I. Prayer to enter the Lord’s presence:
Be still for a moment. “Lord, I give the day that is now past to you. It is yours. I give the day that is to come to you; help me to see where you are working and to join you there. Speak to me during these moments. I commit them and myself to you.”
II. Prayer of Confession:
“Lord, you are faithful to forgive me and cleanse me of my sin when I confess it to you. I confess my sin(s) of ______________. Thank you for forgiveness.” (1 John 1:9)
III. Prayer of Thanksgiving:
Choose to be thankful, speak out loud of what God has done.
“Thank you, Father, for _________________. Fill my heart and my mouth with gratitude throughout this day.”
IV. Scripture Reflection
Read: Proverbs Chapter 29
8 Mockers stir up a city,
but the wise turn away anger.
When I think of a mocker, the Mayhem character in the Allstate commercials is what comes to mind. Sure, the ads are intended to be funny, and they are. But in reality, what Mayhem does is no laughing matter. He can be described as the Mocker. A Mocker is a radical fool. It’s someone who lacks wisdom and ridicules those who have it. They’re people who get enjoyment from stirring the pot. They keep things in an uproar. They’re the ones at work who get everyone stressed out, angry, and worked up! They are always sowing the seeds of dispute and division. Mockers are horrible people to be around! Even now, as you read this, there’s probably someone who comes to mind. We’ve all been around them. If you’re having a hard time thinking of anyone, let me help you out—just open up your Twitter or any other social platform where people are free to spew their opinions. Most of those feeds are train wrecks—they’re filled with mockery! The proverb makes it clear that we’re not to be like the Mocker.
Now look at the second line, what is it that the wise do? Well, they turn away anger, encourage peace, and maintain harmony. I like the term “turn away.” It has the sense of causing one to retrace a course. In other words, to stop, slow down, and back up. It’s like when you’ve worked on a puzzle for so long that all you see is one small part of the puzzle. It’s not till you stop, stand up, and move back so you can see the whole thing that you can get a clear perspective on where you are. Sometimes, this is all that is needed to deescalate a mocker’s destructive wake.
Wisdom is what’s valued in this proverb. The virtue is having the character to be self-controlled and conduct oneself in a manner that brings a calming peaceable sense to a given situation. These kinds of people—the wise—are valued because they bring a sense of security. Remember the movie, We Were Soldiers? In the middle of an intense battle, a soldier comes running by Colonel Moore shouting, “We’re being overrun!” To which Colonel Moore calmly says, “Nah, Boys! We’re gonna win this fight.” Do you see the virtue in his stature? He was strong, confident, steady, and in control. That’s an example of the wise. The vices of the Mocker only rip a city apart.
So what about you? How would people describe you as a Mocker or the Wise? Choose to walk the path of wisdom. If you’ve taken the wrong fork in the road, then stop and get back on the proper path!
V. Prayer for others:
Pray specifically for the concerns of your life and the lives of others.
VI. Prayer of commitment:
“Lord God, I commit to love you with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and with all my mind and to love my neighbor as myself. Empower me today to love you and others with everything that I am.” (Luke 10:27)
This Week’s Scripture Memory:
Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech: “How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?