Proverbs 9:12 MSG
Said no one ever (as if to mock).
If you‘ve ever been mocked by a human mockingbird, you know it’s a passive aggressive way of being called out.
Mockingbirds are very good at mocking. The actual bird can mimic many different sounds including other bird calls. Since bird calls are intended to call a mate, or chicks back to the nest, I would think having “fake” calls going on in the neighborhood would be pretty annoying.
In Proverbs 9:12 Solomon warns, “Live wisely and wisdom will permeate your life; mock life and life will mock you.”
The Apostle Paul knew the words of Solomon because prior to his conversion experience he had studied the Hebrew Scriptures.
In Galatians 6:7-9 he wrote, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
Interesting choice of words!
God is NOT mocked.
Paul didn’t write those words as a suggestion, or even a warning. He is promising, you will reap what you sow.
In terms of planting it makes perfect sense. You cannot plant a pumpkin seed and obtain a zucchini. It just isn’t possible.
Paul’s words were a warning that had ‘build in’ flashing lights to the church in Galatia. He clearly told them that you cannot lie to God. He even stated that lying to God was a form of mocking God.
Picture this…we are a mocking bird and we are speaking words that are not true. Some would call it gossip. We jump in and help spread the gossip. In a sense we could be lying because the words we heard have not been confirmed to be true.
Do you remember the old game where a person whispers a statement to a person and that person whispers it to another?
I’ve played this game many times and invariably by the time it’s gone through ten people the statement has changed considerably. Many times that’s because one or two words were either spoken or heard incorrectly. The changes were not intentional, but there are often changes.
When we speak words that have not been confirmed to be true, we become the mocking bird. Even without intending to pass on words that are not true, we ARE passing on words that are not true.
One of the most difficult lessons I learned when I was a newspaper editor is verifying sources. I came to realize that every word I heard had to be verified with the source. That meant even if I really really trusted the person I heard it from, I still had to verify it with the source.
Part of the reason that was so difficult is because verifying the information with the source is very time consuming and labor intensive. If the information was passed on right before we published, I could not include it unless I could verify it with the source.
Knowing that it sometimes meant I had to wait to share the information. We were a weekly publication county newspaper. If I didn’t share the information it would be really old news by the time it was published.
The owner of the newspaper was frustrated with me more than once when I chose not to publish unconfirmed information.
He was an older fellow who did not work at the office and he was not easy to contact. I would tell him that the decision to publish unconfirmed information was way way above my pay grade.
I’m not sure he appreciated my humor.
I remember being reminded (by the Spirit) that wisdom begets wisdom and mocking partial truth begets partial truth.
We do reap what we sow.
We are human.
A very wise person once told me we do the best we can with what we know at the time.
Truer words have not been spoken.
Spiritual Practice: And You?
Think of a time when you heard something about someone that was spoken as truth but it turned out to be a half-truth. That’s why we verify the source.
In God, Deborah