The fear of human opinion disables;
trusting in God protects you from that
(Proverbs 29:25 New King James).
God is in the business of building good character in believers. However, the fear of human opinion attacks us deeply and weakens our confidence. When the God of the Universe—through Jesus says “You are loved by me,” that outweighs all else. When you realize who God is, you can trust Him completely. *
Trust God Wholeheartedly
It is a mistake to judge ourselves by the opinion of others. God is our judge, and His Word is our guide book.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made
(Psalm 145:8-9 NIV).
The Character of God
Here are a few of His amazing traits that help us trust him:
- LOVE – nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus
- FORGIVENESS – Due to Jesus’ sacrifice we are forgiven in our relationship with God
- PATIENCE – Jesus is patient with us, waiting for us to come and hear him
- COMPASSION – Jesus has deep compassion. All who encounter him feel it
- PEACE – the peace of God passes all understanding, amazing
- FAITHFULNESS – He is faithful and true to all who believe in Him
- MERCY – seek his mercy, it’s overwhelming and continually available
- WISDOM – the wisdom of God is the beginning of understanding, He is wise
Listen to His Voice
Believers need to learn to listen to God’s voice, especially when others criticize us. The Holy Spirit resides in you for the purpose of guiding your thoughts and speech so you can respond correctly. Here is good advice from the Apostle James concerning times when we are tested or confronted by others:
This you know, my beloved brethren . . . everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God (James 1:19,20 NASB).
Our interest should remain in knowing what God says through reading his word and hearing his voice all the time. When you realize who God is, you can trust Him completely.
*The Trust Diamond, Twink DeWitt, Soar In Trust Ministries, 2011.
NOTE: This blog will stop for about 6 months for my medical issues and time with family.
Blessed and favored by God
is the man who fears [sin and its consequence] at all times,
But he who hardens his heart [and is determined to sin]
will fall into disaster (Proverbs 28:14 AMP).
This proverb expresses the requirement for each person to have reverence toward our holy God. Because of our sinful state we need of a Savior who removes the sting of sin and cleanses us from it. Believer, maintain your love for Jesus who loves you with unbounded love. Revere God and do not harden your heart toward him.
The man who keeps in his mind in awe God is blessed. Keep mindful of our desire to honor God. This strengthens us against temptation to sin. He is not surprised at attacks that come at him. Through prayer, watchfulness, and proven faith we do bless God.
Fearless and careless sinners, without the awe of our amazing God, too often follow their own desires. They continue to sin and do not repent of it. Proverbs 28:14 says, they will fall into disaster.
Even in this troubled state they are not out of the reach of our awesome, ever present God, who awaits their return with open arms. Revere God and do not harden your heart toward him.
Prayer: Father, thank you for your patience. Thank you for sending Jesus to reveal your love. You are the Almighty One. Selah.
He who turns his ear away from listening to the law [of God and man], even his prayer is an abomination, hateful and revolting [to God] (Proverbs 28:9 AMP).
This proverb is true for everyone, not just believers in Jesus Christ, it is a warning message for all people on earth. God’s instructions for spiritual and physical life – pertain to all. We must listen and obey God’s instruction.
God communicates with us through his Word, his voice, and the Holy Spirit. He expects us to hear him and learn from him. There will be dry times when feel we cannot hear his voice. But that’s our problem and we can change that by pressing into Him. His instructions are vital to our daily life.
What privilege we have to come to God in prayer. However, this proverb states that if we do not heed his instruction, our prayers become repulsive to him. Note it doesn’t say they are not heard.
Still, the lost, the brokenhearted, and the downtrodden can come to God in prayer. This is what God wants. He always hears prayers. They can learn of Him and grow to maturity. Prayer is special communication and not taken lightly (first listening—then making requests. We must listen and obey God’s instruction.
Prayer: Father, give me understanding, so I may observe what you say and heed your instruction. I know this is important and want to do it.
Evil people run [flee]·even though
[or when] no one is chasing [pursues] them
but good [righteous] people are as brave
[confident] as a lion (Proverbs 28:1 Expanded Bible).
This one verse says relates to the many promises and warnings of God in Leviticus 26. God’s people must follow His commandments. Jesus affirmed he came to fulfill the Law, the psalms and the prophets! Solomon encourages the righteous and helps them stand strong in difficult times.
The righteous man has no need to fear, because what leads and follows him is the goodness and mercy of God—not his past or wrong doings. Psalm 23 says it wonderfully:
Surely your goodness and love [loyalty; mercy]
will be with [pursue; follow] me all my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever
[ for length of days] (Psalm 23:6 Expanded Bible).
The Holy Spirit, also known as the Helper within the believer, encourages us to follow God’s ways and learn of Him. Our job is to step into that encouragement. What a blessing that the Helper enables us to know God in ways non-believers cannot.
However, the wicked, or ungodly, walk in confusion and fear because they do not follow God’s Word and ways. For disobedience to the Holy One there is an awful price to pay.
The kindness and severity of God can be seen throughout history—from Adam through our Savior Jesus Christ. By God’s kindness – through Jesus—we’ve been grafted into the cultivated tree—of Abraham. Solomon’s message is to encourage the righteous and help them stand strong in difficult times.
Prayer: Father, thank you for the Helper who leads us into obedience, truth, and confidence. He helps us know you better day by day.
The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold
[to separate the impurities of the metal],
And each is tested by the praise given to him
[and his response to it, whether humble or proud]
(Proverbs 27:21 AMP).
Solomon compares refining metal by fire to how we believers receive praise. It’s possible that we may be assessed better by what others say of us. However, humility, truthfulness, and the crucible of testing should display godly character in us.
Purity of Character
The melting points of silver and gold (precious metals) are well known by the jewelers and craftsmen. This treatment by fire removes impurities. We need to reject impurities in our character, speak the truth in love, deal honestly with others, and have compassion for all. This will reveal Christ-like character in us.
Things Praise Reveals
The Holy Spirit shaping your thoughts, intentions, and performance should be evident to all. I’ve found three useful and interesting interpretations of this proverb:
- A man’s character is displayed by the way he receives praise. On the other hand, living for the praise of man can lead to missing God’s intentions for us.
- A man is viewed by the things he praises. This can encourage or discourage us.
- A godly man dismisses the praise of unworthy substance—this process is a hard task. We must listen closely to the Holy Spirit on a regular basis and embrace it as a crucible for growing in Christ.
Building character is based on discipleship, Bible application, and steadfast faith in Jesus Christ. Humility, truthfulness, and the crucible of testing should display godly character in us.
Prayer: Father, I accept your crucible. Test me and try me to improve my character—I want to be like Jesus. Selah.
As a face is reflected in water,
so the heart reflects the real person
(Proverbs 27:19 NLT).
Solomon gets introspective with this verse. He uses the example of self-assessment and then being assessed by what others see in our actions, our speech, and our motives. This proverb needs some examination. God knows us inside and out, but others know us only by what they observe and hear.
We must see ourselves in the mirror of God’s assessment, the intent of our heart. God knows how we think, consider others and serve them. Godly character is built on spiritual action based on his Word.
What Others See
Do we love others as much as we love ourselves? Do we show it? What we do is viewed by others as part of our character. The optimum here would be to ask ourselves . . . “What would Jesus do?” Then do it that way.
Our challenge is to view ourselves as God would and act on it. Our heart, one with God’s, should be the compelling reason for what we think, do, and say. God knows us inside and out, but others know us only by what they observe and hear.
Prayer: Father, reveal to me how to respond to others, to meet peoples’ needs, and to encourage them. Thank you for lifting me up daily. Selah.