Proverbs 21 & Colossians 4

Proverbs 21

    The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
        he turns it wherever he will.
    Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
        but the LORD weighs the heart.
    To do righteousness and justice
        is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
    Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
        the lamp of the wicked, are sin.
    The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
        but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
    The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
        is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.
    The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
        because they refuse to do what is just.
    The way of the guilty is crooked,
        but the conduct of the pure is upright.
    It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
        than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
    The soul of the wicked desires evil;
        his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
    When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
        when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
    The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked;
        he throws the wicked down to ruin.
    Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
        will himself call out and not be answered.
    A gift in secret averts anger,
        and a concealed bribe, strong wrath.
    When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
        but terror to evildoers.
    One who wanders from the way of good sense
        will rest in the assembly of the dead.
    Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
        he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
    The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
        and the traitor for the upright.
    It is better to live in a desert land
        than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
    Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling,
        but a foolish man devours it.
    Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
        will find life, righteousness, and honor.
    A wise man scales the city of the mighty
        and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
    Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
        keeps himself out of trouble.
    “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
        who acts with arrogant pride.
    The desire of the sluggard kills him,
        for his hands refuse to labor.
    All day long he craves and craves,
        but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
    The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
        how much more when he brings it with evil intent.
    A false witness will perish,
        but the word of a man who hears will endure.
    A wicked man puts on a bold face,
        but the upright gives thought to his ways.
    No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
        can avail against the LORD.
    The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
        but the victory belongs to the LORD.

(Proverbs 21 ESV)

Colossians 4

    Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

    Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

    Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

    Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.

    Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”

    I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

(Colossians 4 ESV)

Colossians 4: The Christian man ought to be a different kind of man within the local community. We ought to be able to hold common and casual conversations with non-Christians in a way that is interesting, stimulating and engaging, but at the same time, we ought to be able to do so in a Christian manner. We also ought to be so disciplined and intentional with the use of our time that those we work with or work for have no charge of carelessness to bring against us as Christian men. Using our time wisely and speaking with wisdom and grace will put us into positions with others in which we can openly proclaim the ultimate reason that we live and work like we do.  

Do our lives look unique enough that others might inquire about it? Our lives ought to be a powerful testimony to the truth that we love and serve the Lord who is our Savior, and the grace and wisdom that radiates from our personality ought to stir up a holy attraction among those in our presence. 

As those who belong to Christ, may we live in such a way that we give others a reason to listen to what we might have to say. And may we remain watchful in our daily routine and watchful in our prayers. May God open doors for all of us and give us opportunities to declare the mystery of Christ that causes us to live so mysteriously.