I could not get past chapter fourteen – too much wisdom and advice. Although it goes all over the place, each expression is worth meditating on.
An honest life shows respect for God;
a degenerate life is a slap in his face. – Proverbs 14:2 MSG
An honest life means that I am showing my true colours – whether in grace or in sin. In grace, others see my reverence for God and that gives Him honour and establishes that He is God in my life and to Him all honour is due. I think my actions speak with every step I take and people point and say, “Here is one who honours God.” That does not happen as much as I would like. I think I would even take a few persecutions just to know that people see God in me.
Lives of careless wrongdoing are run-down shacks;
holy living builds soaring cathedrals. – Proverbs 14:11 MSG
I am called to evaluate what are true riches and true honour. I am sure what outward appearances have to do with wisdom, so I am looking more at graces and even comfort when I evaluate.
The hotheaded do things they’ll later regret;
the coldhearted get the cold shoulder. – Proverbs 14:17 MSG
Not only am I taking this as instruction for me, but I want to hang out with those who have a reputation for wisdom and honour and take focused care to bridle their passion.
Foolish dreamers live in a world of illusion;
wise realists plant their feet on the ground. – Proverbs 14:18 MSG
Here I can truly say that wisdom has become the honour of the wise. I want to be wise.
It’s criminal to ignore a neighbor in need,
but compassion for the poor—what a blessing! – Proverbs 14:21 MSG
A practical application of wisdom is compassion. It is a character trait to have mercy on the poor. This kind of action is honourable and I know that I am happy when I am in this place because I believe it pleases God.
The wise accumulate wisdom;
fools get stupider by the day. – Proverbs 14:24 MSG
There is no resting – and if I am getting wiser and developing better character, imagine what I could do with wealth. I would be even more honourable and useful. Wisdom gets results and when I get results, I get honoured.
The mark of a good leader is loyal followers;
leadership is nothing without a following. – Proverbs 14:28 MSG
They say that 80% of Harvard’s leadership courses come from the Bible – here is a perfect example of something I thought I learned in university but it comes straight from the Bible – my loss.
Father, I want to be wise, and as You grow me I pray that others will see Your wisdom in me and decide to follow me. That would be a blessing.