A person who isn’t friendly looks out only for themselves.
They oppose all good sense by starting fights.
2 Foolish people don’t want to understand.
They take delight in saying only what they think.
3 People hate it when evil comes.
And they refuse to honor those who bring shame.
4 The words of a person’s mouth are like deep water.
But the fountain of wisdom is like a flowing stream.
5 It isn’t good to favor those who do wrong.
That would keep justice from those who aren’t guilty.
6 What foolish people say leads to arguing.
They are just asking for a beating.
7 The words of foolish people drag them down.
They are trapped by what they say.
8 The words of anyone who talks about others are like tasty bites of food.
They go deep down inside you.
9 Anyone who doesn’t want to work
is like someone who destroys.
10 The name of the Lord is like a strong tower.
Godly people run to it and are safe.
11 The wealth of rich people is like a city that makes them feel safe.
They think of it as a city with walls that can’t be climbed.
12 If a person’s heart is proud, they will be destroyed.
So don’t be proud if you want to be honored.
13 To answer before listening
is foolish and shameful.
14 A cheerful spirit gives strength even during sickness.
But you can’t keep going if you have a broken spirit.
15 Those whose hearts understand what is right get knowledge.
That’s because the ears of those who are wise listen for it.
16 A gift opens the door
and helps the giver meet important people.
17 In court, the first one to speak seems right.
Then someone else comes forward and questions him.
18 Casting lots will put a stop to arguing.
It will keep the strongest enemies apart.
19 A broken friendship is harder to handle than a city with high walls around it.
And arguing is like the locked gates of a mighty city.
20 Because of what they say a person can fill their stomach.
What their words produce can satisfy them.
21 Your tongue has the power of life and death.
Those who love to talk will eat the fruit of their words.
22 The one who finds a wife finds what is good.
He receives favor from the Lord.
23 Poor people beg for mercy.
But rich people answer in a mean way.
24 A person with unfaithful friends soon comes to ruin.
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Lord, thank You for the wisdom of this chapter. Thank You for the wisdom of the book of Proverbs. Thank You that Solomon asked for wisdom above all other things and I pray that we will be like him in that way, that we will be people that seek Your wisdom, seek your truth, seek Your higher ways, to really immerse ourselves in Your word. Father, forgive us for forsaking Your word, forgive us for not meeting with others, forgive us for walking away from You and trying to do things on our strength Forgive us for prayer-lessness, forgive us for walking down paths that You would not have us walk down, even though we knew we were not supposed to do it. Lord, we thank You today, for the grace that You so wonderfully bestow, we thank You and we don’t take for granted all the forgiveness that You have thrown our way in such a beautiful way. Lord, help us to be wise and not fools. Help us to hate evil and love good. Help us to have wisdom on our lips and to encourage others with our words instead of to tear others down. Lord, for those who are hurting today, because they have been torn down by someone else’s words, I pray that You would bring perspective and You would help us take a deep breath and You would heal some of those wounded parts and You would, as I have prayed before, many times and pray every day, that You would help us to see people who wound us a s cautionary tales. To just make a determination to not be like that, because we now understand, with empathy, what’s it’s like to be hurt like that and so may it be instructive to us to teach us how to love other people well. Lord, help us not be argumentative today, but to be conciliatory, help us to have words of life. It says, “The words of anyone who talks about others are like tasty bites of food that go down deep inside you. This is talking about gossip and Lord, we don’t want to be a part of that and Lord, I know, it can be super awkward when we are in a circle of people and they start gossiping. Help us today, to be brave enough, to walk away. Lord, You have so often spoken in Proverbs about the importance of hard work. In verse 9 it says that anyone who does not want to work, is like someone who destroys. So Lord, give us a strong work ethic today, help us to work for You, help us to work with joy, help us to, if we have a boss, to make our boss proud and help us to be able to have a look at ourselves at the end of the day, in the mirror and know that we have worked very, very hard and that we have been industrious. Lord, thank you for giving us the strength to do that, because the word says You give us the power to make wealth and so we acknowledge that today, before You. Lord, You are good, we need You and we love You, in Jesus name, Amen.
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