God, may Your Word, sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrate my heart today.
Read: PROVERBS 27:1-17
 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.  Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.  Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.  Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?  Better is open rebuke than hidden love.  Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.  One who is full loathes honey from the comb, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.  Like a bird that flees its nest is anyone who flees from home.  Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.  Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you- better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.  Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart; then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt.  The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.  Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger; hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider.  If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.  A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm;  restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.  As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect: WHAT CHARACTERIZES THE SPEECH OF A TRUE FRIEND?
There is a dash of salty humor in today’s wise sayings. Perhaps the teacher was an elderly man with a twinkle in his eye as he somewhat testily and vividly instructed his pupil: “Don’t be a know-it-all!” “Don’t show off!” “Don’t be too hearty early in the morning!” And, “A quarrelsome wife? Drip, drip, drip…!”These acidly humorous observations are based on experience. The teacher has found that true friends don’t flatter, but speak the truth in love (5,6). It may not be pleasant to hear, but good counsel is as fragrant as perfume because it comes from a caring heart (9). As we see so often in Proverbs, adopting a humble posture to listen and learn will be far more productive than an arrogance which will not listen but insists it knows best! One can be hungry to learn and grow so that even rebukes, though bitter to swallow, turn out to be sweet (7).What a gift, to have friends who love you enough to challenge you! Sharing life’s ups and downs, encouraging, talking and dreaming, exchanging ideas and praying together, we grow and sharpen our understanding of God, life and ourselves. How much do you value your friendships?
Give trusted friends an invitation to speak truth into your life and listen attentively when they take you up on the invitation.
God of truth and love, speak into my life and let me hear with an open heart.
Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.