Today’s Reading: Proverbs 11 – 13
One thing you will notice as you begin to read proverbs is that they are not really categorized. You can say that Proverbs 11 is about money or Proverbs 12 is about child rearing. The proverbs seem to jump around a bit.
- 28 verses comparing the wicked and the godly
- 17 verses on financial matters
- 15 verses on the topic of personal character
- 13 verses about how we speak (the tongue)
- 8 verses on seeking counsel of others
- 2 verses on being a godly woman
- 1 verse on raising children
This is a good way for someone to a bit of a Bible study. Simply take a couple chapters of proverbs, sort out the verses by topics and then study that topic.
The verses on seeking counsel:
Proverbs 11:14 (NLT)
14 Without wise leadership, a nation falls;
there is safety in having many advisers.
Proverbs 12:15, 23 (NLT)
15 Fools think their own way is right,
but the wise listen to others.
23 The wise don’t make a show of their knowledge,
but fools broadcast their foolishness.
Proverbs 13:10, 12, 14, 18, 20 (NLT)
10 Pride leads to conflict;
those who take advice are wise.
13 People who despise advice are asking for trouble;
those who respect a command will succeed.
14 The instruction of the wise is like a life-giving fountain;
those who accept it avoid the snares of death.
18 If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace;
if you accept correction, you will be honored.
20 Walk with the wise and become wise;
associate with fools and get in trouble.
I summarized the verses into two categories. What do wise people do and what do foolish people do:
- Think their own way is right
- Broadcast their foolishness
- Ignore criticism and end up in poverty and disgrace
- Associate with fools and get in trouble
- Find out that avoiding counsel leads to conflict
- Avoid counsel and are asking for trouble
- Avoid counsel and their nation fails
- Know that there is safety in many advisors
- Get life giving instructions
- Seek wisdom
- Listen to others
- Don’t make a show of their knowledge
- Take advice
- Accept command and succeed
- Accept correction and will be honored
- Follow instructions and avoid the snares of death
- Walk with the wise and get wiser
Reading through those two lists, I can see that I do things from the foolish list. For example, I often think my own way is right. I even avoid counsel from time to time – why? Because I think my own way is right. It is a kind of a sin cycle that I need to work on.
Unfortunately, there are also things from the second list that I fail to do. I don’t always listen to the advice and counsel of others.
My personal lesson for today is that there is definitely room for improvement. I can strive to try to walk more often with the wise and seek their counsel. I need to often set my ideas aside and see what others see, others often see better than we do.
How are you doing on those two lists? Are you walking with the wise or stumbling about with the foolish? Are you involving others in counsel or do avoid the counsel of the wise?
My only fear when I write this blog post is that some friends of mine will read it and then realize that they should stop hanging around with me. They would be applying Proverbs 13:20. ;-) Also, if I stop hanging out with you, maybe I am apply Proverbs 13:20. If we both walk away from each other then we are in big trouble!