Proverbs for yesterday…Proverbs for today

Published 1:07 am Sunday, October 15, 2006

I love to peruse the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament because it contains all those short pithy sayings that seem to sum up an entire sermon in one brief statement. In our day of sound bites and limited time proverbs seem to have made a comeback. Awhile back a series of instructions on life books came out consisting solely of modern proverbs. I suppose my favorite pithy sayings are the kind you see on church signs. Some carry a real punch — almost shocking, some are funny, and all seem to convey a worthwhile message. Most of the modern proverbs I have collected sound like they might have first appeared on church lawns. Check these out:

When praying don’t give God instructions — just report for duty.

Don’t wait for six strong men to take you to church.

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Give God what’s right, not what’s left.

Man’s way leads to a hopeless end — God’s way leads to an endless hope.

A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.

He who kneels before God can stand before anyone.

In the sentence of life the devil may be a comma — but never let him become a period.

Never put a question mark where God puts a period.

Are you wrinkled with burden? Come to church and get a face lift.

We don’t change God’s message — His message changes us.

The church is prayer-conditioned.

When God ordains, He sustains.

Warning: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning.

Plan ahead — It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.

Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory position.

Suffering from truth decay? Brush up on the Bible.

Exercise daily — walk with the Lord.

Never give the devil a ride — he will always want to drive.

Nothing else ruins the truth like stretching it.

Compassion is hard to give away because it keeps on coming back.

He who angers you controls you.

Worry is the darkroom in which anger can develop.

Give Satan an inch and he’ll be a ruler.

Be ye fishers of men. You catch them and Hell clean them.

God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

Read the Bible — it will scare the hell out of you.

This proverb from the Bible even rhymes:

“Some people give much but get back even more.

Others don’t give what they should and end up poor.”

Proverbs 11:24

My favorite proverbs are about happiness. If you practice these guidelines faithfully you can be confident that you will find happiness:

Happiness does not just happen. Happiness is a choice.

Worry and happiness cannot coexist, so stop worrying.

Keep everything simple, especially your personal wants.

Give to others. A happy heart is a generous heart.

Don’t let set-backs throw you because happiness takes a a good measure of effort.

When you don’t get what you want remember that God has something better for you.

When things go bad and you are being tested, be aware that there is a purpose in all things and we learn as much from the bad as we do the good.

Practice being easy to like, even love, and the rest is up to the people around you.

The greatest measure of love is when you love without measure.

The happiest people in the world are those who practice their love for the person they marry and openly receive their love in return.

Never let your pride interfere with your happiness. It is better to lay aside your pride than to damage your relationships.

It is fruitless to keep looking for happiness in relationships outside your circle. It is wisdom to cherish the family members and friends you already have. Don’t lose them.

Happiness is never complete until you share it and the more you share it the happier you’ll be.

And finally, accept life as you find it.

God didn’t promise days without pain,

Laughter without sorrow, sun without rain.

But he did promise strength for the day,

Comfort for the tears, and light for the way.