Keep it Real (Proverbs 27:5)

“Open rebuke is better than secret love.”—Proverbs 27:5

One literary device used in Proverbs is to compare ideas to reveal wisdom. Open rebuke and secret love are not opposites per say. But they are different enough to compare. As we compare these two ideas or scenarios, we will understand the central message of the verse.

People that keep it real are hard to come by. The older I get, the more I appreciate open and honest people. Blunt people can come off as rude and condescending. We would think that love is always better. What about secret love, though? Personally, I’d rather a blunt rude friend who there for me than a friend who supposedly loves me but doesn’t back me up in public.

This explains the difficulty of romantic affairs. Let’s draw an illustration. Kenny and Keisha are married. They love each other but are having problems. Kenny starts to have a secret affair with Miracle, a mutual friend. Kenny stills loves his wife but isn’t sure where the marriage is going. So, the affair remains a closely held secret. One day, a mutual friend to all three throws a birthday party and everybody in their circle is invited. What will happen? Kenny and Keisha will be arm in arm—the happy couple! Miracle will try to stay occupied by mingling. Kenny and Miracle will have to avoid each other—more than usual—as to not do anything to raise suspicions.

With that imagine in mind, we must decide what’s better. Open rebuke? Secret love? Open rebuke is better. While Kenny and Miracle’s feeling for one another may be genuine, Miracle will suffer. As Miracle begins to fall for Kenny, she will be hurt. She can’t go out on a date with him. What if another friend sees them? Yes, they’re friends and could say they’re just hanging out. But as the relationship progresses, it will be difficult to hide the mutual affection. Secret love always causes pain. Open rebuke may sting at first, but at least you know where you stand with the other person. Keep it real.

Don’t Set a Trap for Yourself (Proverbs 26:27)

“Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.”—Proverbs 26:27

You will be caught in the trap you set for another. Why spend time trying to stop someone else from succeeding? This is something I’ve never understood! There are enough blessings for everyone. Life does involve competition. A job posting that attracts 500 applicants. An Ivy League university can only accept a certain number of students. But competition, envy, jealousy, revenge, and so forth, are never an excuse to try and hurt another.

You may have heard the old saying, “If you dig a ditch for me, dig one for yourself.” No doubt that saying stems from this verse. But this verse is not saying that. It is telling us that whoever tries to dig a ditch (pit) for another will fall in that very ditch. People today call this karma: what you put out will come back.

Now you may be wondering about how to avoid ditch digging in such a competitive world. We have to have faith in Spirit that everything will fall into place for us. We have to have an abundance mentality. There are enough blessings for everyone. In my last job in Michigan, I and another coworker were up for the same promotion. My immediate supervisor liked both of us just fine. But her supervisor like my coworker far more than me. She liked how he yelled at the crew. (Sad isn’t it.) Well, he got the promotion. And I went on to transfer to a different management schedule.

One night, I came to run my Sunday midnight shift. He ran Sunday evenings. Several incidents took place during that two hour window when we were both on the property. He didn’t do anything to me personally but he did violate several store policies. I even went behind him to help him out. I don’t know who reported him but when I came in Monday afternoon, my supervisor called me in the office. She showed me the surveillance video from the incidents. You could see what both of us did and didn’t do. He had already been fired! Did I ever get that promotion? Hell no!

Thank God my life is worlds away from that time. My supervisor is still at that store, miserable as ever. The supervisor over her has since been demoted twice, putting her in a position (at another location) lower than my old supervisor’s. God didn’t get her back for me. God forbid. But her nasty attitude and erroneous thought-process began to get her into trouble. I could’ve been angry to not getting the promotion. But I’ve learned to have an abundance mentality. God had better things for me than that promotion. Don’t set a trap for yourself.

Tighten Up Your Words (Proverbs 25:11)

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”—Proverbs 25:11

A multiplicity of words isn’t always necessary to get a point across. When I write, I want to get my point across, of course. But I don’t want to make any of my writings longer than necessary. And when I deliver a lecture or sermon, I follow the same rule. Like anyone else, I sometimes ramble on. It’s okay sometimes. But nobody wants to hear a bunch of useless talk all the time.

Negativity often comes through uncontrolled words. When we get angry during an argument, we tend to say many hurtful words. And while a—I’m sorry—can be offered, the hurt caused is not so easily overcome. The same applies to a lecture or speech. If we talk too long, people may get so bored or lost, that they miss our central message. The best way to be more precise with our words is to think first. Think about the central message of the speech, talk, book, article, or even conversation. Tighten up your words.

Make a House a Home (Proverbs 24:3)

“Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established.”—Proverbs 24:3

A house is not a home without wisdom and understanding. My wife and I will celebrate our eighth marriage anniversary this year. Praise God. Several couples who got married around the same time we did are already divorced. I can hear Luther Vandross singing the love ballot: A house is not a home. A house can have the appropriate objects—a chair, rooms, etc.—but still not be a home. The hook of the song says, “Turn this house into a home.”

I thank God that George and Courtney’s house is a home. Vandross says that love is what makes a house a home. I agree wholeheartedly with that. But we learn here that wisdom builds the house and understanding establishes it. Those couples that I mentioned a moment ago still love each other. But love isn’t enough to hold a family together. Wisdom gives us the tools to have an open and honest relationship. And the people in a home must always seek to understand one another. Make a house a home.

Everlasting Dawn of Progression 2017: Resolve to Live in Abundance

Father Hurley not only instructed us to celebrate his birthday, he instituted the Everlasting Dawn of Progression. February 24 is our spiritual New Year. Take time on this day to reflect on your spiritual life. What are you doing daily, weekly, and monthly to feed your spirit? What are you doing to obtain more wisdom, knowledge, and understanding? Do you have an established study regimen? Do you pray daily? Meditate daily? Fast weekly? There is so much work to be done.

I want everyone to be encouraged. Stay tuned to our ministry— For those on Facebook: like our new public page— Subscribe to our YouTube channel— We will start making new videos in the next 30 days. Let’s progress and prosper in 2017. Will you join me?

May peace and love abide with you one and all!

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
Rev. George H. Latimer-Knight
Written February 24, 2017

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