In the Mosaic Law code God divided his law in positive laws (what one will do if righteous) and negative laws (what one will not do if righteous). In the last portion of Proverbs chapter three we find some negatives that point us towards what is considered unrighteous attitudes and acts. Our goal as leaders in the family, in the spiritual family, or in the community is to secure God’s blessing for others. Our goal is to edify people through love. That’s the example that Jesus demonstrated in laying down His life out of love for us. In that effort we must understand that love has two sides to it. Grace and mercy is one side of love and justice and discipline is the other side of love. The first half of chapter three points us towards the positives and the last half points us to the negatives and collectively both, if followed, can place us in a position where God will bless us. But positioning ourselves in sinful actions can bring about curses and God’s hand of justice. In Proverbs 3:33-35 we find this statement: “The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous. Towards the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor. The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.”
Six Behaviors to Avoid
What are six negatives that we as saints must avoid if we want to receive the Lord’s blessing on our homes? First, as a parent it is crucial to avoid living in fear. If a parent lives in fear this teaches the people in the home that God truly is not in control and that what we confess about him is really not what we truly believe (Proverbs 3:25-26). Second, we cannot display a greedy, self-centered, life whereby we avoid paying what either is due or what we sense we ought to give (Proverbs 3:27). When we mishandle our finances we show those around us that we are poor stewards of God’s grace and we deny the essence of the gospel, which is give in order to bless another. Third, we must avoid postponing benevolence. If we know we have the means to help someone with a legitimate need and yet we send them away because we need to think about it more, or because we want to see if they are serious about the need and if they will come back or not we have withheld God’s grace from someone that God has placed before us by his providence (Proverbs 3:28). Our minds ought to be already pre-determined that we will do whatever we can to truly love our neighbor. Failing to do this perpetuates self-centeredness in the lives of those around us. Fourth, we must avoid allowing our minds to plan ways to injure others (Proverbs 3:29). Sin will lead us to plan all kinds of ways where can hurt another person. Sometimes we will say hurtful things, or we might ignore a need they have, or we might even plan to do something actively aggressive towards the other person. We must be aware that sin creeps into our thought processes and we must avoid this attitude and action. Fifth, we must avoid being contentious people (Proverbs 3:30). Have you ever met a person who simply loves to argue for the sake arguing? This is sinful. We must do all we can to be a peaceful and graceful person so that those around us can see the grace of the Lord in us. And sixth, we must not honor, praise, or envy those who are violent. Many today want to use violence to achieve their goals, and even some religions believe violence is the way to bring about good. The Bible forbids us from setting these types of people up as role models (Proverbs 3:31-32).
Practical Application for the Family
As a parent you have key moments where you shape the future of your child for the rest of his or her life. Simple deeds of grace and love can do more for training your child for righteousness than you can ever imagine. Yet, the reverse is true as well. Simple deeds of sin and corruption can bring justice and discipline not only to your home today but to succeeding generations to come. As a parent pray about ways you can avoid these common pitfalls above. Examine your ways. Do you worry and show a lack of faith in God’s ability to provide? Do you pay your bills on time and do you give aid to others when you know there is a true need? Do you seek ways to help your neighbors, those whom live around you and those whom you meet and know, or do you live carelessly without taking the time to consider how you might help someone in need? Do you allow anger or resentment to lead you to take revenge on others? Do you act rudely to your spouse, your closest neighbor, when you do not get your way and do things to “get even” with him or her? Do you display a peaceful and calm spirit or do you lean towards anger and violence? Examine your ways so that you can build a blessed home!
Dr. Keith Sherlin (Article taken from Disciple Like Jesus)