Skip to main content

February 2014: Proverbs 13 by Doug

Well, I’m running a lot late today. I didn’t get off to a fast start, and there was work to be done that could not be postponed. We are chasing into Proverbs 13 today, and Proverbs 13:12 has the perfect verse for Valentine’s Day tomorrow:






Hope deferred makes the heart sick


But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.





Why do I say that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day? For a couple of reasons. First is this observation that I made to Ann this morning: we know people, including at least one teenager, who will spend more money on Valentine’s Day celebration (or have more money spent on her) than Ann and I have spent our entire married life on each other.





I do not say that to brag, nor is this anti-Valentine’s Day rant. I have depended on American Greetings for my livelihood, and if it weren’t for Valentine’s Day, all the florists would do is funeral, funeral, prom. Which would be sad, sad, depressing. And in truth, in prior romantic pursuits, I have spent a small fortune on Valentine’s Day gifts and celebrations.





The spending on romance shows how hard many of us work to fight off that heart sickness. Or the spending on anti-Valentine’s Day stuff to stave off that heart sickness. Because our hopes are deferred. Our hope to be loved. Our hope to feel valuable to another person. Our hope for a good meal, quietly uninterrupted by children.





May I say to you very plainly: you will not spend enough money tomorrow, or this year, to fill the hole that deferred hope holds open. It is vital to note this, though: that hole? It can only be filled by the right thing, so stuffing any old relationship into it will not work. Remember that a sick heart is better than a crushed one, after all. Not that either option is that pleasant.





The second half of the couplet here is the positive side, though, and it is what you are hoping for. When that desire is fulfilled, there is a firmly rooted, productive, strong force for life. Life that is usually pleasant but that can weather storms. Life that shelters from difficult and produces fruit in good season.





And you know one of the great things about trees? As they mature, they require less direct investment and more personal effort. A newly planted tree needs water hauled to it, fertilizer added, and so forth. But a mature tree has roots that find water in most times. Instead, you spend your effort fending off threats or clearing away debris that’s not needed. It involves more time and wiser money. Rather than one big outflow of annualized fertilizer, you do a little bit here and there.





A tree of life comes from desire fulfilled—in relationships, that’s the desire to love and be loved, to serve and be valuable. Let that be your pursuit for Valentine’s Day. Because any knucklehead can buy chocolate.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.



First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…