Sunday, April 27, 2008

Praise and Proverbs

For sometime now, my Beloved husband Riley & I have read Proverbs almost daily. Sometimes we'd miss a day or two, but for the most part it has become a daily ritual.

For over two months, Riley has been working in Iraq - and email became the communication of choice to continue the daily reading of Proverbs. Today a verse from the 27th Proverb caught my attention.....

V21 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives.

Our son recently created a website he named "ChristRoom" and as a result of sending out information to various churches & to the local newspaper, he was interviewed...and what a nice interview it was.....

And from this, I thought about the word can lift one's spirits beyond measure - and yet, the humble receive it quietly and God smiles. I wrote that in an email to Riley - along with several others we added to our daily routine of reading Proverbs.

Praise indeed lifts the spirits - and how we choose to receive it is a measure of our character. Indeed, our son's reaction was not boastful - but pleased the site was recognized. He has a gift for writing and marketing. No doubt about it, he has chosen wisely how to use this gift.

It was interesting to see others' reactions to the news article. Our church family (Riley's & mine) greeted it with enthusiasm and praised his efforts. My sister was so very impressed with her nephew's recognition - and a woman I've known via email for only two years wrote that she got tears when she read the article. And then there were a few other reactions (lukewarm at best) that left me with a feeling of great uneasiness.

This morning I got a little of the understanding. There's a verse in Proverbs 27 - Verse 19: As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man. Our reactions, our thoughts, our verbal responses are indeed a reflection of our heart. We don't have to be in agreement with each other's beliefs. But I do believe God gave us the power to encourage, praise and uplift others - regardless of our beliefs. The power of the tongue is mighty. We can encourage, uplift, praise and love with simple words.

How sad and lost we become when we choose to use the power of words (or lack of) to do other than encourage or praise. How many opportunities I have missed to say "I'm really proud of what you did"...too many times. No matter how small the deed, we all need that affirmation of "you did a great job there".

I've asked God to please place both those verses in my heart so I can remember them on a daily basis. Giving & receiving are a measure of our being...and may God bless me with that remembrance.


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