SCHEMES + SCHEMERS
15I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness. 16Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? 17Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time? 18It is good that you grasp one thing and also not let go of the other; for the one who fears God comes forth with both of them.
19Wisdom strengthens a wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city. 20Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. 21Also, do not take seriously all words which are spoken, so that you will not hear your servant cursing you. 22For you also have realized that you likewise have many times cursed others.
8:1Who is like the wise man and who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man’s wisdom illumines him and causes his stern face to beam.
Consider what you control 7:15-18
Investigate how you impact 7:19-22
Search why you scheme 7:23-8:1
- In what ways have you seen the righteous suffer and the unjust prosper in your lifetime? What does that do inside you when you explore those seemingly contradictions? How have you personally had to deal with those extremes? How have you had to come to a place of submitting control to God (perhaps again and again).
- How do you know your intentions (either actions or words) are having the intended impact? How have you had to go back and deal with the impact you have had on others? When have you done this well and how can you improve on this? Is the impact you have on others important to you?
- What areas of your life are “off-limits” to others? Are you aware of how you react when those are brought up? How do you guard those areas and protect yourself? How does Jesus want you to enter into those hurts, harms, and traumas to grow today? How can others help you?