Enjoy Good Things

Proverbs 13:1-2

1A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes. 2From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things, but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence.


         It’s graduation time! They publish pictures and videos of graduation rites!

Someone published her testimony after she collected her diploma from law school recently. What made her decide to study in law school? Business success led to painful divorce, but she found no lawyers who can sympathize with her situation. And that was what motivated her to pursue a degree in law, and to help women who may endure similar painful divorce that she has gone through.

         Sometimes, God allows painful experiences to force us follow the path that he designed in advance for us to take. Do you accept that reality?

Together, let us reflect on the painful experience of Abraham as a father narrated in Genesis 21:9-13,  9Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” 11The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. 13I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”

         God promised Abraham to have a son with Sarah in their old age. Sarah had creative idea on how to fulfill the promise of God. She gave her Egyptian servant Hagar to Abraham. Abraham slept with Hagar, and his son Ishmael was born. Abraham may have cherished his son Ishmael because Ishmael was his firstborn son. That was not God’s plan for Abraham and Sarah to have a son.

         Sarah learned that her idea of helping God produced fruit not favorable to her. Abraham learned painful lesson; he should wait for divine timing of God.

         God is our heavenly Father. He knows what is best for us. He allows us to endure painful experiences for us to learn very carefully that his righteous ways are designed for our favor, not to deprive us. Foolish children disregard rebukes. But we heed and pay attentive to him as sensible and wise children of God.

1.  Wise

1A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.

         It is very, interesting, isn’t it? This proverb specifically describes children who pay attention to instruction of their father as wise. In contrast, it describes children who disregard or unresponsive to rebuke as mocker, foolish or unwise.

         When we obey our heavenly Father, it shows that we are wise to trust him.

         So when we disregard him, does it mean that we are mockers or foolish?

         Together, let us reflect on what the Lord had declared in Isaiah 55:8-9.

 8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

          So, no matter how eager we are to preach and talk about the many good things that God had prepared for obedient believers, if his Holy Spirit had not regenerated their heart and mind, they will ignore the Lord. Likewise, children could be academically talented, but they’re not ready to obey their parents, why? The mindset of parents has adjusted to more responsible level. Do you agree?

         Moreover, when we trust God and his promises, testify of his goodness and talk about the Scripture, people who have no faith in God readily ignore it. Why? It’s because not by intellect but by faith given by God that we trust him.


         Together, let us learn from the narrative in Matthew 9:20-22, 20A woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” 22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

The woman had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse according to the Gospel of Mark. Bleeding woman was unclean in Hebrew culture; whoever she touches becomes unclean also. Yet, she touched the cloak of Jesus, and she became clean. In the original manuscript, the term translated touch can be interpreted as hold onto, attached or fasten as compared to slight touch.

         Jesus said that her faith healed her. What kind of faith she had? It was her strong confidence that she will be healed her if she could fasten herself in Jesus. Indeed, she was healed. Her faith must have come from God and trusted Jesus. Her story is another practical proof that we can enjoy many good things in Christ.

         It’s wise to listen attentively and obey the Lord. When seeking for medical treatment, pray for your doctor, too. When prayer is last option it is wrong option.

2.  Wrong

2From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things, but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence.

         The term violence pertains to anything wrong that may harm other people.

Parents who sense reverent fear of the Lord would advice their children in righteousness. It’s also advisable for parents to have good grasp or knowledge of the Scripture to know what godly instructions they should advise their children.

Parents are given responsibilities to train and discipline their children. Confusion, disagreement, and argument between children and parents about what is right or what they wanted, are practical proofs that no parent is expert in parenting.

Boxing Gloves

         When our children were toddlers, they cannot agree of many things. So, almost every day they quarreled about toys and many other things. I tried some old tricks of scolding them but they keep on quarreling. I did not want them to think that I love scolding them; so, I bought two pairs of boxing gloves.

         I told them that if they quarrel, they use the boxing gloves and box each other until they are tired. They used their boxing gloves once, and it was the last time they hurt themselves. What do you think? Does it please the Lord to teach children box each other when they quarrel? Or is it wrong parenting style?

         Parenting requires wisdom. We need wisdom in other responsibilities for us to perform the best of our abilities. But as children of God, we’ve got to be aware what pleases our heavenly Father. When children pay attention to godly advices of their parents, will they enjoy many good things? What do you think?

         In this generation, many adults disregard or abhor discipline from their own parents. So when they become parents, they befriend their children. Parents and children as friends seem like admirable! Is it biblical for parents and children to be friends? Should parents treat their children like they treat friends? How can anyone discipline their friends? Is it biblical for friends to discipline their friends?

         Many children disrespect their parents, why? Do they think that they are mentally mature enough like their parents? Children who are not disciplined by their parents most possibly grow to have appetite for violence or commit crimes.

         Together, let us meditatively reflect on what it says in Deuteronomy 6:5-7:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Immediately after the Lord commanded us to love him, we are instructed to impress his commands on our children. Can you accept that as practical proof of love for the Lord, top priority of parents is to teach their children the commands of the Lord? What is the most practical way for parents to practice love of the Lord?

Parenting, that is to bring up and train our children in godly instruction. So, if you parents say, “I love the Lord with all my heart, soul and strength,” you have to be prayerful, ask wisdom to perform parenting in godly righteousness.

Parents: If you wish to befriend your children, pray for parental wisdom.

And children, if you hope to be parents one day, start praying for parental wisdom now, so that, you would be ready when parenting responsibility comes. Pray for wisdom also to discern godly instructions beneficial to you personally.

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