Proverbs talks about seven types of women.
THE CONTENTIOUS (brawling) WOMAN ~ Prov. 21:9
“It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.”
A contentious woman is a miserable woman. She will ruin any person’s peace of mind and happiness. She has deep disturbing issues that are behind her constant quarreling and strife.
A contentious woman always has an axe to grind. She is hateful, spiteful, vengeful, and repulsive.
She tears her own house down, ruins her own marriage as well as any other potential relationship.
The more she ruins, the more miserable she becomes. It’s a vicious cycle that never ends. Happiness will always allude her and peace of mind is never to be found.
If she has children, she lives vicariously through them. They love her, but she also plays the ‘Poor is me’ card and makes them feel indebted to her. Unless her children are strong with minds of their own, she will control them also.
She lies, she spies, and she cries wolf to any who would be gullible enough to stop and listen.
It perhaps is true that the underlying reason for her behavior is rooted in pain, neglect, abuse of some sort, and ill treatment from the past, but this is never a legitimate reason for such evil behavior.
Life for her is burdensome and she never seems to live up to her God-given potential. Her abilities and skills are stifled and limited due to her behavior.
Eventually everyone who comes in contact with her either despises her, or avoids her. Her reputation speaks for itself. Years can go by and her progress and growth is stunted.
Some men fall into her grasp because of their own deficiencies. Actually, she pursues them and they mistake that for true attraction or love. Once she has them, they come to find out that they are in a hell of a situation that they can’t get out of. They either ‘die out’ or are forever ‘punished’ by her. The grief she causes diminishes the man’s health.
Stay far away from this type of woman! She is everywhere! She's found in the workplace, in the community, at the grocery store, in the church, in the family, and in government institutions!
Although she is everywhere, we can avoid run-ins with her. Your frustration and anger with her can be deferred by understanding that her behavior and responses to life is often not about you! It's deep seated and rooted in negative childhood experiences. Most of the negative stuff we see in others stems from some sort of trauma from their childhood. It helps to understand that because it will adjust our thinking and restrain any negative reactions we might want to respond with.
She's a challenge for all, but with the help of the Lord, we won't feed the monster in her or fall into her trap!
God says this about her:
Prov. 9:13 "She is loud and in your face."
Prov. 21"19 "You're better off living in a desert than living with her."
Prov. 12:4 "She's like a bone eating disease."
"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well."
You were designed to stand out! You were created with unique qualities that differ from everyone else! God is not into clones!
Each Christian bares an aspect of God's personality that has to be visible to all you come in contact with. You will never find two people who are exactly the same. There may be similarities, but they will always be different.
Society and all of its advertisements are constantly telling us that we should join the crowd. The pressure, for some, to fit in-in order to be accepted has created stress and confusion.
Unfortunately, for those who refuse to fit in, there's a price to pay in that you are talked about negatively. But that's okay! It only speaks to the insecurities of others who, for whatever reasons, are afraid to be who they should be. Negative behavior is used by them to manipulate, and control others by making them feel like they will be ostracized if they don't fall in line. This type of mentality is plagued with jealousy, envy, and a host of other insufficiencies.
God made no mistake when He created you with the personality, ability, and uniqueness that you possess. He packaged you in the way He knew would be the most effective! Don't let anyone try to hinder you from being your true, authentic self!
You were born to stand out! There are people who are waiting to cross your path who need everything God has given you. Don't short change them! Don't be concerned about who likes you and who doesn't. The people who treat you negatively are often the very ones who admire you!
Be proud of who you are! Be proud of how God has wired you! As you spend time in His presence, He will tweak the things that need adjusting, but outside of that, you serve a special purpose in His kingdom. Never forget that!
Each day that you wake up and realize that you are still alive, set out to make a lasting impression on your corner of the world! Make a difference for God! Make a difference in the lives of all those around you! In all you do, NEVER TRY TO FIT IN!
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men freely, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
We all want success to follow us in everything we do. We want to succeed in the work place, and in our private lives. Most of us are trying to reach the goals that we have set. There's the hard work and the expectation that follows. But what happens when we've done all we can do and still missed the mark? The disappointment can send us reeling the other way. Often, we feel as though we have utterly failed!
As long as I have been alive, I have heard people say over and over again, "Money talks", and "It's all in who you know!" Well, I ain't got no money, at least not to pay what 'under the table' folk want to make something happen for me, and I guess I don't know the people in the 'power seat' or connected to one that could push me to the front of the line. But this I do know, there is truth in "It's all in who you know!"
God personally told me that the world was formed by His wisdom and that He is Wisdom personified! He is the source of it all! Look how fearfully and wonderfully your body and structure was made! Who did that? Who spoke this world into existence? Who holds everything together, the planets, the sun, and the moon? If you agree with me that God has done it all, then He's the person we are in close connection and contact with who can make our lives a true success!
