23Giving the right answer
at the right time
makes everyone happy.
24All who are wise follow a road
that leads upward to life
and away from death.
25The Lord destroys the homes
of those who are proud,
but he protects the property
26The Lord hates evil thoughts,
but kind words please him.
27Being greedy causes trouble
for your family,
but you protect yourself
by refusing bribes.
28Good people think
before they answer,
but the wicked speak evil
without ever thinking.
Someone once reminded me that the most important part of a gravestone is the dash that comes between the year someone was born and the year they died. That dash represents everything that happened over the course of that person’s life. Unfortunately, most people don’t stop to think about their legacy until long after their legacy has already been determined in the minds of the people around them.
In today’s passage of Scripture, we are reminded how the small and big decisions we make every day can impact the lives of others.
Most people underestimate the power of their words. Instead, they stay silent when they should encourage, or they are quick to speak when they should pause and consider the next words that will come out of their mouth. Your words can bring life or death to someone. Pay close attention to moments when God will want you to encourage someone, and also be cautious to weigh your answers to questions carefully and graciously.
Pride occurs when we think that we know better than God does, and continue to pursue the life we want no matter what he has warned us about. This passage reminds us that God will tear down our pride.
Greed is another trap that is easy for us to fall into. We are warned how greed can bring ruin to our families. The blind spot for many of us is that we think that we are simply giving something special to our families. However, if giving them something special will ultimately result in their ruin, do you still want to pursue that gift?
Today, hear the heart of a loving Father who wants your legacy to be something great. His wisdom is leading us towards being thoughtful, encouraging, other-focused people.
Father God. Help my legacy to represent your greatness. May I speak graciously and with encouragement. May I give thoughtful answers. May I be a humble servant to everyone you bring into my life.
Kirk Giles is Co-Lead Pastor of Forward Church – a multisite church in the Waterloo Region area of Ontario. He previously served as President of Promise Keepers Canada | Impactus – a global ministry equipping men for a life of purpose and godly impact. Kirk is married to Shannon and together, they have four adult children and two daughters-in-law.