What a gift it is to be able to study Proverbs together! We have absolutely loved learning the ways of wisdom as a community and this chapter is PACKED with practical advice for living a life of peace, joy, honesty, and fruitfulness.
How’s your heart today? Maybe there is something in your life today that has you entangled in a web, leaving you feeling hopeless. Friend, if that is you, we want you to know that you are never too far gone for Jesus to welcome you back. He sees you and everything you have done, and still adores you. Better yet, He wants to be a part of your life and actually provide for you a way out. Ask Him to speak to you today through this chapter and guide you into His arms.
Want to start from the beginning? Start with Proverbs 1 HERE.
Now let’s dive in!
Verse 1 (TPT): “To learn the truth you must long to be teachable or you can despise correction and remain ignorant.”
What do you long for? We all have a desire for something. Maybe it is a certain appearance you are trying to achieve, and specific relationship, or that accomplishment at work. To long for something is to hold it at the top of the list and to give it most of your time, attention, and emotional energy.
So what is at the top of your longings? Here in verse 1, Solomon is saying that our longing should be teachability. Aka—we should be hungry to grow in what is true.
Paul tell is in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
If you want to grow, start asking Jesus for a longing of the above, for He will give you the desires of your heart.
Verse 9: “Just be who you are and work hard for a living, for that’s better than pretending to be important and starving to death.”
Isn’t it so true that we all want to be important people? We try and figure out what the world wants from us to be seen as valuable, and then we change who we are and lose ourselves just to gain mans approval. But the truth is, we already are called valuable and important by the greatest opinion.
This verse is telling us that we are allowed to just be who God created us to be and that will be enough. No more, no less.
Here’s a fun exercise, write down some features about yourself and then next to it, write the word ENOUGH. Thank God for how He created you and praise Him what who he has made you to be.
Verse 18: “Reckless words are like the thrusts of a sword, cutting remarks meant to stab and to hurt.”
Have you ever blurted out something without thinking through it and then immediately wished you could take it back? You are not alone! Often times, it is even towards the people that we love the most.
James, the brother of Jesus, tell us that our tongue (our words) is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. He says that “the tongue is a fire” spreading like wildfire by the smallest flame.
That is why he tells us a few verses later in James 1 to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Don’t know about you, but this makes us realize our HUGE need for Jesus. Jesus is the key to having this discipline of slowness of speech.
Verse 20: “Deception fills the hearts of those who plot harm, but those who plan for peace are filled with joy.”
This is such an insightful comparison!
Plan for Deception= Harm
Plan for Peace=Joy
What are you planning for today? Start your day and ask God how you can actually plan for peace! Ask for opportunities to bring peace to yourself and those around you. We can promise you that at the end of today you will feel such abundant joy that is not of this world!
Verse 25: “Anxious fear brings depression, but a life-giving word of encouragement can do wonders to restore joy to the heart.”
What a timely verse! Anxiety, fear, and depression are running rampant in our culture today. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year approximately one million people die from suicide, which represents a global mortality rate of 16 people per 100,000 or one death every 40 seconds. It is predicted that by 2020 the rate of death will increase to one every 20 seconds.
This is a devastating statistic driven by anxiety and depression. As we look to 2020 and the statistic that the death rate will increase, we can see how we can get involved to bring light into the darkness. Check it out: “A life-giving word of encouragement can do wonders to restore joy to the heart.”
The solution is encouragement and life-giving words! Who is someone you can encourage today? Who is someone you can go out of your way to reach out to? Never ignore that pressing on your heart to reach out that specific person. They could be gong through something you know nothing about but God might want to use you to restore joy to their heart!
Verse 28: “Abundant life is discovered by walking in righteousness, but holding on to your anger leads to death.”
Spend some time today really, truly thinking through this question: Is there any resentment, bitterness, or unforgiveness in your life you are holding on to today?
According to this verse, Solomon is saying that the thing that holds us back from abundant life, aka a fulfilling life, is holding on to anger.
Friend, maybe you’ve really been hurt by something or someone. We will never take away from the real pain that you might be walking through because of this broken world. But holding resentment in your heart will only hold you back from freedom and healing. And God, our sweet, loving, and attentive Father, has such bigger plans for you.
Someone wise once said, “Resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
We want you to experience this freedom, this abundant life, mentioned here. Forgiveness and letting go of your anger might be what will free you today.
We want to ask you again after reading this, how’s your heart today? Maybe God is telling you to confess something to a trusted friend. Or maybe he is asking you to give a word of encouragement to someone specific to fight anxiety and fear. Or He may be calling you near to walk you through a prayer of forgiveness for the injustice that has been done to you. Regardless, we hope He has spoken specifically to you during this time!
If you’d like to share something that stuck out to you, feel free to comment below and we’ll do our best to get back to you!
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