Today’s post is straight from the old alohilana blog files (affectionately known around here as the vault). I find that these topics are circular in my life, and the meditations are timeless, so here we are, 14 years later, soaking in the same lessons. I hope this one speaks to you today!
Have you ever felt like the worst person in the world because someone told you how nice you were?
I know, I know, that’s a weird opener.
It’s a for real thing, though. I was standing in line at the post office just, you know, waiting on the 11,000 people in front of me to handle their business so I could get to the counter.
Finally, it’s my turn. The clerk is familiar (we’ve exchanged pleasantries) but I’m not gonna lie, I’m not any friendlier than normal as I greet him today.
This time, he’s ready to chat.
‘Hey, you know what? There’s something different about you. The spirit of God is just all around you. You remind me of Proverbs 15’.
As y’all might expect, that compliment sent me into a tailspin because ADHD is a thing and my brain, well, she’s hyped up on it 99% of the time.
‘Proverbs 15? Does he mean Proverbs 31? I mean, that’s the famous one about women. I wonder if he’s mixed up? Gosh, how ridiculous am I, questioning this stranger’s knowledge of the Bible? Besides, maybe I’m not as precious as the far above rubies lady. I should work on that, right? Maybe it’s a sign. I’m always on the lookout for a sign. Should I aspire to Proverbs 31, or double back to this chapter instead? Should I follow up with anything? Is there a scripture I should complement him with? Is that actually a thing? Would it be weird to just volley scripture complements at each other? Who would be the first to tap out? Ugh, I shouldn’t think that way. I’m not a snob. Get your act together, girl’.
What came out of my mouth was more along the lines of ‘really? Me? That’s such a kind thing for you to say’.
‘Yep. Look it up when you get home. Proverbs 15’ he says, with all of the confidence of someone absolutely assured in his scriptural knowledge.
Who am I to argue?
So I went home and promptly forgot all about it, honestly. But I DID remember and circle back eventually.
And here’s the deal. My friend at the post office wasn’t specific about which part of Proverbs 15 applies to me, but I’m not gonna lie, I felt more guilty than proud. I know me, y’all. I know that I don’t always embody these verses in the flesh.
Here’s the chapter in full, in case you’re curious:
A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.
Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise; fools are leaky faucets, dripping nonsense.
God doesn’t miss a thing—he’s alert to good and evil alike.
Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim.
Moral dropouts won’t listen to their elders; welcoming correction is a mark of good sense.
The lives of God-loyal people flourish; a misspent life is soon bankrupt.
Perceptive words spread knowledge; fools are hollow—there’s nothing to them.
God can’t stand pious poses, but he delights in genuine prayers.
A life frittered away disgusts God; he loves those who run straight for the finish line.
It’s a school of hard knocks for those who leave God’s path, a dead-end street for those who hate God’s rules.
Even hell holds no secrets from God; do you think he can’t read human hearts?
Know-it-alls don’t like being told what to do; they avoid the company of wise men and women.
A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.
An intelligent person is always eager to take in more truth; fools feed on fast-food fads and fancies.
A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song.
A simple life in the Fear-of-God is better than a rich life with a ton of headaches.
Better a bread crust shared in love than a slab of prime rib served in hate.
Hot tempers start fights; a calm, cool spirit keeps the peace.
The path of lazy people is overgrown with briers; the diligent walk down a smooth road.
Intelligent children make their parents proud; lazy students embarrass their parents.
The empty-headed treat life as a plaything; the perceptive grasp its meaning and make a go of it.
Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail; take good counsel and watch them succeed.
Congenial conversation—what a pleasure! The right word at the right time—beautiful!
Life ascends to the heights for the thoughtful— it’s a clean about-face from descent into hell.
God smashes the pretensions of the arrogant; he stands with those who have no standing.
God can’t stand evil scheming, but he puts words of grace and beauty on display.
A greedy and grasping person destroys community; those who refuse to exploit live and let live.
Prayerful answers come from God-loyal people; the wicked are sewers of abuse.
God keeps his distance from the wicked; he closely attends to the prayers of God-loyal people.
A twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart, and good news makes you feel fit as a fiddle.
Listen to good advice if you want to live well, an honored guest among wise men and women.
An undisciplined, self-willed life is puny; an obedient, God-willed life is spacious.
Fear-of-God is a school in skilled living—first you learn humility, then you experience glory.
That’s a whole lot to unpack, friends. Here’s what I get from Proverbs 15; a true Christian is kind, humble, and gentle. She speaks carefully and prayerfully, building up instead of tearing down. She’s God-loyal (I LOVE that term) and content in Him. A true Christian’s personal, daily, real walk with God is evident to everyone that he or she meets.
I like to say that it’s not rocket science, but in reality, it’s also not easy. Sometimes people are WAY TOO PEOPLEY for me to just…. Let it all go and be a calm, cool spirit, tbh. I guess sometimes it’s easy – I mean, in the middle of a worship set, filled with harmony and beautiful lyrics of praise, it’s easy to shine those Jesus rays. Standing there at the back of the line, customer number 11,000 with places to be and things to do, it’s not so easy. But the call here is for consistent grace and kindness. Always on, full-time Jesus rays, if you will.
Maybe this is only for me today, but if there’s one takeaway from my deep dive into the Proverbs inspired by a sweet mail clerk one winter’s day, it’s that the attributes of a Christian should be the first thing people see when they look at me. Always on, full-time. Happy Monday, friends!