"Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both." Proverbs 27:1-3
Each day has enough trouble for that day. You may be reading this and feel like you are in a place where each day has MORE than enough trouble for that day. It is natural for us to worry about what will happen in our lives. But wisdom is here to remind us that making plans for tomorrow does not guarantee anything; we are only promised today. Jesus has a similar reminder in Matthew 6:34 when he says, "So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today."
These verses are not saying that what happens tomorrow does not matter, or that we should not care about what happens in the future. It's all about perspective and how we approach our lives that matters. Jesus says we should not worry about tomorrow, which is not the same as not caring or not wanting to create a better world for the future. He just says that that worrying about tomorrow is not going to help. Worrying is like running on a treadmill trying to get somewhere; you can use up some energy but you are not getting anywhere.
Wounds of a friend
"Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet." Proverbs 27:5-7
I don't know about you, but I do not like being told that I am wrong. Being called out for something that I have failed at or having someone point out an error I have made is difficult for me to hear. Solomon says that it's better to be wounded by a friend and be rebuked than to be told pleasantries by an enemy. While no one really likes to get bad news, there is news that is needed and it's better to get that information from a friend who cares for you than to be led astray by an enemy.
Friends who truly care for you are there for your highs and your lows. So, a true friend is willing to call out an error in your life for your own good. It may not feel good in the moment, but it might save you a great deal of heartache in the future. Don't discount a friend who is willing to share hard truths with you on a regular basis; true friends are hard to come by. There are all kinds of people who would be happy to lie to you and offer you pleasant words, but you will not walk away a better person from the kisses from an enemy. Choose the hard conversation today, and don't discount comments from a friend made in love (even if they hurt).
Reflections (and response)
"Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who guards his master will be honored. As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man." Proverbs 27:18-19
Have you ever seen your reflection in the water? The water (or a mirror) reflects what it seems. So, if you do not like what you see in the reflection, that might be more of a reflection on who you are than the water. Reflections just reveal who you are. Solomon says that your heart, in the same way as the water, reflects who you are as a person. Is your heart full of anger? There is a good chance that will come out. Is your heart full of compassion? There is a good chance that will come out. In fact, I don't know that there is a way for your heart to not reveal who you are. It's just what happens in our lives.
This is why Solomon spends so much time in Proverbs talking about gaining wisdom and applying what we learn to our lives. Given to our own devices, will not always choose the path of love and charity; many times we will choose the path of selfishness and personal gain. So, we need to regularly check our hearts to make sure that what we are seeing displayed reflects the person that we want to become. Wisdom is the application of knowledge. We have to do something with the information or we are not really walking in wisdom.
Take a moment to consider your reflection today. Are you shocked by what you see coming from your heart? If you need to make a change, take some time and pray that God would continue to show you areas where you need to change or grow. Find some friends who are willing to share difficult information with you, and do what you can to make today the best day possible.