“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.”
Proverbs 24:16 (KJV)
How are you? Today’s Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations is on a topic with which we can all relate - - making mistakes. Being human, we all make mistakes. However, in Proverbs 24:16, we see that there is a difference in a way that our mistakes effect us based upon whether we are just or wicked.
Before we talk about Proverbs 24:16 directly, let’s talk about mistakes. We know that we all make mistakes. Our mistakes affect us in various ways. Often times, the affect depends on the size of the mistake, the consequences, and how we view mistakes. As usual, we might find that attitude has quite a bit with how mistakes affect us.
This is where attitude comes in. Are we righteous or are we self-righteous? There is a big difference in the two. Once we recognize this, then we can start understanding Proverbs 24:16 in a better light.
Righteous people are those who are believers and try to live a godly life. They try to do things with a heavenly view and according to God’s Word. Does that mean that they don’t make mistakes? No, not by a long shot, because everyone makes mistakes, even St. Paul who God used to do so much for the early church and to build the kingdom of God. For example, we might remember the words of Paul in Romans 7:15 (KJV), “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” Like Paul, the righteous people can recognize and admit their mistakes. They don’t try to hide them.
Self-righteous people are the opposite. They either think that they don’t make mistakes or they can hide their mistakes. They might not be able to notice their mistakes or don’t want to admit their mistakes to themselves or others.
Now, let’s look at this through the words in Proverbs 24:16. The first part of the verse (KJV) says, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again”. Yes, even righteous God fearing people make mistakes and fall. Making mistakes and falling is part of the life of a human for both righteous and self-righteous people. And, Proverbs 24:16 shows us that we don’t just make one mistake in life. We make many. (No, I don’t think that seven is meant to be an absolute literal number.)
The encouragement of Proverbs 24:16 is the part where the righteous will “riseth up again” after their mistakes. Praise God! This is good news. I don’t know about you, but to me, it is a relief that my mistakes don’t have to define me. I am so glad that I can recover from my mistakes.
Sadly, this isn’t true for everyone. Not everyone who makes mistakes will recover. In the second part of Proverbs 24:16 (KJV) it says, “but the wicked shall fall into mischief”. Why the difference? It might not seem fair. Isn’t everyone treated equally?
We are all God’s creations and all have free will to follow His will or not. Yet, not all of us do. This is where the difference comes in.
As I said before, those who are righteous recognize their mistakes and admit them. When one can recognize and admit their mistakes, they can also repent and ask for forgiveness. God can then forgive them and the mistakes are wiped away. They are once again made clean. This is why the righteous can rise again. They repent and are made clean again through Jesus.
Those who are self-righteous or wicked don’t repent. They don’t see that they did anything wrong. They don’t ask for forgiveness. So, instead of changing their ways and getting back on the right track, they continue doing wrong. They move farther and farther away from God.
It is during times of meditating on God’s Word and pondering their meaning like this as well as self-reflecting on our thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and actions, we can see whether God’s Word is rewarding us or convicting us.
Thank you for your Holy Word. Thank you for your love and guidance. Help us to have a righteous mind and heart. Help us to recognize, admit, and repent our mistakes. Help us to ask for forgiveness with a humble and contrite heart. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Proverbs 24:16 (KJV):
*What does Proverbs 24:16 mean to me?
*What does righteous mean?
*What does wicked mean?
*How do I approach the idea of mistakes?
*What do I do when I make mistakes?
Note, if you enjoyed this post, you may want to read these posts on similar topics:
Now, it is your turn:
I am thankful that you are here. I pray God is using the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations to encourage you to read and meditate upon His Holy Word. I pray He touches your heart as you read it and are moved to self-reflect.
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“For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.”
Jeremiah 10:3-4 (KJV)
How are you today? I hope you are well. My topic for today’s Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations may not be a popular one. However, I think we are all called to evaluate ourselves, our actions, as well as the traditions we follow. I was researching verses for today’s post and I came across Jeremiah 10:3-4. It kind of surprised me. I have read the Holy Bible quite a few times and I hadn’t remembered this passage. Could it be that I didn’t remember it, because I didn’t want to remember it or maybe because I wasn’t ready to evaluate myself next to the words in this passage? I don’t know.
The words in Jeremiah 10:3-4, sound much like what we do in decorating Christmas trees. So, do we need to look at this tradition and evaluate whether or not we are really called to do it? Regardless of what we decide in the end, I do think it is a good idea to weigh what we do against God’s Word. Are we following and living in accordance to God’s Word?
The phrase that hits home for me in this whole passage is “For the customs of the people are vain.” Regardless, of whether we believe we are supposed to set up a Christmas tree as part of our celebration or not, I think if we are honest with ourselves, we will realize that it is a vain tradition.
I mean, chopping down a tree purchasing one, whether fake or real, costs quite a bit of money. There is also the extra expense of decorating it, not to mention the extra high electric bill in having the lights on the tree. Do we really need to spend that money? Do all those (real) trees really need to die, just so we can enjoy them lit up and decorated for a month or so? The answer to both questions is probably, “no.” We probably do not need to spend that extra money and live trees probably do not need to die for such a tradition.
So, why do we put up a tree? It is tradition! And, this is what I pray we can all evaluate. Are our traditions good in the sight of God?
Full disclosure, if you read on in Jeremiah 10 and put this passage in perspective, it probably does not have anything to do with Christmas trees. It is more about making idols out of trees to worship, which is definitely bad in God’s eyes. Yet, this still doesn’t answer the question about our custom of decorating Christmas trees.
It touches my heart to bring this up, because we are called to be “in this world, but not of this world.” (See John 15:19 for example.) The world likes to “suck us in” to worldly traditions and beliefs. Yet, we are not of the world. We are called to act in accordance with God’s will for us. I do believe that celebration of Christmas (not just the decoration of trees) is very commercialized. In the commercialized world, the focus is definitely not on the birth of our savior.
However, I can’t say whether decorating a tree, as part of a Christmas celebration is right or wrong. I don’t see anywhere in God’s Word, where we are called to decorate a tree. Yet, the right or the wrong of it might be for each one of us to decide. I urge you, and I will as well, to pray about it and really examine whether or not it is right for you. Don’t just blindly follow along with everyone else, because it is tradition.
Thank you for giving us your Holy Word to show us the way to live. Help us to examine ourselves in accordance to you Word, and let us not be afraid to change, even if it is against our worldly traditions. Help us to pray before we act and let you guide us, instead of doing things our own way. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Jeremiah 10:3-4 (KJV):
*What does Jeremiah 10:3-4 mean to me?
*Is Jeremiah 10:3-4 talking about Christmas trees?
*Do I believe that decorating a tree for Christmas is vain?
*Do I believe we are called to decorate a tree for any reason?
*Do I let decorating a tree take the focus off of Jesus in anyway?
*Have I prayed about the rightness or wrongness of decorating a tree?
*Why do I decorate a tree?
Now, it is your turn.
I am thankful you are here. I look forward to your comments and ideas. Please, let me know your thoughts by commenting below or feel free to contact me. Also, please pray for our Christmas ethics and practices. Let us put our focus on Jesus.
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This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.