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Proverbs 17:1-19:29

Reading Time: 15-20 Minutes


with Pastor Jed Robyn (9 minutes)

june 1, 2023




When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. ~Proverbs 16:7


The parents of a West Virginia student sued both the teacher and the school board for receiving an "F" for a biology project that was handed in late. Their claim was that the "F" would hurt her overall GPA and affect her chances for getting into a good college. They sought in the lawsuit an injunction, plus punitive damages and damages for emotional stress, loss of enjoyment in life, and scholarship potential. In 2014 a teen whose drunk driving caused the death of four and the serious injury of others used "affluenza" as his defense. He claimed that he was the product of wealthy, privileged parents who never set boundaries for him. In 1991, a case hit national attention when a mother of a cheerleader hired a hitman to kill her daughter's competition for a spot on the cheerleading team. The list goes on and on. We must all ask ourselves before we point our condemning fingers at examples such as these, do we care more about the journey and the character which is developed or the final awards and achievements?

We read in Proverbs 17:3, "The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the Lord tests the hearts." Fire is used to purify precious metals from their impurities. God will use fire to remove the destructive impurities from our hearts. We read in 1 Peter 1:6-7, "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being more precious than gold that perished, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,". When those of us in Christ die and find ourselves before the Judgment or Beema seat of Christ one day, we read in 1 Corinthians 3:12-13, "Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is." The foundation is Jesus Christ. It was said in the days of the Bible that a smelter would know gold was pure when he could look into it when molten and see his own reflection. The fiery trials that God allows are meant to remove our impurities as difficult and painful as that might be, so that God Himself, looks at us as we are going through the process of refining, the Lord might see His reflection in us. If we don't allow these trials to take place the results are in Proverbs 17:25, "A foolish son is a grief to his father, And bitterness to her who bore him." Also in 18:2, the result is seen, "A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart."

Many parents have focused on the earthly success of their children, forsaking the building of character. A generation ago most children worked a job while in high school. Now we focus more on their activities. A generation ago we would fear the wrath of our parents if we misbehaved or performed poorly in school due to our negligence. Now the teachers have to fear the wrath of the parents of these children who care more about the result than the journey and the lesson. Besides, our children, the same applies to ourselves. Many of us sidestep issues, lie, and manipulate to avoid conflict. How many avoid stepping out in faith for fear of the implications it might have on their job advancement, acceptance or popularity? We read in James 1:2-4, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." It is time that we all focus more on the development of character and accept the trials which come our way and to our children. To sidestep for ourselves or bail out our children denies us and them of the refining process which is necessary for us all.


Pray as if everything depended upon your prayer.

— William Booth (1829-1912)

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