But enough about my typing styles. Let's talk about Proverbs 31.
A friend reminded me recently of three truths that this passage speaks about the character of a Godly Woman.
She is honest.
She is consistent.
She is dependent.
Seems simple at the surface, but breaking these things down make me freak out.
I have a lot to say on this one. I don't think I go around spouting lies and not telling the truth just outright and on purpose. But digging a little deeper, doesn't gossip fall into this category? This is something I have been crazy convicted of lately. "A gossip betrays confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret." That's in Proverbs 11, and I don't like it because it implys that I'm not trustworthy (rude). Here's another from Chapter 16, "A perverse person stirs up conflict, a gossip separates close friends." Aw crap. One more, "A gossip betrays confidence, so avoid anyone who talks too much."
So basically, gossiping makes me untrustworthy, a betrayer, one who stirs up conflict, one who comes jacks of friendships, and basically someone who should be avoided. That doesn't sound like much fun.
Gossip isn't just making stuff up. Unless you have heard something directly from someone, or addressed an issue with someone yourself, it's gossip. It's hearsay. You weren't there, I wasn't there, and it's not our business to share, or wait for it...volunteer information to someone else. It's deceptive. It's manipulative. For me, it can be a total control issue (shocker, I know). It's gross. And more times that not it's just senseless chatter. Consider these from other chapters in Proverbs:
A chattering fool comes to ruin.
The words of the reckless pierce like swords.
A fool's mouth lashes out with pride.
The mouth of a fool gushes folly.
How do you combat this? Two words: confession and repentance. One more word? Listening. WHAAA? Yep, being a good listener. For me, rather than feeding gossip or taking hold of my desire to be in control or right, I am simply just listening and staying quiet. I don't need to contribute my two cents about a situation or a problem. I need to be a good and engaged listener.
Oh, how I have missed the mark on this so, so much. I need some consistency in just about everything right now. Other, than just being reminded of not being a fat sluggard all the time, what appeals to me about the Proverbs 31 Woman, and consistency, is letting your yes be yes and no be no.
Fun sidenote: In Albanian yes is 'po' and no is 'jo' (pronounced 'yo'). So I had a ball of fun walking around speaking Albanglish saying, "Let your po be po, and your jo be jo!" I was a riot.
Anyway, there's a verse I can not find, that talks about how foolish people are all over the place, but the wise are grounded firmly. Yes! I want to be grounded firmly! I want to know, love, relish in, desire, adorn, BREATHE wisdom and groundedness. (Is that a word? It has red squigglys.) Here are a few things Proverbs says about the wise.
The wise in heart are called discerning.
The wise store up knowledge.
The wise inherit honor.
Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise.
The Bible also teaches that all wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. So there's much more than taking these as blanket statements. I just wanted to type these out to wet your pallet a bit. (My College Pastor used to refer to this as a Jesus Pretzel...think about it.) Go look it up for yourself, and study wisdom. I have a feeling you'll find yourself very humbled. I need more of that.
There are some other blogs I've been trying to flesh out for awhile now, and my lack of groundedness and wisdom and consistency is preventing me. Specifically, I want to tell you why a little part of me dies every time I see something about 50 Shades of Grey. I have wept over this. I want to tell you while I'm all for going down to the basement with Jen Hat, let's not make her words our authority (for real, we can all quote Jen better than Jesus. That's wrong, and I know she would agree). I also want to lead a world-wide Bible Study on Leviticus in reference to all the out of context verses I see posted on Facebook.
There is clarity in wisdom and grounding, and I need wheelbarrows full of it.
(Wheelbarrows? I just had a mental picture of mixing concrete in wheelbarrows, and how that's the good stuff for a solid foundation. Woahhh. Artsy.)
This is an area where I've only just begun to feel the sting of conviction. So I'm not ready to flesh this out. I just know that my schedule is not consistent, my heart is not honest, and this leads to not being dependent. My schedule is crazy as of late, and I feel like I am in a constant state of "re-calendaring." I got sick this week and had to move FIVE things on top of five other things, in order to fit everything in. I'm not dependable. I am scattered and unorganized and laaaazzzzyyy. Pray that my heart would be wise to accepting correction and discipline in this area. I really need it.
Thanks for bearing with me through this.
Until next time, here's a really cute pic of my niece I took when we went swimming Wednesday night. She is so hilarious, that I've decided if our kids aren't this entertaining, I'm sending them back.