter of Proverbs each day for a month. On June 1 we'll read Proverbs 1:1-33. On June 2 we will read Proverbs 2:1-22. (It's the entire chapter if you're trying to figure it out.) Then each day we are going to e-mail or text each other the verse that spoke to us the most that day - and maybe why or what God is trying to teach us, etc.

So... I wanted to invite my blog readers to join us in the challenge. I'm going to post a verse or two from each chapter of Proverbs here the day before, and then I invite you all - on the actual day (ie. June 1 Proverbs 1) to post a comment telling us which verse spoke to you on that day. You can just put "v.5" or you can write it out "1:5 a wise man will listen and increase his learning" or you can leave a comment like "it's my prayer that as I read Proverbs this month that I will listen to what God says to me and increase my knowledge of Him and His ways - v.5" 

I hope you'll join us. I think it will be a good encouragement to all of us who participate. If you miss a day don't quit! Just jump right back in. I'm posting this now so you can make plans to join us a week from tomorrow, Wednesday, June 1.

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