Proverbs – Life Skills
Each verse is a lesson in the school of skilled living. If we seriously meditate on the wise teaching of each verse, we find that to live in this way, we cannot lose in pleasing God who wants the best living for us. We also find our purpose for living among the wise words written as nuggets of His Truth.
We might have to read it twice. The first time, we might be thinking of others and how they should heed this advice and live “right”. But the second time we prayerfully read, IF we are honest with God, we begin to see the dark places within ourselves that need cleansed with the Light of God’s Love.
“Fear-of-God is a school in skilled living—
first you learn humility, then you experience glory.”
Proverb 15, The Message
God Doesn’t Miss a Thing
A gentle response defuses anger,
but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.
2 Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise;
fools are leaky faucets, dripping nonsense.
3 God doesn’t miss a thing—
he’s alert to good and evil alike.
4 Kind words heal and help;
cutting words wound and maim.
5 Moral dropouts won’t listen to their elders;
welcoming correction is a mark of good sense.
6 The lives of God-loyal people flourish;
a misspent life is soon bankrupt.
7 Perceptive words spread knowledge;
fools are hollow—there’s nothing to them.
8 God can’t stand pious poses,
but he delights in genuine prayers.
9 A life frittered away disgusts God;
he loves those who run straight for the finish line.
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.
11 Even hell holds no secrets from God—
do you think he can’t read human hearts?
Life Ascends to the Heights
12 Know-it-alls don’t like being told what to do;
they avoid the company of wise men and women.
13 A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face;
a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.
14 An intelligent person is always eager to take in more truth;
fools feed on fast-food fads and fancies.
15 A miserable heart means a miserable life;
a cheerful heart fills the day with song.
16 A simple life in the Fear-of-God
is better than a rich life with a ton of headaches.
17 Better a bread crust shared in love
than a slab of prime rib served in hate.
18 Hot tempers start fights;
a calm, cool spirit keeps the peace.
19 The path of lazy people is overgrown with briers;
the diligent walk down a smooth road.
20 Intelligent children make their parents proud;
lazy students embarrass their parents.
21 The empty-headed treat life as a plaything;
the perceptive grasp its meaning and make a go of it.
22 Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail;
take good counsel and watch them succeed.
23 Congenial conversation—what a pleasure!
The right word at the right time—beautiful!
24 Life ascends to the heights for the thoughtful—
it’s a clean about-face from descent into hell.
25 God smashes the pretensions of the arrogant;
he stands with those who have no standing.
26 God can’t stand evil scheming,
but he puts words of grace and beauty on display.
27 A greedy and grasping person destroys community;
those who refuse to exploit live and let live.
28 Prayerful answers come from God-loyal people;
the wicked are sewers of abuse.
29 God keeps his distance from the wicked;
he closely attends to the prayers of God-loyal people.
30 A twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart,
and good news makes you feel fit as a fiddle.
31 Listen to good advice if you want to live well,
an honored guest among wise men and women.
32 An undisciplined, self-willed life is puny;
an obedient, God-willed life is spacious.
33 Fear-of-God is a school in skilled living—
first you learn humility, then you experience glory.
Choose wisely. Live wisely. A “God-willed life is spacious.”
Forgive us when we go our own ways thinking that is the only way to go. Evil loves it when we separate ourselves from the herd of your people, your love, grace and mercy and even you. But you see the “one” and bring us back to the fold. You school us in your wisdom for you ARE wisdom. Help us to live skillfully, following in your ways, running after you as you lead us to what is best for us. May we listen, look up and live the expectant life to the full. Help us to see your glory even today.
In Jesus Name, Amen