Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is trust in a faithless person in time of trouble. Proverbs 25:19
Many proverbs instruct the faithful to surround themselves with the right people. It matters who we trust. When things get tough and we need to turn to someone for help or comfort, choosing the right person makes all the difference. Who needs a bad tooth? Who would choose a lame foot? This proverb reminds us to put our trust in a person of faith—a brother or sister in Christ. This proverb also suggests that we are to be that trusted person for others.
Prayer - God of trust and faith, help me this day to be faithful to you and faithful to those who might need my help. Amen.
Written by Stacy Ikard, Senior Associate Pastor at WHPC
Like vinegar on a wound is one who sings songs to a heavy heart. Proverbs 25:20a
For thousands of years, in addition to many other uses, people have used vinegar to treat wounds—and, to a degree, it works. However, as many of us remember from chemistry class, vinegar is an acid. So you can apply it to a wound, but boy, it will not feel good—at least not at first. It’s going to sting. And it’s this stinging sensation that the proverb is likely referring to. When my heart is heavy, when I am hurting, even a well-meaning effort from a friend to lift me up—a chipper greeting, a funny joke, or a pretty song—it may sting. It may do more harm than good. It may not be the help or healing that I need.
I wonder how we can extend ourselves more graciously to others when they are hurting. It’s hard to admit, but often our efforts to cheer others up are more self-oriented than compassionate. Perhaps a heavy heart simply needs to be held. What might that look like in your life today?
Prayer - Loving God, our hearts get heavy sometimes—with grief, with fear, with doubt. Ease our burdens, and help us to carry the burdens of others with true compassion. Give us the courage to simply be with one another; to hold one another; and to hear one another in the hard times of life. Amen.
Written by Claire Berry, Associate Pastor at WHPC
Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. Proverbs 25:25
Apparently, feeling overwhelmed by “bad” news is not a new phenomenon! Even before the 24/7 news cycle, people yearned for good news. And the desire for good news wasn’t limited to one’s own community; good news anywhere is good news everywhere. We are now able to receive news from far countries all the time, and we should celebrate with God’s creation wherever good news comes from.
Prayer - God of all the earth, we welcome and rejoice in good news wherever it occurs. Help us to utilize the global communication tools we have to strengthen our unity with those all over the world. Amen.
Written by Caitlin Parsons, Seminary Intern at WHPC
Like a city breached, without walls, is one who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28
An unwalled city broken down is undefended and open to invaders. To such a city is compared the person who puts no restraint on their passions, desires, and affections; they have no defense when temptation assaults them, having lost self-control. Unfortunately, our human nature lends itself to immediate gratification and all-about-me-syndrome. The contemporary language of The Message is an interesting visual: “A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.” Sadly, the picture that came to mind was the news story of the recent protestors in Minneapolis looting and ransacking Target after the killing of George Floyd. For me personally, when I think of lacking self-control, it’s usually about overindulging on food and drink or spending money on things I don’t really need. But I’m encouraged by the fact that when we know Christ, we shall know ourselves. When we can truly say, “I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20), we can overcome temptations as the peace of God keeps our hearts and minds in Jesus.
Prayer - Dear God, you are our Rock and Defender. Thank you that through the indwelling Spirit of Christ we can overcome temptations we are faced with. Empower us to look outward for ways to better serve You, and in doing so, taking the focus off of ourselves. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Written by Teresa Ward, Director of Engagement at WHPC
Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife. Proverbs 26:20–21
Gossip often begins like this: “Did you know . . .?” In the middle of a dispute, this “revelation” can be incendiary, while withholding this information may help to ease the dispute. But we all know how difficult it is to withhold that choice morsel! It’s so easy to rationalize that we are contributing “important information,” not gossip. In the end, gossip is prideful. It is often an attempt to display our access to insider or secret information. It conveys to another a subtle message: “I’m in the know and you’re not.” Gossip can easily destroy friendships; it is inherently corrosive. In the book of James, we are reminded that the “tongue is also a fire able to corrupt the whole person,” and so often it does with gossip igniting the fire.
Prayer - Heavenly Father, help me in my struggle with gossip. Help me to discern what to share with others to build them up and not to build me up. In contentious situations, help me to control my tongue. It is in your Son’s holy name, we pray. Amen.
Written by Isaac Sanchez, Elder at WHPC