The key to success is to have God's wisdom! He has the divine ability to arrange every area of your life in a way that will make you a winner! The question is, how do you define success? God is not a jeanie in a bottle. He is interested in every detail of our lives from the insignificant to the significant. He knows exactly how we can be successful at everything we do. He knows what it will take to reach that goal and who we need along side us to assist us in the process.
I've always loved this Bible verse because it has brought me comfort and peace on many occasions when I just didn't know what to do, and making a decision on my own was not an option. This verse tells us that wisdom comes when we simply ask God for it! It also tells us that our past mistakes and foolish decisions don't ruin our chances for getting the wisdom we need for the moment. That is such a blessing to hear!
You can know what you need to do, but not know the best way to go about it. You many know what you need, but not know how to get what ever it is. Wisdom is the ability to know how to go about dong what needs to be done. It is knowing how to reach that goal. Wisdom addresses all of the particulars of a situation and carves out the path that leads to success! Success is different for each person.
When we trust God, we let Him decide the path that is best for us. Sometimes He can take you in a direction that seems strange and unorthodox, but believe me, in the end, it works! Not only does His way work, He always throws some perks in there along the way, things you never thought to ask for. That's because He is a detail oriented God! He is anal minded when left to plan our lives.
So, when you just don't know what to do, simply trust God and ask Him for some wisdom!
"Walk in wisdom toward them that are without (unbelievers), redeeming the time."
Unbelievers should not see us wasting time, or wasting our talents. They should see that we value life, and what God has given to us. They should never get the impression that we're lazy. They will speak against our faith if they see these things, or speak well of it for the opposite of these things.
Everything that we engage in, on the daily, should be looked at in terms of 'Time', time that will count for eternity. There's a lot of frivolous stuff out there to do. Even the things that are 'good' for us to do, can occupy too much of our time if we are not wise and careful.
We are ambassadors for Christ. How are we representing Him? We each tell a story of what is going on in our lives by the things we participate in, as well as the amount of time we spend doing them. What impression are others getting from us? Do they see that we are just as caught up in the world's entertainment as they are? Have they ever noticed that you or I choose to separate ourselves from certain activities?
When I think about things that count for eternity, I wonder if my activities, on earth, will be of value in heaven. My talents, and abilities, have to be of value beyond this earthly realm. Using my skills to draw others to God is especially important to me. It can't be all about benefiting me, and me alone. It's not about the money I can make, or the attention it brings. It's really about getting honor and glory for God in the end because that's what counts for all eternity. It must have eternal value!
What are you occupied with each day? How do you carry yourself on the job? Are you consciously aware of what others may see as you perform your duties day in, and day out? Can they even tell that you are a Christian, or do they see you as merely religous?
As things wind down upon the earth, the time is getting closer for our Lord and Savior to break through the clouds and call for His own. How have you and I lived out our Christian lives so far? What do we have to show for the years we've been saved? Will you or I be ashamed at His coming?
Let's get better, and better each week, at redeeming the time. Remember, yesterday has passed and we cannot go back and undo anything. All we have is today, this moment, this second. Don't waste any more time, redeem it instead!
"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you."
Perhaps the root of contention and strife among Christians is due to 'Pride'. The type of 'Pride' I am speaking about is the one that makes a person conceited. Pride causes strife, arguments, rivalry, jealousy, and along with that comes envy. It's a package deal.
Proud people are conceited people, and what will always follow them is contention. The atmosphere of conflict (heated disagreements) surrounds them because they want to always be on top, and listened to, and acknowledged, and affirmed. No one else can shine around them. No one else is as important, talented, knowledgable or worthy in their eyes. Imagine the problems that can engulf a church when this is present in the midst.
Proverbs 13:10 tells us that, "Only by pride cometh contention." We cannot thrive healthily together as believers with this permeating the atmosphere.
The detriment of thinking too much of ourselves allows jealousy and envy to take over our hearts. When that happens, all hell brakes loose! Our flesh doesn't just stop there! The devil loves to work with 'Pride'. He uses it to cause division, and strife. He pits us against each other which then can make us speak evil against our brother or sister.
We all need a healthy dose of self esteem. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging our God given skill and potential. We need that in order to step out in faith and accomplish what God has given us to do on His behalf. However, when things get to the point where we can't handle the skill and potential of others, we are now in trouble. Pride has taken over.
It happens to the best of us at times. It creeps in when we least expect it. The negative aspect of pride can also come in when we have achieved certain goals or have gained greater possessions.
There is also a flip side to 'Pride'. Its the 'Woe Is Me' spirit and attitude. A person who has the tendency to draw attention to the helpless situation they're in, places way too much emphasis on 'Self'. It gains them more than the healthy attention they need.
