Proverbs 17

What do the godly want in their lives? Quiet or strife? Wisdom or shame? “Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.” How can we live a quiet life growing in the wisdom that comes from above? How can we stay far away from unnecessary strife and foolishness that only brings more trouble?
Sin entered the world through one man. Now life under the sun is badly broken. How does trouble take over a community? A bad report is eagerly heard and spreads like fire. Evil people use their money to get their own way. Others make promises that they cannot keep and people they may not know feel the pain. Even family members may not be respectful or loving to one another. Not only evil people get hurt. The best among the Lord’s covenant people are not exempt from getting their hearts badly bruised. How do the hurting find their way back to joy? Who will fix the problems that are not only outside us but within us?
The Lord Jesus tests hearts. He also covers many an offense. He came into this present world of strife and brought a new world of love into being. He atoned for our deep offenses with His own righteous blood. He took away our shame. He is bringing into the hearts of His people a new resolve to live a quiet life of godliness and sincerity with Him and with one another.
Our Messiah is a friend who loves at all times, a brother who came to us in our worst adversity. He has given us many good reasons to celebrate. As we turn our focus toward Him, may His Word be proven true every day: “A joyful heart is good medicine.”
Prayer from A Book of Prayers

Lord God, Your Son became a servant for our sake. Help us to be willing to serve. We remember that You are the Maker of the poor. Teach us to cover an offense, for we are grateful for Your eternal love. What sense is there in returning evil for good? You have been so good to us. Should we be evil toward You? We should not even return evil back to those who have truly wronged us. How much more should we honor You, who sent us salvation at great cost to Yourself and to Your Son. Grant to us a fuller contemplation of Your goodness, and bring us a more joyful heart day by day. Keep us from foolish speech, that we might not unnecessarily parade our stubborn unrighteousness as if it were a badge of honor.