The means of a child’s happiness are not so much what they receive from their parents, but what they see in their parents. Doing the right things, obeying God, settling accounts with others all yield blessing (happiness) for our children (Prov 20:7), as well as for us.

Everyone loves a bargain, but deprecating the value of a product so that it can be purchased cheaper is deceptive and dishonest (Prov 20:14). What do your children see in your purchasing negotiations? Though it may appear like a victory, products secured by chicanery only yields defeat (Prov 20:17). After all, “the LORD detests differing weights, and dishonest scales do not please him” (Prov 20:23).

Two avengers: God or us. When God avenges, justice is satisfied. When we avenge our own pain, justice is compromised (Prov 20:22).

Certainty is elusive. No matter how much we work our plan and plan our work, there’s always an angle or a condition, a circumstance or a possibility that we fail to take into account. When occasionally things work out the way we expect, we quickly credit ourselves for the wise strategy and systematic execution, yet it is God alone who “directs our steps” (Prov 20:24). “For in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

That certainty is not possible is no excuse not to carefully examine our choices before we make them. It’s always wise to conduct an impact analysis and vet out the decisions we expect to render. Throwing caution to the wind when long-term commitments are at stake is never wise (Prov 20:25).

“The human spirit” (Prov 20:27) is that immaterial principle which animates our bodily presence in the world; that inner core of our being which drives the direction of our lives. Like a beam of light in the darkest night, the human spirit shines on our essential self and shows us precisely what we are and who we are. Self reflection is one of the hardest skills to sharpen. Yet, God has given me the tools I need to know myself (Prov 20:12), and he provides counselors to show me blind spots (Prov 20:5, 18) and moral deficiencies (Prov 20:9). If only I will turn in the direction of the light and allow God’s discipline to have its way with me (Prov 20:30).

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