If you have never read Proverbs then you are missing out on some of the most interesting and informative writings in the Bible. There is a lot of wisdom packed into the book, and if you take a few minutes out of your day to sit down and read in it, you will be deeply rewarded. Here are some of my favorites. The brackets are my own musings on the proverbs.
A Scoundrel plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire.
A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.
Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. (Very true in an age when men died young, so to live to have gray hair was a blessing.)
Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.
He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished. (You can tell your true friends, because they rejoice when good things happen for you. How many times have you had something really great happen only to have your friend treat it like it was no big deal?)
If a man pays back evil for good, evil will never leave his house.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. (I love the assurance of this text. I’ll have a lot more to say on this text when we do the series on the promises of God.)
He who answers before listening- that is his folly and his shame. (I think this one was written as a gentle nudge and a wink to all men.)
A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.
Who can say, I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin? (The answer obviously is none of us are without sin that is why we need a savior.)
A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord. (How many times in your own experience have you seen someone make a mess of a certain situation only to blame God for the folly?)
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared. (How many people’s lives have been completely destroyed because of association with angry and violent people? I remember a lady telling me about her boyfriend’s temper and how he simply refused to control it when things didn’t go his way. She was convinced that he would change when they got married, but he didn’t change. I haven’t heard from them in years, but during the years I knew them after they were married they fought constantly. She had become ensnared in his ways and had become just as angry and combative as he ever was.)
The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work.
Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men. (Is this not true? If you take pride in your work and develop your talents and skills people will take notice. I have a friend who is a finish carpenter and he works continually because he does great work.)
I could go on all day writing and commenting on these wonderful gems of encouragement and direction. Most of the above Proverbs, by the way, are taken from chapters 16-18, but all 31 chapters hold similar words of advice. Let us know what your favorite proverb is and what it means to you. Just use the comment section after this post.