Proverbs Chapter 18, Verse 9 (Amplified Bible)
He who is loose and slack in his work is brother to him who is a destroyer and he who does not use his endeavors to heal himself is brother to him who commits suicide.
Wow! Heavy! So taking care of oneself may not be egotistical but rather an ethical imperative. This reminds me of what Benson Agbortogo writes about in his new book The Business System that Never Fails. He makes the point that love of self is one of the three pillars of success in business. Your thoughts?
Proverbs 18:5 (Amplified Bible)
5 To respect the person of the wicked and be partial to him, so as to deprive the [consistently] righteous of justice, is not good.
This struck me hard this morning. There is indeed an opportunity cost to some apparently good conduct. It may appear right to give a priority to the squeaking person, but since time and energy are always limited this comes at the cost of not devoting the time and energy to clearly good people and causes. This is a tough one for me. Aren’t we supposed to respect all. Please help me sort this one out.
Read the book of Proverbs humbly and prayerfully. Let’s look at Proverbs 16: 32 as an example.
“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, he who rules his [own] spirit than he who takes a city.”
The arrogant and foolish way to think when reading this goes something like, “I am better than the mighty because I am slow to anger. I am better than a conqueror of cities because I keep my own spirit under control.” The wise and humble reading yields something like “I really need to guard against sudden anger like the other day when I really got miffed. I would like to have my spirit under control but plenty of times I don’t.”
The humble and wise approach leads to powerful prayer to claim the golden treasure Proverbs offers. In this case the prayer goes something like this. “Lord, thank you for this opportunity to improve my life. I ask you to lead me into victory over my anger and control over my spirit.”
If you try this out, please let me know how it works for you.