What’s the meaning of that word? Do you really understand what this verse is saying? Let’s look up the meanings of some of these words. The kids and I have this conversation as we study Bible verses. Defining unknown words in the Bible helps God’s message become crystal clear. It is best to use an 1828 dictionary to look up words from the Bible because word meanings have changed over time. You may not know what a word means just by reading it. Sometimes context clues are helpful but other times they are not. Defining words helps reflect their meanings right to you.
As I was pondering some issues on my heart last night, the following questions ran through my mind. What do I reflect to others? Do I really reflect what I read in Proverbs every day? If someone looked up my name in the dictionary what words would flow after it? How do people define me as a person? These thoughts cut deep.
So, I decided to come up with a definition of what I thought people might find if they looked up my name in the dictionary. The following words flooded my mind:
Amanda B. – quick tempered, slow to listen, offers advice too often, opinionated, excuse maker, judgemental, weak, a talebearer, meddler of strife
These words continued to race through my mind as I snuggled Jayla as close to my body as I could. I felt tears well up in my eyes. But, I finally took Jayla’s lead and drifted off to sleep. As I woke this morning, these same thoughts came to my mind. I had prayed and gave it to the Lord. Or, at least I thought I had. It was evident that I really hadn’t let these thoughts go as I murmured to Jamie while he read Proverbs at the kitchen table. I made my definition of myself come to life as I let the next few words slip from my mouth. Why do I even bother reading Proverbs if I am not successful at living the virtuous life that is described in the verses? I give up. Why does the Lord expect so much from us if He knows how hard it is to follow through? I am just not going to try to be like those verses anymore. It is evident that I am not cut out to be the type of Christian that the Lord expects me to be. Jamie just listened and went on reading. (Poor guy!) I know he was kind and offered some words of wisdom, but I don’t even remember what they were. I was just thankful that he was willing to listen to the nonsense spewing from my mouth.
So, as quickly as I said that I wasn’t going to read Proverbs any longer, I pulled it up on the computer. And, I began to read Proverbs 28.
1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
2 For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.
3 A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.
4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.
5 Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.
I believe I stopped at verse five. I became distracted by little blessings peaking at me from every direction. Suddenly, I became consumed in the daily duties of breakfast and the kids’ school. But, my definition of myself and the ugly words that had spewed from my mouth, continued to bog me down. So, I decided to evaluate myself again. I came up with a new definition.
Amanda B. – cares for others, quick tempered at times, listens but quickly offers advice, hurts when others hurt, can be overly opinionated more often than not, makes excuses for wrong doings, loves her family, sees negative actions in others even those closest to her, weak, becomes caught up in strife or causes strife when she should only be listening
While this definition doesn’t hurt quite as bad as the first, some of the words still prick my heart. I am not content with most of those words plastered after my name. So, what now? Where do I go from here? Do I continue to let the devil convince me that I can’t be in the Lord’s will?
Absolutely not! I cannot be the person God has created me to be without His help. I need Him. He believes in me! He knows I can be that woman described in Proverbs. He loves me. He knows what is best! But, he also knows I am human. He knows I fail too many times. I know He isn’t satisfied as I constantly mess up His will for my life. But, thank goodness for His mercy! I am so thankful for His mercy. But, I want to stop cashing in on it so often. I want to be more pleasing to Him (because He first loved me). I want to be more pleasing to my family and my friends. So I am praying that before the Lord takes me home to Heaven, the following definition will be written beside my name:
Amanda B. – loves the Lord, loves others and expects nothing in return, joyfully completes tasks at hand, has a meek and quiet spirit, bears the burdens of others by listening without offering opinions, prays for others instead of judging their actions, is a cheerful giver, waits on the Lord’s will and is content in His will, is content with the Lord’s will in her Christian sisters’ and brothers’ lives, is quick to admit she is wrong and ask for forgiveness, takes her burdens to the Lord and is not an excessive worrier, has faith and is sensitive to the Holy Spirit
Now that is the only definition I am satisfied with. If God is for it, so am I!! Please pray for me as I ask for the Lord’s help to become the person He so desires me to be. Please pray that I will move out of God’s way and let Him do the work! I cannot do it on my own. Please pray that I will not let the devil convince me that these things do not matter. Please pray that I will stay in His word dissecting and defining each and every word! Yes, Proverbs, Galatians, as well as every other book in God’s Holy word makes the importance of bearing fruit crystal clear! Without Him, bearing fruit is impossible! I want to live my life in Christ!
Pslam 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Amanda, I know you may be struggling with who you want to become.. I believe we all struggle with that in our lives (I am on my knees everyday asking for Gods guidance… Asking him to make me a better person, the person he wants me to be), and the devil loves to try to keep us down…. I just wanted to say that you have truly been a blessing to me. When I started homeschooling I felt very lost and alone. You offered your friendship and help and it truly brightened the dark cloud of loneliness I was living under. I might not know you very well…. But I see you as a caring person, loving mom, Christian sister who truly has a love and passion to help others. Please pray for me.. I will be praying for you..
Thank you so much for your kind words, Amy! They mean so much to me. I feel the same about our friendship. So, thankful for you! This walk and becoming the person I want to be is hard when I try to take control away from the Lord. When I loose my focus of being one with Christ, I start to slip into old habits and ugly ways. Thanks again for being here for me!
Amanda B. Child of God! (That should automatically put a smile on your face!). Godly Mother of four beautiful and healthy children, Amazing Teacher, Wife to a husband, who truly and deeply loves her and helps her, Daughter-in-law to a mother-in-law who would do anything to help and, and thinks that she does a wonderland job of teaching her children to walk with the Lord on a daily basis. The devil tries to discourage us so that we spend less time in God’s word or praying for others or helping others or seeing God’s blessings. I like Proverbs 3:5-6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. I love you and will be praying for you! Love, Wilma
Thanks, Wilma!! You are always so kind to me. I really appreciate everything you do for us. The kids and I memorized Proverbs 3:5-6 last year, and I won’t ever forget them. They helped me get through each day when Jayla was born early. They still help me today. Thanks for reminding me!! Love you!!
Oh my analytical daughter. If only you could see yourself as others do. I pray for the day you learn to worry less. Thank God that he is willing to work on us every day.
Also ponder on Proverbs 27:6 ‘Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.’ Who would prefer a friend’s wound to an enemy’s kiss? A friend who has your best interests at heart may have to give you unpleasant advice at times, but you know it is for your own good. An enemy may whisper sweet words and happily send you on your way to ruin. A friend’s advice, no matter how painful, is much more valuable.
You are a good friend that is caring and willing to give godly advice. A true friend welcomes this type of advice. Talk to God first, then don’t hesitate to say what he puts on your heart to help someone. That is not being opinionated, that is listening to God.
Love you! Mom
Thanks! I needed to hear that. Love you, too!