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Discipline Of The Mind. Controlling The Uncontrollable. (Understanding the Proverbs)

Let not your heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.

Proverbs 23:17

That is to say, don’t be envious of sinful people; let reverence for the LORD be the concern of your life.

The verse above speaks of temperament, or the way in which we conduct ourselves daily in reaction to all things.

Let not your heart be envious of sinners. The sinner spoken of here is not primarily the practicing acts of sin, but someone who doesn’t claim the faith, but is prosperous, like those of the world and the worldly riches. Or even friends or family who aren't serving the LORD, but their riches are seen by your lack thereof.

For this perception, do not be jealous. Instead, let the LORD be your focus, hence the phrase; let the reverence for the LORD be the concern of your life. Observe, the latter of the phrase which reads, “your life.” That is to say, your focus on the LORD shall not be of a weekly matter, or certain days, but let it be all the days of your life, a way of life.

How can one accept and learn such a way of life? Concerning this, let us take a closer look at the verse through a deeper exposition. The phrase “the day,” spoken of in the verse is from the Hebrew word yôm, which has its connection to the idea of a hot day. So then, what does one do on a hot day when they are hot, bothered, and uncomfortable?

The focus is not to get rid of the sun, but the individual tries to stay calm and cool by finding a cooler spot away from the heat. Do they position themselves in the scorching heat and battle with the experience of being hot? Certainly not, the concern is to cool off. Such should be the believers at times, when things are bothersome to us that we cannot control, we have within us the will to avoid that which will cause a problem for us, in this case through envy and jealousy. Our cool place is the composure of the mind by not allowing the worst of our temperament. This always shall be a reminder, if the LORD is our focus. Knowing that He is watching us, let us act accordingly. Learn to stay away from the heat of life and be determined to find your cool place, now and always.

Blessed is the man that trusts in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreads out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

Jeremiah 17:7-8

Illustratively speaking, you are that tree. Observe, the tree didn’t grow randomly, but it was planted, meaning, He who planted you has a plan for your life. And you will bring forth your fruit, when the time is right.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he does shall prosper.

Psalms 1:3

Study Reference

  • Psalm 40:4

  • Psalm 128:2

  • Isaiah 3:10

  • Proverbs 15:16

  • Proverbs 14:30

  • Proverbs 3:31

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