If you don’t want to learn, years of schooling will teach you very little. But if you want to be taught, there is no end to what you can learn. This includes being willing to accept discipline and correction and to learn from the wisdom of others. A person who refuses constructive criticism has a problem with pride. Such a person is unlikely to learn very much.
To be established means to be successful. Real success comes only to those who do what is right. Their efforts stand the test of time. Then, what kind of success does wickedness bring? We all know people who cheated to pass the course or get a larger tax refund – is this not success? And what about the person who ignores his family commitments and mistreats his workers but gets ahead in business? These apparent successes are only temporary. They are bought at the expense of character. Cheaters grow more and more dishonest, and those who hurt others become callous and cruel. In the long run, evil behaviour does not lead to success; it leads only to more evil. real success maintains personal integrity. If you are not a success by God’s standards, you have not achieved true success.
Sinful talk is twisting the facts to support your claims. Those who do this are likely to be trapped by their own lies. But for someone who always tells the truth, the facts – plain and unvarnished – give an unshakable defense. If you find that you always have to defend yourself to others, maybe your honesty is less than it should be.
When someone annoys or insults you, it is natural to retaliate. But this solves nothing and only encourages trouble. Instead,, answer slowly and quietly. Your positive responce will achieve positive results. Proverbs 12:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath.”
Truth is always timely; it applies today and in the future. Because it is connected with God’s changeless character, it is also changeless. Think for a moment about the centuries that have passed since these proverbs were written. Consider the countless hours that have been spent carefully studying every sentence of Scripture. The Bible has withstood the test of time. Because God is truth, you can trust his Word to guide you.
This is a general, but not universal, truth. Although harm does befall the righteous, they are able to see opportunities in their problems and move ahead. The wicked, without God’s wisdom, are ill-equipped to handle their problems.
Prudent people have a quiet confidence. Insecure or uncertain people feel the need to prove themselves, but prudent people don’t have to prove anything. They know they are capable, so they can get on with their work. Beware of showing off. If you are modest, people may not only notice you at first, but they will respect you later.
The diligent make wise use of their possessions and resources; the lazy waste them. Waste has become a way of life for many who live in a land of plenty. Waste is poor stewardship. Make good use of everything God has given you, and prize it.
For many, death is a darkened door at the end of life, a passageway to an unknown and feared destiny. But for God’s people, death is a bright pathway to a new and better life. So why do we fear death? Is it because of the pain we expect, the seperation from loved ones, its surprise? God can help us deal with those fears. he has shown us that death is not final, but is just another step in the eternal life we received when we followed him.
1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but whoever hates correction is stupid.
2 Good people obtain favor from the Lord,
but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes.
No one can be established through wickedness,
but the righteous cannot be uprooted.
4 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown,
but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
5 The plans of the righteous are just,
but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.
6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
but the speech of the upright rescues them.
7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
but the house of the righteous stands firm.
8 A person is praised according to their prudence,
and one with a warped mind is despised.
9 Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant
than pretend to be somebody and have no food.
10 The righteous care for the needs of their animals,
but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.
11 Those who work their land will have abundant food,
but those who chase fantasies have no sense.
12 The wicked desire the stronghold of evildoers,
but the root of the righteous endures.
13 Evildoers are trapped by their sinful talk,
and so the innocent escape trouble.
14 From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things,
and the work of their hands brings them reward.
15 The way of fools seems right to them,
but the wise listen to advice.
16 Fools show their annoyance at once,
but the prudent overlook an insult.
17 An honest witness tells the truth,
but a false witness tells lies.
18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19 Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil,
but those who promote peace have joy.
21 No harm overtakes the righteous,
but the wicked have their fill of trouble.
22 The Lord detests lying lips,
but he delights in people who are trustworthy.
23 The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves,
but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.
Diligent hands will rule,
but laziness ends in forced labor.
25 Anxiety weighs down the heart,
but a kind word cheers it up.
26 The righteous choose their friends carefully,
but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
27 The lazy do not roast any game,
but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.
28 In the way of righteousness there is life;
along that path is immortality.
(Source: New International Version (NIV) Life Application Study Bible)
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