Proverbs 21: Motives

Seeing the fruit of years of my selfish, disrespectful attitude towards my husband was a quick study in realizing I couldn't always control or plan the outcome. My motives weren't destructive; I thought everything I'd said and been doing as a wife, controlling our finances, leading our family, having (what I know now to be unreasonably) high expectations of my husband was for the good or our marriage, so we could achieve the things we wanted in life. Unfortunately, without God's truth and understanding, and with all my plotting, planning, and attempting to orchestrate outcomes, I was foolishly destroying everything.

Walking through the self destruction of our marriage, and at the same time walking through the Proverbs, God was using my circumstances and His Word to help me unlearn what I understood about some of my experiences and to learn to experience His truth.

I was learning that I couldn't control the outcome- I wasn't designed to. I was designed to take each step in faith, living in obedience to God, loving Him above everything and everyone, making decisions based on His Word and letting Him handle the outcome and the consequences. You are designed for that, too.

As you read through Proverbs 21, hold the mirror of God's Word up to your life and your heart. Allow God to speak to you, to show you that He controls the outcomes of your life, and that He desires you to walk rightly with Him, honoring Him in your words, thoughts, and decisions. Watch Him show Himself strong in your life when you do!

God Examines Our Motives

21 Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by God; he directs it to whatever ends he chooses.

2 We justify our actions by appearances; God examines our motives.

3 Clean living before God and justice with our neighbors mean far more to God than religious performance.

4 Arrogance and pride—distinguishing marks in the wicked—are just plain sin.

5 Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.

6 Make it to the top by lying and cheating;get paid with smoke and a promotion—to death!

7 The wicked get buried alive by their loot because they refuse to use it to help others.

8 Mixed motives twist life into tangles; pure motives take you straight down the road.

Do Your Best, Prepare for the Worst

9 Better to live alone in a tumbledown shack than share a mansion with a nagging spouse.

10 Wicked souls love to make trouble; they feel nothing for friends and neighbors.

11 Simpletons only learn the hard way, but the wise learn by listening.

12 A God-loyal person will see right through the wicked and undo the evil they’ve planned.

13 If you stop your ears to the cries of the poor,your cries will go unheard, unanswered.

14 A quietly given gift soothes an irritable person;a heartfelt present cools a hot temper.

15 Good people celebrate when justice triumphs,but for the workers of evil it’s a bad day.

16 Whoever wanders off the straight and narrow ends up in a congregation of ghosts.

17 You’re addicted to thrills? What an empty life! The pursuit of pleasure is never satisfied.

18 What a bad person plots against the good, boomerangs; the plotter gets it in the end.

19 Better to live in a tent in the wild than with a cross and petulant spouse.

20 Valuables are safe in a wise person’s home; fools put it all out for yard sales.

21 Whoever goes hunting for what is right and kind finds life itself—glorious life!

22 One sage entered a whole city of armed soldiers—their trusted defenses fell to pieces!

23 Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.

24 You know their names—Brash, Impudent, Blasphemer—intemperate hotheads, every one.

25 Lazy people finally die of hunger because they won’t get up and go to work.

26 Sinners are always wanting what they don’t have; the God-loyal are always giving what they do have.

27 Religious performance by the wicked stinks; it’s even worse when they use it to get ahead.

28 A lying witness is unconvincing;a person who speaks truth is respected.

29 Unscrupulous people fake it a lot; honest people are sure of their steps.

30 Nothing clever, nothing conceived, nothing contrived, can get the better of God.

31 Do your best, prepare for the worst—then trust God to bring victory.

Proverbs 21 The Message

Which verse or verses are speaking to you? Will you let them inform your day, honoring God with your words, thoughts and decisions, leaving the outcome in His hands?

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