Proverbs in 365 Devotions

Proverbs 16:28

A dishonest man spreads strife, 

and a whisperer separates close friends. 


Wild Man With A Blade

by Robin Aylor

It sounds like the liar in this text is using some kind of a knife spreading dissension and cutting apart relationships. The cutting tool he uses is his words.


The bible actually uses a blade as an example associated with lying speech. Here's one place:

Proverbs 25:18 A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.


A false witness is not for healing but hurting. 


When someone lies and makes personal stabs, in some context they do so for their own benefit. They may lie to cover a mistake they have made. It could be they have been emotionally cut or slighted by someone and so they lie to make that person look bad or themselves look good. 


Everyone has told a lie in their life… possibly this very day. However, a liar (plural) implies this is someone who makes a habit of lying. One way the evolution of a liar might come about is that they, like the example of one who feels they have been hurt; first lies to themselves  saying "I am a victim". Of course it may be true but the real lie lays underneath their feelings of injustice. As they continue to dwell on their injuries they begin to believe what they have been telling themselves… they are treated unfairly. You see at their core the real lie is that it is all about them. They are the center of their universe.


In today's society this is a common mindset. People counted as “victims” are offended easily, even among close friends. If someone simply disagrees with them for example whether about something life changing or minuscule they may act as though they have been betrayed or accused of an unforgivable act. They might even get angry as though their very existence were threatened.


It can be a small thing like not returning a call or responding to a text. It can be them not returning something they borrowed. It can even be something so microscopic that its possibly not even there at all and yet to them its as big as the moon… again because basically its all about them. 


Someone looks at us wrong when they walk in the door… or else they don’t look at us… They may speak to us with the wrong inflection… or they don’t speak to us…  We look for any way to turn whatever they do into a snub or insult and then tell ourselves we have been victimized. We are such self saturated creatures. Sometimes I feel that same tension tugging at my own heart.


This way of thinking begins to ingrain our brain. It’s like a permanent magic marker has written this on our mindset: “I am a victim”. 


So in all these situations, what will we do?


We are tempted to be like the man in our text making stabs and spreading rumors trying bring the failures of others inflicted toward us to the light. 


As we begin spreading gossip and rumors it is a sure thing that we will be biased to the self centered “I am a victim” complex which has tainted our mind.


It doesn’t take long before we become obsessed with being the center of the world; paranoid, self justifying and always looking for ways to portray our self righteousness and false humility. We become experts at turning a conversation to look like we are being bullied in some way.


The heart continues to harden more and more until we are willing to engage in all kinds of dishonest practices even lying to our closest friends.


Don't become the man in today's scripture! We need to change our focus big time! God is the only one who deserves to defend his own honor because he is the only one who is honorable. Our Creator commands that we worship him. He is jealous for his own namesake and yet we go about defending our own.


For us to engage in defensive self exaltation it is actually self adoration or worship. Like satan we seek to exalt our own glory to that of our perfect, sovereign, just and almighty God.


My goal for this year is that when people actually do me wrong… whether they shun me or overlook me, whether on purpose or unintentionally they hurt me or steal from me or do not keep their word; that I might not engage in defensive self exaltation, that I don’t have to figure it out or dwell on it… That it doesn’t steal my joy. But rather leave it to the Lord who knows all and pray that others that may have sought offense join me in worship of God. My mind and heart should not be overwhelmed with self. I am not the center of the universe. My goal is that no physical or relational obstacles might hinder me from delighting in Jesus and worshiping my God with joy. Nothing should impede me or cause my eyes to wander from searching through and finding delight in the Lords treasure chest of unmeasurable riches and then proclaiming the good news of Jesus and his glory to others.