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Proverbs 12 (NIV)
12 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid. 2 Good people obtain favor from the Lord, but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes. 3 No one can be established through wickedness, but the righteous cannot be uprooted. 4 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones. 5 The plans of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is deceitful. 6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them. 7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous stands firm. 8 A person is praised according to their prudence, and one with a warped mind is despised. 9 Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant than pretend to be somebody and have no food. 10 The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel. 11 Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense. 12 The wicked desire the stronghold of evildoers, but the root of the righteous endures. 13 Evildoers are trapped by their sinful talk, and so the innocent escape trouble. 14 From the fruit of their lips, people are filled with good things, and the work of their hands brings them reward. 15 The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. 16 Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult. 17 An honest witness tells the truth, but a false witness tells lies. 18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. 19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. 20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy. 21 No harm overtakes the righteous, but the wicked have their fill of trouble. 22 The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy. 23 The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly. 24 Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor. 25 Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. 26 The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. 27 The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt. 28 In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality.
What “favor from the Lord” (verse 2) are you thankful for?
Holy Father, Your love for us is a mystery. You love us because You are loving and not because we are lovable. We are miserable and despicable sinners. Yet, You have shown favor to us through Your mercy and grace by providing a way to live with You for eternity through Your cross. Your favor is a divine kindness and an act of true compassion. You favor not just some humans, but humanity. You are pleased with people and bless them. Your favor affects every area of life. Unfortunately, not all people recognize or accept Your favor. Those who delight in You, connect with You, and give honor to You will recognize Your favor. Your favor is like a loving smile that warms my heart. I feel Your smile as I come close to You in Your Word, as I sing praises to You, as I serve those in need and when I gather in community with other believers in small groups or in church. When I make the effort to come close to You, it is so beautiful and magical to feel Your love flow into me. I don’t want to take your blessings for granted. Please allow me to recognize Your hand in the things that I do. Open my heart to accept Your favor by the way I live. I can rest in quiet confidence that my sins are forgiven. I can see and appreciate the little blessings that You provide for my enjoyment, that I once took for granted. Thank you for blessing, guiding, and protecting me. Amen