In our zeal to preach the truth of God's grace, we can fall into the pit of preaching it in such a way that sin is never truly dealt with. Many Christian preachers and seminary professors today could be described by God's condemnation of the prophets and priests of Israel: "They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace" (Jer. 6:14).
In our Bible studies this year we studied . . .
"Have you found honey? Eat only what you need,
That you not have it in excess and vomit it."
My wife and I recently celebrated our 4th anniversary. We were blessed by her parents, who provided for us to eat out at The Cheesecake Factory. It was delicious. And for the first time I can remember, I didn't finish my food. That's right, I had leftovers. When we got up to leave, the table had remains of my entree, my cheesecake, and my drink! Was it because I was sick? No. Was the food bad?
"There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more,
And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want."
"The foolishness of God is wiser than men" (1 Cor. 1:25), and what seems foolish to us from a worldly standpoint may actually be wisdom in God's eyes. As college students, caught up in our busy world of classes, studying, practicing, meetings, sleeping, working out, and socializing, we naturally consider it foolish to devote time to going to church, studying Scripture, praying, and serving others. When we have to eliminate something from our busy schedule, the things of God always seem to be the first things to go. In our minds, all of those things are optional, unnecessary, or expendable. But everything in the first list, we just absolutely have to get done.
I mean, if God wants me to get my work done and do well in school, surely He'll understand if I neglect my soul in order to meet these ends, right?
"Many a man proclaims his own loyalty,
But who can find a trustworthy man?"
There are few things more encouraging in college ministry than men who are reliable. It is indeed rare. But God blesses faithfulness; and those who are true to their word, He does not withhold good things from them. Often, that blessing looks like more responsibility, and that should cause us to rejoice, because God is calling us do the work of building His kingdom!
Here are a few different ways I might reword this proverb: