by Pastor Tim Burt
I love to watch HGTV (Home and Garden Television). I watch it when I work out. I watch it when I have a little time to relax. I love looking at the diversity of styles of homes, furnishing, and gardens. But, one thing about homes; they are just filled with stuff that gets old and eventually need to be replaced or remodeled. Homes to me are much more than stuff. A home is my daily life's surroundings and the most important thing in my home are the great and loving relationships in my day-to-day life that fill it. That is what I think of when I read Proverbs 24:3-4 (NIV) "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." I don't believe that God is talking about the stuff in our houses in these verses. He is talking about people—people who are like rare and beautiful treasures—each one unique in what makes them beautiful. The wisdom of God helps us to value people and the blessing that they are to our life. When we come to realize that, we have learned how to build a beautiful home!
God wants our home or life to be filled with great acquaintances and relationships but the devil, the enemy of our soul, wants the opposite. If he could, he'd see to it that we destroyed every relationship we've ever valued. He does because if we did that, we would have destroyed the most valuable part of our life. The Bible teaches us that we should not be ignorant of the devils devices. Satan has strategies. One of them is to fill us with paranoia, suspicion of intent and motive, conflict, anger, and division between those we love and are closest to. When that happens, it becomes the undoing of those beautiful and rare treasures that fill your life and home.
God is not ignorant of this and so He reminds us, that people aren't the problem. The enemy of our soul is. Ephesians 6:12 (NLT) "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." Satan is a liar and he works toward destroying relationships. This is why God says homes are built by wisdom. It takes the wisdom of God to know how precious people are to our life, and to treat them like rare and valuable treasures. I promise you that if you had a priceless vase or artifact in your home, you'd go to great lengths to protect it. And that is what a wise man does to build and protect his home or surroundings of life.
Whether communicating with your spouse or your teenager, or a relative or coworker, there can be countless opportunities for even the best of communicators to lose their patience and end up in conflict. Learning how to effectively handle them is more than just technique. We all need the Holy Spirit to help us identify and understand our irritation or provoke buttons. When you know and are aware of them, then as you lean on the Holy Spirit for help, He’ll help you keep control and teach and strengthen you to try to communicate in the most effective way. He’ll help you see things from their perspective. He’ll help you have mercy. He’ll even strengthen your resilience to speak kindly when someone is treating you like a total jerk—if you will lean on Him in those times. I know this can sound impossible but I promise you it's not. As you say, I care about this person. He/she is a treasure in my life. Devil you will not divide this person off from me. then this would be wisdom in action in your life. Eventually you will get better at it. In time with the Lord's help you can become great at it.
Most every kind of conflict is born out of misunderstanding and can be resolved amicably when people learn how to speak truth kindly. Unfortunately, what most people do is avoid dealing with conflict because they are poor at keeping their emotions in check. They just walk away mad from each other. Then they build negative momentum by talking bad about the other person while justifying their position.
You may have no idea how flippant negative words spoken against the very ones you love, not only hurt them, but also hurt your own heart. When you do that, you devalue them. Over time, your spoken negative words cause you to lose your emotional love and caring heart. Learning how to work through conflict will help you to stop saying those hurtful things and instead, do more to protect your relationships.
People were meant to be rare and beautiful treasures that fill the rooms of our (life) house. We all have quirks. We must overlook theirs and hopefully they will overlook ours. Then God by His Holy Spirit will work to restore us to paths of kindness, love, and compassion. When we learn to love people through God's eyes, we learn to love life and build our home or life surroundings with the things that count the most—with people who are beautiful and rare treasures!
Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV) "A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt