Looking for Wisdom in Proverbs

proverbs
image by Gordon Johnson

Finding proverbs.

Proverbs. A book of power and punch. That’s because of the wisdom mined there.

Children’s stories feature the wise old owl or a wise octopus [Rainbow Fish] that can bring relevancy to any predicament in the animal world. Children and animals alike find themselves looking for wisdom – and go to the person or animal who is guaranteed to be (usually) old and (always) wise. I suppose that’s because age brings experience, and with experience comes wisdom.

I’ve had my share of friends and mentors who give sage advice when I seek their perspective. Yet the one thing I’ve been doing most often (voice of experience here) is opening my Bible and going to Proverbs.

proverbsDefinition

A proverb is a noun. It’s definition is: “a short pithy saying in general use, stating a general truth or piece of advice.”

A Biblical proverb is this: a “collection of collections” relating to a pattern of life . . . of the Biblical wisdom tradition, that raises questions of values, moral behavior, the meaning of human life, and right conduct.”

This book is packed full of advice. Hidden in the pages are observations and wisdom for any problem or concern. That’s why it’s call proverbs. Whether you’re dealing with emotions of grief, loss, or celebration, here’s where to go. When you need advice on moral living, you’ll find it here.

proverbs
photo by Gerd Altmann

Proverbs – how to live

Things we all face, such as anger, pride, laziness, security, obedience, and failure are referenced many times. There’s wisdom for employers and employees, counsel for parents and for kids, advice on relating to neighbors, and what to look for in a spouse.

You’ll find more in these chapters: how not to discipline, how to respond to correction, signing a guarantee for somebody’s loan, what to do with jealousy, and the six plus one things that God really hates.

Solomon gives advice on relationships and temptations. You’ll find help for how to receive correction and instruction as well as how to work and how not to be lazy. You’ll learn the importance of understanding and knowledge, and especially its parallel to wisdom.

There’s mention of get-rich-quick schemes and short-term pleasures. Kindness and reputation are important, as well as how to give to a neighbor.

There’s hardly a topic that isn’t covered in this book of Proverbs. There are thirty-one chapters. Try reading a chapter a day for a month. You’ll be amazed at the wealth of wisdom hidden there. Mine its depth. You’ll come out ahead, guaranteed.

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