Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but those who are kind to the needy honor him. Proverbs 14:31
The ancient wisdom of the Proverbs declares again and again that our dealings with those in need—those with less power and fewer resources—is a measure of our faithfulness and devotion to our God. The God who made us also created our brothers and sisters, and to care for them is to honor our Maker. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus echoes this teaching, saying Blessed are you poor, because yours is the Kingdom of God (Luke 6:20). Drawing close to the poor and needy brings us close to God’s Kingdom as well.
Prayer - God, teach me to honor and serve those in need as I strive to honor and serve you. Amen.
Written by Stacy Ikard, Senior Associate Pastor at WHPC
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
If you and I disagree, we can smooth things over quickly, so long as we are gentle in our speaking and attentive in our listening. Harsh words are to be avoided; they might drive a wedge between us.
Such a reading, which emphasizes conflict avoidance, is good to a point. But it’s worth remembering that hard words and anger are not altogether bad. Sometimes it takes a harsh word for me to realize that I have a problem in some area of my life, or that I have done something wrong or unjust that needs amending. I pray that I can hear a harsh word in such a case—whether it comes loudly or softly—and engage conflict compassionately, rather than just hedging or avoiding it.
Prayer - Compassionate God, help me to speak the truth in love today, with my family and my friends, with my co-workers and my neighbors. If I should meet a stranger or an enemy this day, help me to show them the compassion of Christ. Should challenge or conflict arise, calm my spirit, drive out fear, and help me to be a peacemaker and reconciler for the sake of your Son, in whom I pray. Amen.
Written by Claire Berry, Associate Pastor at WHPC
A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken. The mind of one who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly. Proverbs 15:13–14
I read an article that said during Zoom calls we lose most of the body language necessary to interact with others. This has forced me to really consider my facial expressions when others are talking, since that is all there is to see. I have been amazed at how some friends and staff have picked up on when I am not in a good place. Whether discouraged about personal or public things, each time I have been in a “blue” place, someone will private message me, “Are you OK?” My countenance is not cheerful because my heart is not glad in that moment. What comforts me is that some are so attentive to the countenance of others that they can discern when a spirit is broken. These folks have minds of understanding seeking knowledge. This challenges me to be attentive on these calls, paying attention to the facial expressions and asking God for wisdom in how to care for others as so many have done for me.
Prayer - Wonderful God, I praise you for the ways you have gifted people with knowledge. Especially today, I give you thanks for people who are gifted listeners—not just to words, but to facial expressions and body language. Fill me with your knowledge that I might help cheer those broken in spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Written by Emily Wright, Senior Pastor at WHPC
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the bones. The ear that listens to life-giving correction will dwell among the wise. Proverbs 15:30–31
Anytime that I am out among nature, I get a panoramic view of some of the resplendent images that God has provided for us and it brings a sense of awe and pleasure. I gain strength and peace in the beautiful splendor of nature. These settings also give us prime time to listen to God for guidance and direction, which hopefully we can gratefully accept and obey. This is the instruction that brings life and God’s wisdom, rather than that which comes from our own life experiences.
Prayer - Lord, you are am amazing God who has provided us with so much to live life abundantly. Let us pay attention to what you want for our lives and lead us down that path. In Jesus name, Amen.
Written by Mike Ussery, Elder at WHPC
All one’s ways may be pure in one’s own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:2–3
I remember watching a group of students working for hours on a large project without reading the written guidance given to them. I suggested many times they read the manual but they ignored me. I envision God watching over us with his arms crossed, shaking his head as he watches us do things our own way. Or worse, doing something our way and then asking him to bless it and convincing ourselves it was his plan.
Prayer - Lord, guide our spirits toward your glorification in all we do. Help us acknowledge that we cannot trust our own eyes so we can humbly seek your ways. Amen.
Written by Dawn Scott, Library Assistant at WHPC