Pastor’s Desk June 1st

Scripture Passage:  “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, says he to you, but his heart is not with you.”  Proverbs 23:7

Dear Friends,

     So much of what Solomon wrote about in his proverbs deal with the integrity and character of a man.  He does a masterful job comparing and contrasting their similarities and differences.  He compares the wise man with the fool.  He compares the working class with the lazy, entitled caste.  He compares the righteous with the wicked.  He compares the sober with the drunk.  He compares the virtuous woman with the woman of ill repute.  Now in Proverbs 23: 6-8, he compares the miser who is stingy, with a good man who invites you to a feast for the right motives and intent.  There is an old saying, “Not everything that glitters is gold.”  Such is the moral of the lesson presented in the proverb for today. 

     Our society, as well as most through history, has been made up of those who have, and those who have not.  The difference in the United States is a group that falls in the category somewhere in between.  We call this the Middle Class.  The Middle Class does not own enough to be classified as rich, but they own too much to be considered poor.  (On a side-note, in most other countries our Middle Class would be considered wealthy.)  There are a lot of events and social galas held in America that are little more than exhibitions of the lifestyles of the rich and famous.  The guest list of who is invited and where they will sit, shows the person’s position in society and what they have to offer.  Many times the host has invited the guest only to manipulate them to obtain benefits that further their agenda.  The guest may feel special for being invited, but are totally unaware of the hypocrisy of the host’s generosity.  The host actually loathes having invited them and begrudges every bite of food they put in their mouth.  They put up a good front, but eventually the true sincerity of their heart becomes evident.  The guest leaves the party with a sick stomach caused by the hypocrisy. 

     What is the lesson for us today from Solomon’s proverb?  Actually there are several.  First, a good friend is to be chosen by who he is rather than what he has.  In this type of friendship, both persons benefit and no one ends up being used.  Secondly, a tiger cannot his strips.  You can put him in a petting zoo if you like, but he still has the heart and tendencies of a tiger.  So it is with mankind.  If God does not transform the heart, a man will always be selfish, self-centered and sinful.   You can mask these tendencies for only so long.  Eventually the true character comes out, often with sickening results.  Third, a man with a good name always has a good heart.  They are identified by the people who know them best as people whose actions match or exceed their talk.  Finally, be the best “You” that you can be.  No one knows you like you know yourself.  As you think in your heart – that is who you really are.  Strive to be a man of character and a person after God’s own heart. The world will be a better place for it.

In Christ, Pastor Johnny