After reading through Proverbs 14, we are inspired and encouraged to be the type of women that God calls us to be.
Proverbs 14 compares and contrasts the wise with the foolish. As women of God, we have influence on other people’s lives. Yes, every single one of us has influence on this world in some way or another. We want to steward our influence and energy in positive and wise ways, and Proverbs 14 is a great guide to help us do so!
Want to start from the beginning? Start with Proverbs 1 HERE.
Let’s get started!
Verse 1: Every wise woman encourages and builds up her family, but a foolish woman over time will tear it down by her own actions.
When reading this at first glance, some of us may think it doesn’t apply to us. We may be thinking this only applies to women who are married with children, and yes it does apply to them, but it applies to ALL women. Like we said before, you have influence in one way or another. Your “family” in this this verse could be your roommate, friends, teammates, it could really be anyone you have any sort of connection with. Your family is your people.
Let’s be real, no one wants to “tear down” their people or would ever intentionally do so. But if we are not careful with what we say or do, we can hurt people easier than we think. So how do we avoid this?
Solomon says the key is being wise. And how do we know we are being wise? By diving into the word and listening to what God says. Bringing every situation to Him first before seeking answers in other people or things. Proverbs 14 lays it out beautifully for us.
Verse 3: The words of a proud fool will all come back to haunt him. But the words of the wise will become a shield of protection around them.
Our words are so important. In verse 3 we see that our words can become a “shield of protection,” if we are wise with what we are saying. This can be a simple as thinking before we speak and being the security check point for what is coming out of our mouths.
On the other hand, we can tear people down so easily with our words if we choose to be foolish and careless with what we are saying. It is easy to get lost in a moment and say things that we may not even mean. We can get caught up in gossip or putting others down to make ourselves feel better, but we need to remind ourselves that our words have POWER and we have influence. So, let’s choose our words wisely and build each other up by speaking truth and life.
Verse 7-8: The words of the wise are like weapons of knowledge. If you need wise counsel, stay away from the fool. For the wisdom of the wise will keep life on the right track, while the fool only deceives himself and refuses to face reality.
In verse 7 and 8 we see Solomon talking about words and counsel. He calls wise words “weapons of knowledge.” Sometimes it is hard to discern what is wise and what is foolish, but the best way to test this when someone gives you advice is to check it with what the Bible says. If you have someone speaking into your life, the words should be rooted in Biblical truth, which will ultimately put you on the right path, rather than blindly following words that come from someone who may just be inserting their opinion rather than trying to lead in what God says about a situation.
Verse 12-13: You can rationalize it all you want, and justify the path of error you have chosen,
but you’ll find out in the end that you took the road to destruction. Superficial laughter can hide a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the pain resurfaces.
This part of the verse really made us reflect. How often do we rationalize sin? ALL THE TIME. It is second nature for some of us to tell ourselves that what we’re doing is not that bad, or we look to our neighbors and compare our sin to theirs to make us feel better about what we have done wrong. This leads to destruction. In reality, we’re all sinners and we are all undeserving of God’s grace, but we are given grace anyway!
Instead of justifying our sin, and brushing it off, we can actually bring those burdens to God and He says that He will make our burdens light! We can come to Him in surrender and experience freedom by admitting that we need a Savior.
Verse 13 talks about “superficial laughter” and how it can “hide a heavy heart.” We think this is very relatable to today. In order to make light of hard circumstances, some of us will just laugh and make jokes, when in reality, the pain of that hurt won’t go away. Addressing the problem and admitting the pain shows strength and is a sign of a wise woman. Bringing that heavy heart to God will allow for healing, rather than just laughing things off to hide the pain.
Verse 26-27: Confidence and strength flood the hearts of the lovers of God who live in awe of him, and their devotion provides their children with a place of shelter and security. To worship God in wonder and awe opens a fountain of life within you, empowering you to escape death’s domain.
Wow, so many good things to unpack in those verses. First off, we all crave inner confidence and strength, don’t we? This verse said that confidence and strength will “flood our hearts” when we love God and are in awe of Him. When we choose to seek God, we get to experience the confidence, strength, and LIFE. When we worship God, it opens “a fountain of life”. This is real joy and freedom! When we choose Him, we are no longer slaves to death, but we get to experience life and life in abundance while knowing that we get to spend an eternity with our Savior! How cool is that?!
Verse 29-30: When your heart overflows with understanding, you’ll be very slow to get angry. But if you have a quick temper, your impatience will be quickly seen by all. A tender, tranquil heart will make you healthy, but jealousy can make you sick.”
In verses 29 and 30, Solomon addresses anger, patience and jealousy. Three topics that a lot of us can relate to on a daily basis. Being understanding for others is the first step to not getting angry. It is so hard when we have blinders’ on and can’t see something from another person’s perspective, and it causes us to get angry. But if we try and put ourselves in their shoes, we will be slow to anger and learn to become more patient with those who may act or think differently than us.
Solomon talks about jealousy and how it can actually cause you to be “sick.” We think King Solomon is addressing anxiety here. One of the key factors of anxiety is comparing everyone else’s lives to our and then becoming jealous of what others have. This could not ring more true today. We are constantly looking at other’s highlight reels of their lives and wishing ours looked the same, and it causes us to be sick. But if we choose to look inward and focus on our own lives and our own personal walk with Jesus, it will slowly begin to heal our hearts and we can become healthy.
We want to end on this note. This chapter of Proverbs is packed with truth about positive ways to live our lives and to be “wise.” Some of us may read this chapter and think, “Wow I feel really like the foolish one.” But that is the beauty of the Gospel. No matter how foolish, messed up, or wrong we may be, we are given GRACE and can become wise by listening to what God has to say to us. He is not keeping a record of everything we have done wrong and thinking we are foolish. He sees us as His children and wants to give us the best fatherly advice that He can give. He wants to see us full of life and joy! We are given access to the BEST life advice from a Heavenly Father that loves us. We can have peace knowing that He always has our best interest at heart.
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