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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 14:14

"The backslider in heart will have his fill of his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied with his"

The word translated backslider is the Hebrew word sug which means to turn back, to be turned, go back, turn away. Thus, the translators used the word backslider. The person was walking in the way of righteousness. He was living within the moral boundaries of the Ten Commandments, but then something or someone caused him to abandon that path and wander out into the jungle to find the taste treats of the wilderness.

What is interesting is that this is not just the one who backslides in reality; it is the one who backslides in his heart. The word heart is that internal part of man we call the soul or the mind, will, and emotions. This is very powerful. If a man looks righteous but is constantly living in sin in his soul playing out fantasy scenarios and evil plots, then eventually he will have the fill of his own ways. At some point he will not be able to stop himself from actually indulging in the evil he has only been dreaming about.

If you embrace evil in your mind, it will still get you. Evil is not still or silent; it will expand until it will lure you across the line. You cannot play out adultery scenarios or vengeance possibilities or rebellion plans or plots to steal or arguments you wouldn't dare in reality. The life of the mind is the precursor to all you do and all you are.

Stop embracing evil in your mind and you will win in the real world also.

but a good man will be satisfied with his

The word good is the word tob which means goodness. Remember that it was all of God's goodness that He caused to pass before Moses in Exodus 34 which included His lovingkindness, mercy, compassion, grace, and faithfulness. So goodness is usually associated with that which benefits others. All the components of that benefit are called goodness.

The good man is the person who benefits those around him by his presence. He benefits his wife and family by his work for and with them. He benefits his employer by the type and amount of work he produces. He benefits the community he lives in by his righteousness and wisdom. He benefits his church by his involvement and generosity. He benefits his friends by his care, listening, and manner. He is a good man because he benefits those who are connected to him.

Theologically he cannot be said to be a good man in the sense that he is good enough to earn his way to heaven. No one is good in this absolute sense. Since Adam sinned we have all been born with a sin nature and have sinned as a result of it, but it is possible with God's grace to be the kind of good man talked about in this proverb.

The word satisfied is not in the original Hebrew; it was supplied by the translators. But there is an obvious parallelism in this proverb: the backslider will be filled with his ways; the good man will be filled with his.

The difference is that the good man fills his heart with good scenarios – loving others, serving, thinking positive thoughts and helpful scenarios.

What are the plans you are making in your mind? Are they plans of good or are they plans of evil? When your mind wanders, what are you thinking about? If your mind wanders to evil, you don't have to let it go there. You can stop and redirect your mind to those things which would benefit others.

The surest way to build a life of great joy is look for ways to benefit others around you. The life of great joy will rise up around you and be a great blessing.

  • How can I benefit my spouse today?

  • How can I benefit my children today?

  • How can I benefit my employer today?

  • How can I benefit my church this week?

  • How can I benefit my community this month?

This proverb is basically saying you will live out the life that you live in your mind. Don't forget that. What you think about, you will become.

Therefore the question is what do you spend your time thinking about?

Is it righteous and loving or is it outside the boundaries of the Ten Commandments?

This is one of the great dangers with watching too much television and movies of the present generation. It gets you thinking about life beyond the boundaries. It also never shows you the reality of life out there. It doesn't depict the disease, loneliness, broken relationships, addictions, destruction.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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