Rich Thoughts from God's Word

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

I want you to try a new exercise starting today.

I call it my *Proverbs 24.32 Exercise*. Will you try it?

It’s simple, but I think you will surely be enlightened. Here’s what I want you to do...

  • Imagine that all the people you encounter today are *Teachers*, and that God has sent them your way to instruct you.
  • They are your Teachers. You are their Student.
  • The exercise is that you must seek to discover what it is that God wants you to learn from each of them.
  • If you put your heart and mind into this exercise, you might just be far less annoyed, bothered, and frustrated by the actions, attitudes and imperfections of other people. After all, they are your *Teachers* -- right? Right!
You say, “Rich, where in the world did you get this?” As strange as it may seem, I got it from the Bible. Namely, Proverbs 24.30-34...

I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding.

And there it was, all overgrown with thorns.
Its surface was covered with nettles.
Its stone wall was broken down.

When I saw it, I considered it well. I looked on it and received instruction:

A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest;
So shall your poverty come like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man.

Proverbs 24.30-34

Read Proverbs 24.32 again. Underline it in your Bible...
When I saw it [the lazy man's field], I considered it well.
I looked on it and received instruction

  • A poor student would have learned little or nothing from the lazy man's field. Just a bunch of thorns -- no big deal.
  • But the wise student of Proverbs 24.32 realized that he had not stumbled on this situation by accident.
  • With faith that his steps were ordered by God, the wise student considered what he was seeing and received instruction for his life.

At that precise moment, a lazy man became teacher to a wise student, so that the wise student could learn valuable life changing instructions.

If you're like many people, you have been trained to look for only the positive things in life to learn from. But if you only look for the positive, you will learn just 50 percent of what God wants you to learn.

  • The Good Stuff teaches -- “This is what you SHOULD do.”
  • The Bad & Ugly Stuff teaches -- "This is what you should NOT do."

If you only receive instruction from people who are being nice, you will learn only 50 percent of what life can teach you.

However, if you train yourself to also seek instruction from the NOT-so-nice people that cross your path, then you will learn the other 50 percent of the lesson that life has to offer...

  • Take yet another look at Proverbs 24.32 -- "When I saw it, I considered it well. I looked on it and received instruction."
  • Notice this -- The "it" in Proverbs 24.32 was a BAD situation.
  • Thus, the wise student of Proverbs 24.32 was taught a GOOD lesson by a BAD situation!
Do you see? By seeking to learn from the good PLUS the bad PLUS the ugly, you can come away with 100 percent instructional lessons for your life, to improve your walk with God!

Take a look at two examples...

Example #1

  • By observing a vigorous, healthy athlete you can learn something about the benefits of a good diet and clean living.
  • But seeing a drunken man, lying hopelessly and helplessly in the gutter, can also teach you something. It's much the same lesson as the athlete teaches, but it's taught in a very different way.

Example #2

  • Let's say that you're a sales clerk. Today you are dealing with a customer who is loud-mouthed, argumentative, and unreasonable -- a REAL pain in the derriere.
  • Stop grinding your teeth for a second, and remember what Proverbs 24.32 said: "When I saw it, I considered it well. I looked on it and received instruction."
  • Realize that this client, unpleasant as he may be, is a *Teacher* -- and God wants you to learn something from him.
  • The lesson may simply be "This is what not to do."
  • On the other hand, the lesson may be, "You treated someone this way a few days ago. Do you see how it feels to be on the receiving end?"

Try my *Proverbs 24.32 Exercise* on your own. You’ll have loads of fun!

  • In fact, you’ll be having so much fun, you might even look forward to those occasional encounters with unpleasantness that can come your way.
  • You see, all you’re really doing is changing your perspective from “Why are they doing this to me?” to “What are they trying to teach me?” It can give you a totally different outlook on life!


  • The good PLUS the bad PLUS the ugly -- God wants you learn from all of them.
  • Here’s the good part: The "stinkers" that come your way from time to time -- folks who want to "do you dirt" -- are unwittingly doing you a favor. How? By giving you a valuable education about life, and a nasty example to help you remember it.
  • Here's the best part: Class is now in session! The tuition is FREE! And it is GUARANTEED TO WORK!


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