Monday, November 14, 2016

Say, See, Step

Say, See, Step

Whether you grew up in Sunday School or not, you’re probably familiar with the little song that warns, “Be careful little eyes what you see…for the Father up above is looking down in love, so be careful little eyes what you see.” It goes on to talk about what you hear, where you go, etc.  Proverbs 4 is the grown-up version of this and it still has great application for us. We are counseled to be careful with what we say, what we see, and where we step. The practicality of this biblical wisdom is both immediate and important.

Proverbs 4:24-27
Keep your mouth free of perversity;
    keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil.

Things to think about:
·      Say – why does what we say matter?
o   Matthew 15:17 - But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.
o   What falls under the general category of perversity and corrupt?
§  It certainly seems that lying would be on the list.  Cursing too. What about false flattery? Gossip? Speaking ill of another (even if they have hurt you)?
§  If these bad things fall from our lips, let’s ask God to clean up the dirty parts of our hearts from where they spring.
o   What kind of speech should we have?
§  Ephesians 4:29 - Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
·      See – why does what we see matter?
o   Our verse tells us to look straight ahead. “Straight” is a common metaphor for what is good and righteous.
o   Jesus said in Matthew 6:22-23, 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
§  Research tells us that 65% of us are visual learners.  We process and remember what we see!
§  What are things that can fill us with darkness when we watch/view/see them?
§  Is there any darkness that you’re allowing in?  What would you be willing to give up watching on TV?
§  How are you doing with lust? Have you been working on looking away?
·      Step – why does where we go matter?
o   Again, the concept of “straight” appears here with the admonishment to “not turn to the left or the right”
§  Where are places that can be a temptation for you? If you travel for work, do you go to the bar in the hotel (or somewhere else) alone?
§  Some places we can go aren’t good or bad unto themselves but rather they take us away from where we should be.
·      Think about hobbies or other self-indulgences that when overdone pull you away from where God would have you.  What comes to mind?
o   More broadly, stepping can be a word picture for our actions in general
·      Of these three, which is the area of greatest challenge for you?
o   Is it your practice to pray for wisdom and strength to be victorious?
o   How can a friend help you when you need support in your weakness?
§  Have you ever actually implemented this?
·      The Prescription is found in Proverbs 4:23
o   Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
§  As a wise man once said, “all means all” and “everything means everything”

Looking forward to seeing you in the morning!

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