Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death. Proverbs 10:2
In Proverbs the ends never justify the means. Wickedness and righteousness stand in clear opposition, and the way of Godliness clearly leads away from malevolent intentions. In my life, however, things are rarely this clear. Mixed motivations and compromises fill my days. For this day, I will focus on what I treasure—what matters most to me. My relationships, my status, my financial security, and my “place” in the world—these treasures I turn over to God. These things I ask for God to cleanse and redeem.
Prayer - Loving One, may I never profit from the pain and suffering of others. May the treasure of my life flow from a pure heart. Amen.
Written by Stacy Ikard, Senior Associate Pastor at WHPC
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. Proverbs 10:11
Like many proverbs, this one sets up a strong contrast. There are two kinds of people in the world . . .
Righteous and wicked people are set apart by their “mouths”—their modes of expression. The righteous person expresses himself freely, it seems, as a fountain gushes forth water. This effusive image makes me wonder if, ironically enough, the righteous person might not always say the “right” thing. He might go too fast, make mistakes, or need to repeat himself. But he speaks from the heart, and he says life-giving words of comfort, encouragement, hope, and love. I imagine that such a person can even speak freely about difficult topics, and that he can give and receive grace in conversation with others. The wicked person on the other hand—I wonder if he’s not just a little misguided. He holds back. He keeps secrets. Perhaps he is afraid. What is he afraid of? What are we afraid of when we keep secrets—when we hide our true feelings, thoughts, and actions from each other?
Prayer - Righteous God, give us the courage to live without fear or shame. Help us to know ourselves—and you. Allow us to speak freely, truthfully, and lovingly with one another. Give us encouraging words to say, and allow us to receive the kind words of others with open hearts. Amen.
Written by Claire Berry, Associate Pastor at WHPC
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. Proverbs 10:12
I write this the day after the funeral service for George Floyd in Houston. There has been so much hatred stirring up strife in our midst. But love; love wins. Love can win. We must let love win. How can I help love cover all offenses today? Every funeral I do, I am reminded that nothing in all creation—not even death—can separate anyone from the love of God in Christ Jesus. And so, for today, I will lean in to Jesus in hopes that his love fills me from head to toe. May the love of God in Christ through us cover the wrong in our midst.
Prayer - Loving and merciful God, I praise you for the abundance of your love. I praise you that nothing in this world can separate me from that love. Fill me with this love, and may my words and actions reflect that love today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Written by Emily Wright, Senior Pastor at WHPC
Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but one who rejects a rebuke goes astray. Proverbs 10:17
If we just stay faithful to our GPS, aren’t we sure to be headed in the right direction? If we don’t pay attention, we might take a wrong turn into a ditch with others following us. With Jesus as our GPS, we can be on the correct path to life as long as we accept the invitation. We will likely stumble and have to be redirected, but our course can always be corrected if we allow it with our faith.
Prayer - Father, lead me on the path to life as you have designed it. I know very little and surrender to your instruction and redirection so that I do not go astray. Amen.
Written by Mike Ussery, Elder at WHPC
When pride comes, so does shame, but wisdom brings humility. Proverbs 11:2
The world has a way of exposing our false sense of self-assurance and pride in ourselves for the illusion that it is. When we are too sure of ourselves and think we have it all under control, we discover a world that is more than willing to knock us off the pedestal we have created for ourselves. Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of the proverb says we “fall flat on our faces.” Only when we humbly realize that what we are and what we have are gifts from God can we be called wise.
Prayer - Lord, let this be a day in which I give up my foolish pride and humbly give thanks to you alone for your many gifts and blessings in my life. Amen.
Written by Bill Allaway, Deacon at WHPC