by Stephen Sanders
I make my living as a videographer. I film interviews of pastors/professors/authors answering questions about the Bible. Then I edit this video footage into individual videos and thousands of people click on them online because they are looking for answers. Books like Proverbs make it easy for us to develop this habit of learning who God is; obtaining the answers to life’s common problems… developing a hope and a trust in God (and a confidence in ourselves, even) that will keep us on the right track like we so desperately want to be.
I recently took a 31-day journey through Proverbs on my blog on Christianity.com, and I hope it will encourage you like it did me:
31 Days of Proverbs
Proverbs 1: Wisdom That Shouts!
This wisdom in Proverbs makes itself undeniably obvious to us. It “shouts at us” right in the middle of where we exist. This wisdom contains the answers that we so desperately search for.
Proverbs 2: Simple Knowledge
This wisdom Solomon keeps speaking about isn’t simple knowledge that we learn by living life, learning from our mistakes, etc. It doesn’t just come by natural means. Godly knowledge comes by seeking God fervently by reading the Bible, talking to Him in prayer, and seeking His will for our lives specifically.
Proverbs 3: Love & Loyalty
We see it over and over. Love God. Love others. Seek God for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding and obtain fulfillment in life. We can sleep at night knowing that we aren’t in trouble.
Proverbs 4: More of the Same
Chapter 4 comes across as a reiteration. All four of these chapters word it a bit differently, but it’s altogether the same key points. I guess these principles really are important, right?
Proverbs 5: Polluted Streams
This is where things begin evolving and we get into some more detail as to what this wisdom & knowledge truly is. Solomon warns us of those who will try to deceive us specifically with sexual temptation.
Proverbs 6: Six Things That God Hates
This one is a really meaty chapter. We go from handling business deals the right way, to the trouble that goes along with procrastination, to the trouble with troublemaking, to the consequences of adultery.
Proverbs 7: The Infamous Harlot/Seductress
It seems adultery hasn’t changed much over the past few thousand years. If we pay attention, we can learn something that will change our lives forever.
Proverbs 8: You Gotta Trust God’s Word
This is one of those passages in the Bible that I love to read slowly and over and over again. I feel like I get a small taste of how amazing God is when I read it. I also feel an enormous sense of gratitude in knowing that He wants me to have the same wisdom that has been by His side since the beginning of time.
Proverbs 9: Wisdom vs. Folly
But one thing that stuck out to me in this chapter is that there are a lot of similarities between Wisdom and Folly. The difference is in what they are offering and the type of life that results in following each of them.
Proverbs 10: Righteousness vs. Wickedness
I’m gonna be honest here. This chapter makes my eyes cross (that probably happens to me when I read the Bible more than it does for most people). One of the things I like to do to eliminate some of that confusion is to break passages up into bite-sized chunks.
Proverbs 11: Where’s the Integrity?
God loves humble people with integrity who are righteous. During Solomon’s time, people found this right standing by following rules and giving God sacrifices when they fell short of these rules. Today, we find it through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 12: A Little Bit of Everything
The righteous and upright have integrity. Let’s continue to ask God to help us become those people who the world can begin trusting again.
Proverbs 13: Our Whole Heart
The further we dig into these chapters, the more I realize how important it is that God has our whole heart. I mean, we have to be committed to Him for it to be possible for us to follow these instructions.
Proverbs 14: Priceless Wisdom
It’s easy to get in a habit of just living life without putting much thought into what causes you to be the kind of person that you are. But after studying these Proverbs, I’m now convinced more than ever that following Jesus is not a cakewalk. If anything, it is actually harder to be a Christian because you can’t just be who you want to be.
Proverbs 15: Speak Your Mind?
In this chapter, I’m noticing a lot of wisdom on watching your words. In this day and age where the vast majority expresses their opinion openly, it’s becoming more and more difficult to “think before you speak.” ESPECIALLY, online where we make comments without running the risk of consequence for our actions.
Proverbs 16: Providence vs. Creating Your Destiny
God is the one who is in control. We should take great comfort in that fact because it means that we don’t have to put so much pressure on ourselves to perform.
Proverbs 17: Minor Tweaks
God’s Word is alive. It tells us when we need to tone it down a notch or crank it up a bit. I can’t help but think that all these minor tweaks along the way are what will surely bring us closer to who we are in Him.
Proverbs 18: The Golden Rule (on Facebook too!)
Isn’t it fascinating how much social media has changed the way we communicate with one another? I’ve known myself to be guilty of saying some things that I normally wouldn’t be bold enough to say in real-life conversations.
Proverbs 19: Where Does Poverty Fit In?
The more mature I become as a Christian, the more I find that God doesn’t want us to worry about money. He doesn’t want it to control our lives because it has the power to control us to the point where we value it more than Him.
Proverbs 20: Just God
We all know that life isn’t fair. Sometimes the cards we are dealt don’t result in a winning hand. Does that mean that God isn’t “good?”
Proverbs 21: The Contentious Woman
Basically, she’s the kind of person that pretty much no one wants to be around. The people that do surround her are either (A) just like her or (B) stuck with her.
Proverbs 22: Common Bond
Proverbs 22 is so important because it tears down this facade of wealthy, healthy, successful = blessed by God. It levels the playing field because it doesn’t matter where you come from. Nothing we achieve enables us to get more of Jesus.
Proverbs 23: More Money, More Problems
Solomon, the same man who could have had anything he wanted, actually warns us about wealth.
Proverbs 24: A Balancing Act
Moderation is a good thing, not only because of what it keeps us from doing too much of, but because of the things that we need to experience just a little bit to still be effective in ministering to the lost and loving the unlovely.
Proverbs 25: Vinegar in a Wound
We really need to be sensitive to how we interact with people who are suffering. Many times, I think we try so hard to be “happy, positive Christians” that we forget that we are really supposed to be suffering with these people.
Proverbs 26: How to Stop Doing Foolish Things
That little voice in our head warns us and, for whatever reason, we ignore it just long enough to not do what it tells us to do.
Proverbs 27: Flattery, Bragging & Jealousy
When was the last time you analyzed the way that other people perceive you?
Proverbs 28: Rulers & Laws
We are always supposed to support our leaders through prayer. We are supposed to love them, as we want to be loved.
Proverbs 29: Giving & Receiving Criticism
Always accept criticism from others with humility and take those things to God in prayer and by studying the Bible. You’ll likely discover that there were things that you thought you knew about Jesus that you really didn’t… and that is okay.
Proverbs 30: Poverty Nor Riches
Material things (specifically our lack or abundance of them) have a way of replacing God. According to the Bible, it’s perfectly okay to be content with what you have.
Proverbs 31: A Different Focus
Sure. We’ve all heard of the “Proverbs 31 Woman,” but what about everything else in the chapter?