Lessons From My Former Self

tattered bible.jpg

By Art Greco

Lead Pastor: Outreach

ENCOUNTER

Proverbs 14 was the Proverb we were assigned to read on Sunday, October 14thfor the “Action Item” task assigned after message. Then, we were to read the following 6 proverbs over the next 6 days, one proverb each day- all the way to and including Proverbs 20. 

I would have normally don’t that reading electronically, opening “Bible Gateway” and reading from my phone or computer screen. As I was launching into the assignment, though, an old, tattered, red Bible caught my eye – it was the bible my wife Brenda bought for me as a seminary graduation gift back in June of 1984. 

“Wait,” I thought, “why not read these chapters from the old bible I’ve been preaching from for the past 34 years – just for old-time’s-sake?” Am I ever glad I did. What follows here today are the notes I found in the margins of those 7 proverbs and some of the thoughts I’ve had over the years when reading them.  I trust they are refreshing to you. They sure were to me as I revisited them this week.

BE REFLECTIVE

14: 4– “Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much increase comes the strength of the ox.”

  • And in the margin was this note to myself: “The messes are always worth the ministry.”

14:31 - “He who oppresses the poor reproaches his maker, but he who is gracious to the needy honors him.”

  •  And in the margin:: “Being kind to the poor and needy honors God.”15:22– “Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors, they succeed.”

15:22 - “Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors, they succeed.”

  • Magin note: “You don’t know much at all really, Greco. Ask for help.”

16:3, 18, 19, 31, & 32had all been underlined by me at some time in the last 34 years. “Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”  “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling. It is better to be of humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who captures a city.”  OUCH!!!!!

19:11, 13, 14, 17, & 18were also underlined by me. “A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression.”  “A foolish son is destruction to his father, and the contentions of a wife are a constant dripping.”  “House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.”  “He who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his good deed.”  “Discipline your son while there is hope, and do not desire his death.”

AND FINALLY THIS:

20:1– “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.”

  • In the margin: “Sip, don’t gulp. The only buzz you need is the one you get from the Holy Spirit’s presence.”

I TRUST YOUR TIME IN THE PROVERBS THIS WEEK IS HELPING YOU TO GO DEEPER IN CHRIST. REVISITING SOME OF MY TIME THERE AND READING SOME OF THE NOTES LEFT TO ME BY MY “FORMER/YOUNGER SELF” SURE HAS BEEN A BLESSING TO ME.