Don't let your head become too heavy to carry! God has a way of deflating it. What He uses to humble us , if need be, will cost us in the end.
Luke 5:4 "Launch out into the deep and cast your nets."
Where does our success lie? We are always being swayed by experts to: "Do these seven things for success", or "You must have these three things in order to accomplish", or "You need these things for this or that to happen." I'll be the first to tell you that in my area of business as an author/artist, rarely has any of that advice worked for me.
What I have found is this; God knows where success lies for each individual! Trust your way to Him! I abandoned all advice from the 'so called' experts and used a little ingenuity, wisdom, and common sense. That has worked for me. My strategy is to commit my way unto the Lord with all that I am doing. I water it with prayer, I seek Him for His wisdom and advice, and making sure that I have done all I was suppose to do, I leave it there. I have been successful using this process!
God knows where we should be casting our 'Nets'! He told these men, the disciples, to launch out into the deep! Now, they were skilled fishermen, however, there was a greater blessing awaiting them that they hadn't even anticipated or even thought about. At that given time, in the deeper waters was where their success lied. They failed to follow the Lord God's directions to the 'T'. They received a blessing, but they were limited because they only casted one 'Net' as oppose to 'Nets'.
We get excited when we experience a blessing from God, but He is able and willing to do exceedingly, and abundantly, beyond anything we could ever imagine when we obey His every word!
Launch out! That's where the incredible blessings lie, always at the deeper end of the ocean! It will take faith to be willing to see the 'Deep' as the place where our bounty comes from. The deep holds challenges, a new approach, a place never traveled before, a new face to hardship, but often, it is where our jewels lie. It will take us out of our comfort zone for sure! The experience may even make you to wonder if you made the right choice or not.
All is well for us when we trust our way to God! He handles the rest! He guides with His meticulous eye, and aligns all things with His will. The greater blessing is all ours!
The question is, "How do you spell success?" Be cautioned, the world spells 'Success' differently from how God holds it! That's all the more reason why we need His guidance and direction. What might seem successful by this world's standards, may not be success for you! Always keep that in mind. God's success is 'Tailor Made' just for you!
So, the next time you are trying to get the most from your business, position on the job, selling goods, or administering aid to those in need, ask God for His wisdom as to where the 'SWEET SPOT' is, and let Him guide your actions and decisions. You will see what I'm talking about. His wisdom will save you time, money, and energy! He knows exactly where the blessings lie! He holds the key to 'Success', So...CAST YOUR NETS!
"And they did eat, and were filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets."
We are living in times of great difficulty. Every generation has had their take on this issue of the last days. We are living in the last days of the last days. The world is empty and cold right along with society's handling of mankind. The local church is failing continually. Spiritual food is scarce within the walls of the religious sector. The local testimony has succumb to the world and its ways of doing things. The people are dumbed down, more and more, insensitive, and ignorant to the ways of the enemy. So what are the 'Spiritual' men and 'Spiritual' women to do ?
The key is in Luke 9:17. At God's table, there is bread enough to spare! Each of us have access to a Bible, right? We are to feed on Christ and His words daily. It is food and nourishment for our souls. He is enough! We can have as much of Him as we desire! God never stops us from feasting on Him. His food pantry is open 24/7 and then some. There are always left overs!
Do you spend time in His presence each and every day? Do you walk away after the appetizer is served, or do you stick around for the main course? You cannot rush in and out of God's presence expecting to get fed! If you are interested in building a relationship with the Lord, it takes time. In ordinary relationships, we invest time with the person with whom we are interested in. There is communication between both individuals. There is the exchange of thoughts and feelings, and the sharing of problems. It's the same in a relationship with the Lord. He speaks, we listen, we speak, and He listens. He instructs, we set out to obey, we tell Him all about our struggles, and He actively steps in to help us in any way help is needed.
Not only is there bread enough for us, as we sit at His feet each day, there is bread left over. We can share with others what we've been feasting on. Scripture doesn't tell us what the disciples did with the fragments that remained after the feeding of the feeding of the 5,000 men, but I can assure you, it didn't go to waste!
The Lord God is more than capable to feed us with all the food and nutrients we need for the days journey! We can have as much of Him as we want. We can get a full, complete meal, as many times a day, as we can handle.
It never runs out!
I have found Him to be enough when the pulpit wasn't! I have found Him to be enough when the fellowship wasn't! I have found Him to be enough when all those around me bailed! I have found Him to be enough when as a 'Black Woman', I got no respect in the church and out of the church! I have found Him to be enough!!
We are in terrible times, times that want nothing to do with Christ. Our nation, and all of the nations, are in trouble. Those who should have the answers, don't know what to do about anything. We have the answers for a sick and dying world. We hold the key to survival, to peace, to joy, and to contentment! Let's, you and I, feast on Him daily and feed the hungry while introducing others to Christ!