Proverbs 24: 17 – 22 (The Message)
17-18 Don’t laugh when your enemy falls;
don’t crow over his collapse.
God might see, and become very provoked,
and then take pity on his plight.
19-20 Don’t bother your head with braggarts
or wish you could succeed like the wicked.
Those people have no future at all;
they’re headed down a dead-end street.
21-22 Fear God, dear child—respect your leaders;
don’t be defiant or mutinous.
Without warning your life can turn upside down,
and who knows how or when it might happen.
So that’s the end of the Thirty Wise Sayings. I’m not sure why those thirty are singled out for a list, because Solomon goes on for another 6 chapters of advice. But I think I’ll go back to picking and choosing the ones I like best. Hopefully, I won’t have to scratch my head as much.
From this last three, the one that catches my interest is the last one – “respect your leaders”. It seems to me that in the last few years, it is more common to complain about our leaders. We complain about the people leading our country, our province, our city, our church, the organizations we belong to, our kids’ school. You name it, we have something to complain about.
I understand that we don’t move forward and improve things unless we are willing to analyze and figure out where improvements are necessary. If we always just accepted the status quo, things would never get better. But the thing that improves things the most is not the criticisms. It is the willingness to jump in and help make things better. If we see a place where improvements need to be made, we also need to be the one who volunteers to help make those changes.
If anything, leaders need to be encouraged. A comment about how hard they work or how much you appreciate what they do is so uplifting. So think about the leaders you know. They don’t have to be some amazing, well-known person. They may be a member of staff at LSA. They may be on Session at our church. They may be leading your child’s Sunday School class. They may be organizing a neighbourhood event. They may be a leader at your child’s daycare or school. It may be your child’s teacher who is stressing over keeping everyone safe during Covid19. Make a comment, or write a note. Leave a small gift where they’ll find it with a ‘thank you’ written on it. Support the leaders you know by pitching in when they ask for help. So think about one leader you know and do some small thing to show your appreciation.
Our song for today is Grateful by Elevation Worship