WE’RE BACK! We LOVE getting to study Proverbs with you as a community and dive into this book all about wisdom!
Who is ready for Proverbs 11?!
There are actually so many applicable takeaways from this chapter! Remember– the Proverbs are like putting tools in your toolbox. All different shapes, sizes, and purposes, yet all vital to a life lived in discernment and wisdom.
If you are loving this study and want to dive deeper, take advantage of our open membership this week in our online community, LO Fam! First week is free, and you get access to a sisterhood going through this study together and SO much more exclusive content!
Okay, now we’re excited. Let’s dive in!
Verse 1 (TPT): “To set high standards for someone else, and then not live up to them yourself, is something that God truly hates. But it pleases him when we apply the right standards of measurement.”
Have you ever been just urked (I know it’s not a word, but we’re making it one here) by something someone was doing?
Committing and following through is something that is really important to me. One time I was a part of a small group of friends that agreed to meet every Tuesday night to study and grow together in community. There were a few nights that I knew couldn’t make it to group so I let the group know that I wouldn’t be going those nights. After one of the weeks I missed, some of the others in the group texted, last second, and said they weren’t going to be there for certain reasons. I’m not going to lie, in that moment, I was really urked! Didn’t we make a commitment to make this a priority in our weekly rhythm? Don’t they know that in order to have a discussion and grow together, we all need to be there? And then it dawned on me, I had done the exact same thing RIGHT before they did it (hate it when that happens!).
Solomon is warning us here to not get caught up in the “high standard’s” game. The truth is, we shouldn’t be putting high standards on those around us or even ourselves, if those standards are not the standards Jesus sets for us. When Solomon refers to the “right standard of measurement”, as you may be able to guess, he means God’s standards. And friends, when we see each other through a lens of Jesus (covered by grace), we have a Father who is SO pleased with us.
Verse 5: “Those with good character walk on a smooth path, with no detour or deviation. But the wicked keep falling because of their own wickedness.”
Has anyone seen those interesting (or should I say odd) videos of people feeling different textures? As strange as it is, the textures that most people are drawn to watching are the smooth ones. It’s oddly soothing to the soul and it’s proven to help people with stress lower their anxiety levels. There is something to that!
In this verse, good character is equated with a “smooth path.” And if I’ve learned anything about textures, smooth or, getting to smooth, isn’t always easy, but it should always accompany peace. Here’s another way to think about it. When you are driving down a rough and bumpy road, you will get to your destination, but it will not be peaceful. If you take the smoother road, you’ll get there and have a peaceful ride. Do you feel peace on your path? If not, ask God to examine your heart and your character, that He may point it out the way for you to find a smooth path and lead you down the smooth path of everlasting life.
Verse 9: “The teachings of hypocrites can destroy you, but revelation knowledge will rescue the righteous.”
Okay! I love the language of “revelation knowledge” here! Have you ever had a revelation from God? A revelation is defined as “a surprising and previously unknown fact”. Meaning that God has facts, aka spiritual truths, that He wants to show you right now! And it is not only for the “spiritually elite” (as if that is even a thing) that He saves revelation! We see the qualification for revelation in the verse: righteousness! Want to know if you are righteous? Check it out:
“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (ESV)
His wounds = Our righteousness. Rest in that today!
Verse 10: “The blessing that rests on the righteous releases strength and favor to the entire city, but shouts of joy will be heard when the wicked one dies.”
I have heard favor described as seeing things happen in your life that only God could get the credit for. When we seek Him, we see his favor play out in ways that will affect you, your family, your community, and even your entire city. So, friend, don’t be afraid to ask for favor! The spiritual blessing and revival that could come from that could be bigger than your wildest dreams.
Verse 12: “To quarrel with a neighbor is senseless. Bite your tongue; be wise and keep quiet!”
In a world full of opinions, doesn’t it actually (almost) physically hurt when you try and keep your mouth shut when you are upset? What a weird feeling! I have a rule. If I am emotionally charged about something that I want to speak into, I try my hardest to not speak. Rocket science, right?! No. Truth is, I’ve never come out on top when I prematurely speak out when I am frustrated. And even the thought that there is a winner and a loser to an argument shows that you will probably lose! In God’s family, there should never be a winner or a loser, for we are not each other enemies.
Friends, we have a very real enemy who will tempt us to use our tongues for evil and tear the family of God away from unity, peace, and kingdom work. Don’t disqualify yourself from letting God fight FOR you. If you literally have to bite your tongue, do it! Be slow to speak, slow to become angry, and quick to listen and forgive.
Verse 24: “Generosity brings prosperity, but withholding from charity brings poverty.”
The message here: give, give, give. And when you think you have given A LOT, give some more! Of your time, your resources, your love, your encouragement, and your life. When we give first from what we have, we commit the remainder to God and we hold it with open hands. Then, it becomes a joy to steward what we have well. I LOVE when the bible uses words like prosperity, blessings, and revelation because it doesn’t mean worldly prosperity or riches like so many others think of when thinking of a “good life”; it means something so much better. Paul says in Philippians 4:11-12 while in prison:
“I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” (ESV)
Paul got it! He gave of his whole life and left the rest up to God. Even in the scarcity, he lived with abundance.
Verse 28: “Keep trusting in your riches and down you’ll go! But the lovers of God rise up like flowers in the spring.”
God requires one thing for us to flourish like a flower in direct sunlight planted in good soil: simply to be a lover of Him. Do you love him? If you want to love him, I encourage you to first know Him. To know him you need to be planted (get it?!) in His word. And what an encouraging thing this is! By reading this verse, this study, you are currently in good soil! You are right where He wants you to be, friend.
Verse 30: “But a life lived loving God bears lasting fruit, for the one who is truly wise wins souls.”
How sweet that our Father allows us to participate in “winning souls” to Himself just by being found in Him. Just by loving Him, you will bear fruit that lasts. I hope you see yourself as a child with a good Dad today! Let’s pray.
“God, I thank you that you call us to a life of bearing lasting fruit and winning souls back to you. May we continue to rise like flowers in the spring as we simply love you. I pray that we would be a generous people knowing that every time we give anything, we are being a reflection of the One who truly gave it all. Father, please allow us to strive for unity with our people around us as we discern when to speak, when to listen, and when to wait. Would you give us revelation knowledge as we walk on the smooth path that you have cleared for us? Allow us to not measure the lives around us that lead to cynicism and disunity but allow us to walk and focus on our hearts being pure before you. Thank you for being the ultimate standard and, by that, covering us in your sweet, sweet, grace. Amen”