This year I have been using a Bible reading plan called Project 345+ to help me meet my goal of reading from the Bible on a daily basis. The Project 345+ plan includes a reading from the book of Proverbs every day and with 31 chapters in Proverbs you get to start over almost every month, like today. Reading the book of Proverbs so many times this year has really impressed upon me how much wisdom there is for every one of us, regardless of age, gender, family role or work role. I’d like to share some of the passages I have highlighted in my readings, grouped by some major themes. I hope you find them as beneficial as I have this year. The verses quoted are from the New Living Translation.
This is just a small portion of the great wisdom available in not only Proverbs, but the rest of the Bible. If you read something here that challenges or upsets you, consider this verse from chapter 19 of Proverbs; “People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord” and these from 2 Timothy 3; “16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” Read more of these from the source and read from it every day. Youversion.com has many reading plans to choose from, including 3 day plans and 1 year plans. You will see change in yourself if you make that commitment.
The book begins with a description of the purpose of Proverbs:
1:1 These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel. 2 Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. 3 Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. 4 These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young. 5 Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance 6 by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles. 7 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Benefits of gaining wisdom:
2:6 For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. 8 He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him. 9 Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. 11 Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe. 12 Wisdom will save you from evil people, from those whose words are twisted.
3:1 My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. 2 If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. 3 Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. 4 Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. 7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
4:10 My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life. 11 I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths. 12 When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble. 13 Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.
8:10 Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold. 11 For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.
8:32 “And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful. 33 Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it.
9:11 Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. 12 If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.
15:22 Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.
15:31 If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.
18:15 Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge.
30:5 Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection. 6 Do not add to his words, or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.
3:9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. 10 Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.
10:16 The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin.
11:24 Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. 25 The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
21:26 Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!
23:4 Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit.
30:8 First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. 9 For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.
Caring for others:
3:27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.
11:30 The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends.
14:31 Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honors him.
19:17 If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord— and he will repay you!
22:9 Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor.
28:27 Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.
Work is worthy:
5:10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— 11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
10:26 Lazy people irritate their employers, like vinegar to the teeth or smoke in the eyes.
21:5 Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
27:18 As workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat the fruit, so workers who protect their employer’s interests will be rewarded.
28:19 A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty.
Evidence and repercussions of foolish behavior (mostly via your words):
10:8 The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.
10:14 Wise people treasure knowledge, but the babbling of a fool invites disaster.
10:19 Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
10:32 The lips of the godly speak helpful words, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words.
11:12 It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor; a sensible person keeps quiet. 13 A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence. 14 Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.
12:15 Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others. 16 A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.
12:23 The wise don’t make a show of their knowledge, but fools broadcast their foolishness.
13:3 Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything. 4 Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.
14:16 The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.
14:29 People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.
15:1 A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
17:27 A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. 28 Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.
18:13 Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.
19:3 People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.
20:1 Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.
28:2 When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.
29:11 Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.
Family conflict, children and parenting:
1:8 My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
4:1 My children, listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgment, 2 for I am giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from my instructions.
6:20 My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
13:1 A wise child accepts a parent’s discipline; a mocker refuses to listen to correction.
13:24 Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.
15:5 Only a fool despises a parent’s discipline; whoever learns from correction is wise.
17:1 Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting—and conflict.
18:22 The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.
19:13 A foolish child is a calamity to a father; a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping. 14 Fathers can give their sons an inheritance of houses and wealth, but only the Lord can give an understanding wife.
19:18 Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives.
20:7 The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.
21:19 It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.
22:6 Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
22:15 A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness, but physical discipline will drive it far away.
23:13 Don’t fail to discipline your children. They won’t die if you spank them. 14 Physical discipline may well save them from death.
27:15 A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day. 16 Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or trying to hold something with greased hands.
29:15 To discipline a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.
31:10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. 11 Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.