Saturday

Like a maniac who shoots deadly firebrands and arrows, so is one who deceives a neighbour and says, 'I am only joking!' (v. 18)

Proverbs 26:18-23 Saturday 24 September 2022

Psalm 66:1-12

Background

As we come to the end of this week of readings, many of which have spoken about what is required of us as we are created in God’s image, today we have more words of guidance. Many of the passages including this one have been warnings, not only about how to behave, but about the effects of the words we use. Pointing out how hurtful, even if unintended, words can be, helps us to be careful with what we say, as we seek to relate to our fellow travellers on the journey of life.

The week began with the story from Luke 16 of the steward who seemingly at first glance appears to be cheating his employer. However, it's a warning about cheating in everyday life through the use of usury (lending and demanding extra in return). Later in the week we turned to passages from Proverbs, all of which appear to be guidelines for readers to take account of as they live faithful lives in accordance with God's law.

For ourselves living so many centuries later, the examples might seem strange. Yet there's a universal message: we should relate well to those neighbours whom we are called to love. We should see them as people to be cared for and as such we should not hurt them, either by our words or our behaviour. The theme of this week's Bible notes is 'Goodness and Mercy', and the texts we have read each day have guidelines which encourage us to have a lifestyle that mirrors those things, so that we might truly live up to the life we are called to when we hear Jesus say "Follow me".

To Ponder:

  • As we consider today's text, do we need to think more deeply about how we relate to our neighbour, both near and far?
  • What changes do we need to make so that we might be regarded as a person of integrity in our own community?
  • How do we hear those words "Follow me" and what do they mean to us day by day? 

Prayer

Lord, we would wish to truly be your people, and we seek to mirror the goodness and the mercy we see of you through Jesus. Help us, as we live our lives day by day, to be caring and loving people, seeking to bring warmth and love to the lives of our neighbours, rather than distancing ourselves from those who do not yet know you. Give us your Holy Spirit to bring more and more people into your presence through our own lives and actions. We come in the name of your son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

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