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Proverbs 4:20–27 ‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead…’ (vv23–25a)

Watching demands paying attention to what’s happening around us, together with the influences at play within.

The first are visible to others with many varied interpretations (as Job endured his friends’ unsought advice).

The latter are privy to us alone unless we choose to share them. Even then such feelings are hard to convey in language that communicates precisely why, what, and how we are feeling.

Everything we say passes through the filters of our listener, with meaning being filtered in and out according to their life understanding and experience.

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When living as primary carer for eighteen years I had to learn both a new language to describe my feelings and find a vocabulary to describe the unfamiliar inner world that unexpectedly engulfed me.

Feelings that we fail to grasp or manage will derail our life and express themselves with words that demolish our stability and confidence in a crisis of meaning and understanding.

However, watching also carries a sense of anticipation; we are waiting for something. It may be an optimistic hope that everything will work out OK in the end.

Or it may be better built on a narrative that enjoys clear insights into human suffering whilst retaining an understanding that such troubles fit into a much larger story.

This is the Bible narrative’s role. Joseph tells his brothers he forgives them because he has understood by this point, ‘You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.’


A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord, thank You for Your Word. May I use it as my primary source for wisdom in living my life today. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
The Bible provides a very clear narrative informing us how best to navigate life. Do you take time to read Scripture and let it guide your life’s path?

Scripture To Consider:
Gen. 50:14–21; Job 13:1–19; Acts 14:21–25; 1 Pet. 1:13–21

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.