(Prov 23:1-3 NLT) While dining with a ruler, pay attention to what is put before you. If you are a big eater, put a knife to your throat; don’t desire all the delicacies, for he might be trying to trick you.
This morning we continue our series, “Unlocking the Power of Proverbs – Walking in the Wisdom of God.” This is the 7th Saying: an Admonition on Etiquette with Royalty. Since Solomon was a sitting king it is safe to say that official royal dinners were part of his normal routine. I am not sure if the senior leaders of Solomon’s day had calendars that were as packed as our modern day leaders, but regardless of the frequency, Solomon here gives us some counsel concerning how to deal with a royal dinner. For you and me, the royal aspect of this may not be applicable, because we may never have dinner with a king or a queen, but what Solomon is saying actually holds true for any formal or business meal. What Solomon says basically boils down to three things:
1. Be on your best behavior: Pay attention to your surroundings and ensure that your conduct is in keeping with the setting. Warren Buffet said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Countless people have ruined their reputation during a social event, don’t let it happen to you. Remember that you are an ambassador of the Kingdom of God and you are to represent God and His Kingdom everywhere you go.
2. Bridle your appetite: You know the deal… don’t gobble your food, don’t eat with your mouth full, and don’t stuff yourself. Solomon playfully tells us to put a knife to our throats (instead of the plate) if we have to, but just don’t overeat. You know how you feel when you overeat; it’s bad enough when you feel that way at home, much less during a formal or business meal.
3. Don’t get temporarily blinded by the kindness: Many business deals have been sealed at the dinner table. Solomon tells us to basically keep our “awareness” up, because he knew that every person who smiled in his face was not doing so because they liked him. People will attempt to “butter you up” with niceties, but if you are at a business meal or a formal event with people you do business with, remember that business is business. Don’t get tricked by the temporary kindness of the people or the quality of the meal. Appreciate the kindness, but you must be sober when doing business. If you are not clear-headed and careful you can be easily tricked into a bad deal.
So what does this mean to you today? Two things:
1. Take your role as ambassador seriously: The world takes notice when you call yourself a Christian. While they may not be followers of Jesus, but they sure think they know how followers of Jesus are supposed to live. And when you don’t represent Jesus or the Kingdom of God well, you not only tarnish your reputation, but you can actually become a stumbling block and a hindrance for the lost in their journey to finding the saving power of Christ.
2. Be clear-minded when doing business: Not everyone who is with you, is for you, so be mindful and prayerful when doing business. Ask the Father for discernment so that you are deceived, duped, or taken advantage.
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for your grace upon my life. You open doors for me that no man can close and close doors for me that no man can open. I experience supernatural favor today and this week. You bless me to be in the presence of many senior leaders and as You do, I declare, by faith, that I will conduct myself in a way that brings honor and glory to Your name and that maintains my reputation as a upstanding person. I remain sober, clear-minded, and alert when doing business. I appreciate the niceties involved, but I am never blinded by the niceties and I am never taken advantage of because of them. I make sound business decisions that help further the cause of my organization and that allow Your light to shine through me daily! In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper!