My husband recently challenged me to read a Proverb a day. Proverbs is the wisdom book in the bible. We have been studying wisdom on Wednesday nights at our church. There is something so blunt about this book and I love that. It’s practical, profound and deep all at the same time. It cuts to the chase if you know what I mean. Sometimes the scriptures can step on my toes and make me say “ouch”! Only because it gets to me and speaks to me in ways that reminds me of what is right. Often times what is right will go against our flesh. That’s why we are to walk in the Spirit.
The bible reminds us that the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. I’d rather have the kind of wisdom that comes from my Heavenly Father than the kind of this world. That means sometimes my choices and decisions won’t make sense to the people around me and I’m okay with that. I’d rather have the approval of God than the applause of man.
God just keeps drawing me closer to Him. The closer I get, the more He shines His light on me and shows me areas that are not like Him. His desire is for me to know Him and not only know Him but imitate him because I was made in His likeness. To be more like Him is to be better in every area of my life. Isn’t it wonderful how He makes everything better?
I love every promise in this book and I also heed to its words of caution. It takes a while to digest it all. Sometimes it takes me reading a passage over and over before I get it down deep into my heart. If I can get wisdom into my heart and not just my head then it can flow out of me. What good is it for me to have wisdom and put it to no good use? I am striving to put into daily application what I am learning from the Lord, to not just be a hearer but a doer of His word.
Here are a few scriptures that have been speaking to me lately and have been encouraging me to do what is good and right. There are a lot of passages here (I told you I’ve been studying). I didn’t want to leave a single one out because every one of these have been so special to me. I’ve included some of my personal notes from my journal in parenthesis. May this be an encouragement to everyone who reads this.
Proverbs 28:26 If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.
(This reminds me of how much we need each other. It also reminds me of how good it is when we hear the testimony of others. What God does for someone else, He can surely do for you. This is the beauty of the local church and why I believe God says not to forsake the assembling together of believers. When you go through something and God brings you through it, that’s not just for you. He can minister to others going through similar circumstances through you).
Proverbs 27:17 You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.
(I need sharpening from time to time. Surround yourself with other believers of like-minded faith and you will benefit. For instance, we have a ladies ministry at our church called Sisterhood. How I need these ladies in my life! If one sees me stray, they can help pull me back in. If I need a word of encouragement, I can count on one to pray with me and vice versa.
Proverbs 17:17 Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.
Proverbs 18:13 Answering before listening is both stupid and rude. (OUCH, guilty as can be)!!!
Proverbs 10:17 The road to life is a disciplined life, ignore correction and you’re lost for good.
(This is a humbling verse. Correction is a good thing. We’ve lost that along the way somewhere. It hurts for a moment but is good for us in the long run).
Proverbs 10:19 The more talk, the less truth, the wise measure their words.
Proverbs 25:21-22 If you see your enemy hungry, go buy him lunch; if he’s thirsty, bring him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness and God will look after you.
(Just wow. Love your enemies and God himself will see to it that you are looked after).
Proverbs 25:11-12 The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry, and a wise friend’s timely reprimand is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.
(I’m thankful for the people in my life who are not afraid to tell me the truth. We all need accountability. Nobody is above that. Don’t be offended when someone corrects you in love).
Proverbs 25:8 Don’t jump to conclusions; there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.
(I am so bad at this. Lord knows, I need this verse in my life).
Proverbs 25:27 Don’t work yourself into the spotlight; don’t push your way into the place of prominence. It’s better to be promoted to a place of honor than to face humiliation by being demoted.
(Something that I always need to remember is that when another candle is lit, it doesn’t take away your light, it only adds to the light. God will make room for your talent but you are not the only one He is using).
Proverbs 13:17 Irresponsible talk makes a real mess of things, but a reliable reporter is a healing presence.
Proverbs 13:13 Ignore the Word and suffer; honor God’s commands and grow rich.
(God mentions all sorts of promises in His Word but they all hinge on a little word called “if”. I will bless you, IF you obey My commandments. His love is something you never have to earn. Salvation is a free gift. However, there are commandments we must follow if we expect God’s blessing on our lives. We are not perfect that is why we have an advocate with the Father. Grace is not to be abused. I heard it said that grace doesn’t make us sinless it makes us sin less. We prosper when we follow God’s rules. We get into trouble when we ignore His rules and do our own thing).
Proverbs 13:12 Unrelenting disappointment leaves your heartsick but a sudden good break can turn life around.
(For those that go to our church…SUDDENLY)!!!
