Has anyone ever told you not to do something? Don’t do this, don’t do that. If you have parents, the answer is yes…that’s all of us. But did you ever ask why? Well, our verse today tells us not to do something, and the next verse tells us why. Let’s check it out.
There’s so much good stuff in Proverbs 3 that it was hard for me to pick out one verse for today. So you really should make sure you read the whole chapter. Right now, let’s look at a list of five “do nots”that we find in this chapter of Proverbs:
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,[e]
when it is in your power to do it.
28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again,
tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.
29 Do not plan evil against your neighbor,
who dwells trustingly beside you.
30 Do not contend with a man for no reason,
when he has done you no harm.
31 Do not envy a man of violence
and do not choose any of his ways,
32 for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord,
but the upright are in his confidence.
Verse 31 is our verse for today. Let’s read it again: “Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways,” (Prov. 3:31).Envy is this: “a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.” Social media sites can often be a great avenue for leading us to envy, because we see what other people have, and what other people are like, and we want the same. But we need to remember that we’re often not seeing the whole picture; most people only share their highlights, or their high points online.
This verse also made me think about the TV that we watch. There’s almost always a villain and a hero, of some sort. We’re supposed to cheer for the hero, right? But sometimes the villain is so cool that we find ourselves looking at that person and wanting to be like them. I used to watch a show called White Collar about an ex-art thief who helped the FBI solve crimes while still being a thief under the radar. He looked so cool. But he was single and always with other women; not to mention that he was also a thief. Of course, the other guy, the hero, was married and faithful, but I still found myself looking more at the villain. So we have to be careful, because our verse today warns that we should not imitate these people, or even be envious of them.
Now let’s look at verse 32: “for the devious person is an abomination to the LORD, but the upright are in his confidence.” Why? God hates these things; God hates the ways of violent and wicked people. I know hate is a strong word, but it’s the right word. God hates all sin,because it’s against him. We should not envy a man of violence or his ways because these things are abominations to God—he HATES them.
Let’s get wisdom and make sure that who we’re watching and looking up to are not people whose ways are an abomination to the LORD. Let’s make sure that who we watch and celebrate are people who are pleasing to the LORD.
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