Proverbs – Life Skills
Life is full of tests and exams. We might think we are finished with testing and examinations when we graduate, ah, but no! A life that is lived well and skillfully daily examines one’s heart and asks;
Why am I being this way and why am I doing this?
What does God want? What does God want of me?
When God examines my heart, what will He find?
What or who motivates me to do what I do?
Who am I? Who am I in God’s eyes?
God is the only judge I should be concerned about but am I driven by how I appear to others?
Don’t you love it when the Teacher gives you the answers to the test BEFORE you take it? This proverb gives us the answers to the test! Read and mediate on all the positive goals of a life lived for God. List them. Write them down.
Your test is about to be given today, but here are the answers!
“Whoever goes hunting for what is right and kind
finds life itself—glorious life!”
Like Jeopardy…the answers are here, life will give you the questions! (Hear the music? I do.)
Proverb 21, The Message
God Examines Our Motives
Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by God;
he directs it to whatever ends he chooses.
2 We justify our actions by appearances;
God examines our motives.
3 Clean living before God and justice with our neighbors
mean far more to God than religious performance.
4 Arrogance and pride—distinguishing marks in the wicked—
are just plain sin.
5 Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run;
hurry and scurry puts you further behind.
6 Make it to the top by lying and cheating;
get paid with smoke and a promotion—to death!
7 The wicked get buried alive by their loot
because they refuse to use it to help others.
8 Mixed motives twist life into tangles;
pure motives take you straight down the road.
Do Your Best, Prepare for the Worst
9 Better to live alone in a tumbledown shack
than share a mansion with a nagging spouse.
10 Wicked souls love to make trouble;
they feel nothing for friends and neighbors.
11 Simpletons only learn the hard way,
but the wise learn by listening.
12 A God-loyal person will see right through the wicked
and undo the evil they’ve planned.
13 If you stop your ears to the cries of the poor,
your cries will go unheard, unanswered.
14 A quietly given gift soothes an irritable person;
a heartfelt present cools a hot temper.
15 Good people celebrate when justice triumphs,
but for the workers of evil it’s a bad day.
16 Whoever wanders off the straight and narrow
ends up in a congregation of ghosts.
17 You’re addicted to thrills? What an empty life!
The pursuit of pleasure is never satisfied.
18 What a bad person plots against the good, boomerangs;
the plotter gets it in the end.
19 Better to live in a tent in the wild
than with a cross and petulant spouse.
20 Valuables are safe in a wise person’s home;
fools put it all out for yard sales.
21 Whoever goes hunting for what is right and kind
finds life itself—glorious life!
22 One sage entered a whole city of armed soldiers—
their trusted defenses fell to pieces!
23 Watch your words and hold your tongue;
you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.
24 You know their names—Brash, Impudent, Blasphemer—
intemperate hotheads, every one.
25 Lazy people finally die of hunger
because they won’t get up and go to work.
26 Sinners are always wanting what they don’t have;
the God-loyal are always giving what they do have.
27 Religious performance by the wicked stinks;
it’s even worse when they use it to get ahead.
28 A lying witness is unconvincing;
a person who speaks truth is respected.
29 Unscrupulous people fake it a lot;
honest people are sure of their steps.
30 Nothing clever, nothing conceived, nothing contrived,
can get the better of God.
31 Do your best, prepare for the worst—
then trust God to bring victory.
SO, HOW DID YOU DO ON THE TEST?
Did you match the answers to today’s life questions? Seek God. Be motivated by His Holy Spirit who lives in all believers of Jesus.
Help us to daily examine our hearts and hear your correction and wisdom. Help us to live skillfully, knowing how to match your answers to life’s questions. But first, cleanse my heart of all that offends you. Restore to me the joy of your salvation. Renew a right Spirit within me.
In Jesus Name, Amen
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.