Proverbs 13:11 Easy come, easy go, but steady diligence pays off.
(Anything worth having is worth working for).
Proverbs 13:7 A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.
(This is so good for me on so many levels. The more you have, the more stress you have. I love nothing more than a good purging sometimes. Especially of materialistic things. Simplicity is golden and less is more).
Proverbs 13:3 Careful words make for a careful life, careless talk may ruin everything.
Proverbs 13:1 Intelligent children listen to their parents; foolish children do their own thing.
(Even though I am an adult, married and have children of my own, my parents and my husband’s parents have a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that we can only benefit from. I am a firm believer that you never stop learning from your parents).
Proverbs 29:18 If people can’t see what God is doing they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed.
(May my mind and heart always be looking for what God is up to. My prayer is that He allows me to be right in the middle of whatever He is doing).
Proverbs 28:22 A miser in a hurry to get rich doesn’t realize he’ll end up broke.
Proverbs 28:9 God has no use for the prayers of the people who won’t listen to Him.
Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your children; you’ll be glad you did, they’ll turn out delightful to live with.
Proverbs 29:11 A fool vent his feelings but a wise man holds them back.
(This has been a special one for me. I have gotten in to so much trouble with my mouth. This particular verse reminds me of my mother in law. She has been a good example of this verse over the years. Working alongside her for several years in ministry, we have seen just about everything, the good, bad and the ugly. I’m not sure if anything could surprise us. No matter what negative confrontations we may have faced in our dealings with other people I could never detect her emotions unless it was good. Now, I have come to know her well enough to know her likes and dislikes so I may have a general idea of what she may be thinking. Unlike me, her facial expression never exposes her thoughts or feelings on a matter and I wear mine all over my face. Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m making a certain face. She holds her composure in almost any circumstance and I have come to realize how wise that is. I truly admire that because I can’t tell you how many times my mouth and facial expressions have caused a problem).
Proverbs 21:23 Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.
(How many times must I learn this lesson)?
Proverbs 21:5 Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.
(This has spoken to me over and over again. I think it all comes down to discipline. I run behind because I have not taken the time to plan things out. Thankfully, I am getting better at this. One practical tip that has helped me is that I like to lay out clothes, pack lunches, set book bags and brief cases by the door the night before so I don’t forget them on my way out the next morning. If I remember, I’ll pull chicken or beef out of the freezer and put them into the refrigerator to thaw for dinner the next day. That way, when I come home dinner is easy to put together. Meal planning has been great for us and the crock pot is my best friend. Anything I can do at night to help my “tomorrow me” is worth spending the extra time on in the evenings).
Proverbs 12:23 Prudent people don’t flaunt their knowledge; talkative fools broadcast their silliness.
(I have learned that the world doesn’t always need to know my opinion about every single thing).
Proverbs 12:27 A lazy life is and empty life but “early to rise” gets the job done.
Proverbs 17:28 Even dunces who keep quiet are thought to be wise; as long as they keep their mouths shut, they’re smart.
(Me and my big mouth, right)?
Proverbs 17:27 The one who knows much says little, an understanding person remains calm.
(Not every circumstance, situation, comment of conversation deserves your response).
Proverbs 15:10 It’s a school of hard knocks for those who leave God’s path, a dead-end street for those who hate God’s rules.
Proverbs 15:2 Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise, fools are like leaky faucets, dripping nonsense.
Proverbs 15:1 A gentle response will diffuse anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.
(This is a good one. Human nature, emotion and your flesh man always want to argue back or get that last word in but the Word suggests the opposite).
Proverbs 14:26 The fear of God builds up confidence and makes a safe world for your children.
(I could expound here, but this is pretty clear).
Proverbs 14:28 The mark of a good leader is loyal followers; leadership is nothing without a following.
Proverbs 14:29 Slowness to anger makes for deep understanding; a quick-tempered person stockpiles stupidity.
(My temper is something I constantly have to keep in check. I can go ninja in a split second. This verse makes me realize how immature I can be and my desperate need for the Lord).
Proverbs 14:30 A sound mind makes for a robust body but runaway emotions corrode the bones.
(This is key for me. My mind can absolutely run away with me and before you know it my thoughts have me in despair. This is why we are to take every thought captive that is in direct opposition to the Word of God. Don’t let your thoughts commence what I like to call the toilet bowl syndrome. Don’t dwell more than five seconds on a negative thought. Immediately take it captive or it will captivate you. Feed your faith, not your fear.
Proverbs 13:24 A refusal to correct is a refusal to love; love your children by disciplining them.
Proverbs 14:30 A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.