You know how you stumble across something amazing and that hits you right between the eyes like “why have I not seen this before?” Well, that is how I felt when I stumbled across the 30 sayings of the wise in Proverbs.
Just when you feel like you have things under control in your life, you run smack dab into a wall that makes you wonder how the heck you got knocked out in the first place. Ever feel like that? As a Christian, it’s an every day struggle but we know deep down that we are here to fight the good fight at the end of the day. Do I wish sometimes life wasn’t so tough? Absolutely.
I read this today that was written by a young girl that lost 2 friends before going into high school. Read it before I share Proverbs – “A Couple More Laps”
I’m fourteen years old; I started high school recently. When you go into high school, it’s good to know that you have your close, trustworthy friends with you.
Well, I lost two of my trustworthy friends: Baley and Ashlyn. Baley died in a boating incident. That was hard; he was always there for everybody. . . . He was a good guy. Ashlyn died of unknown causes in her sleep. They did an autopsy and the results came back inconclusive. She was a good person, too. She would stop and help in a second. She would make you laugh when you were down. She had a sassy, funny attitude that everyone thought was funny.
So, now, going into high school, and not having that support . . . what was I supposed to do?
My grandma bought some tickets to Women of Faith. I was excited. I would get to see Matthew West and hear inspirational stories—it would be great.
On the second day, this lady with a cool Australian accent was telling the story of the men coming to the Promised Land . . . and the wall was there. They had to remain faithful to God and continue walking around the wall.
That got me thinking: God wants me to remain faithful, and continue with my laps around this wall of sadness that God was going to knock down if I remain faithful . . . because I’m almost there. Soon the walls will come crumbling down and I will be happy again, I just need to remain faithful.
I feel like if I hadn’t heard that I would’ve become depressed. All I wanted to do was sit around and think about the “what ifs.” What if Baley had made it to high school? What if Ashlyn and I were going to have an hour together? These questions would be on my mind all the time.
When I walked through those doors of the high school with the thought that Baley and Ashlyn were supposed to be there, I told myself, “laps, you have a couple more laps.” I can’t explain how I felt when I was hearing this story out of the Bible. I felt like the message was for me, directed towards me. I felt so good knowing I was going to make it through all this hurt and pain. I was going to be okay. This sadness won’t consume me.
And it hasn’t. Even when there’s a lot of pain and I don’t want to do anything, I tell myself, “Laps, Alyvia, you’re almost done with this” and it helps. It feels so good knowing that I am going to be okay. That story, in my opinion changed everything, for the better.
Pretty awesome huh? It puts things into perspective and reminds you, just a few more laps….
And now here are the 30 sayings of the wise. This comes from Proverbs 22:17 – 24:34:
17 Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise;
apply your heart to what I teach,
18 for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart
and have all of them ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I teach you today, even you.
20 Have I not written thirty sayings for you,
sayings of counsel and knowledge,
21 teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth,
so that you bring back truthful reports
to those you serve?
22 Do not exploit the poor because they are poor
and do not crush the needy in court,
23 for the Lord will take up their case
and will exact life for life.
24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,
do not associate with one easily angered,
25 or you may learn their ways
and get yourself ensnared.
26 Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge
or puts up security for debts;
27 if you lack the means to pay,
your very bed will be snatched from under you.
28 Do not move an ancient boundary stone
set up by your ancestors.
29 Do you see someone skilled in their work?
They will serve before kings;
they will not serve before officials of low rank.
23 When you sit to dine with a ruler,
note well what[a] is before you,
2 and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to gluttony.
3 Do not crave his delicacies,
for that food is deceptive.
4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
do not trust your own cleverness.
5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
6 Do not eat the food of a begrudging host,
do not crave his delicacies;
7 for he is the kind of person
who is always thinking about the cost.[b] “Eat and drink,” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.
8 You will vomit up the little you have eaten
and will have wasted your compliments.
9 Do not speak to fools,
for they will scorn your prudent words.
10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone
or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,
11 for their Defender is strong;
he will take up their case against you.
12 Apply your heart to instruction
and your ears to words of knowledge.
13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.
14 Punish them with the rod
and save them from death.
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
then my heart will be glad indeed;
16 my inmost being will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
18 There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
and set your heart on the right path:
20 Do not join those who drink too much wine
or gorge themselves on meat,
21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
22 Listen to your father, who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth and do not sell it—
wisdom, instruction and insight as well.
24 The father of a righteous child has great joy;
a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.
25 May your father and mother rejoice;
may she who gave you birth be joyful!
26 My son, give me your heart
and let your eyes delight in my ways,
27 for an adulterous woman is a deep pit,
and a wayward wife is a narrow well.
28 Like a bandit she lies in wait
and multiplies the unfaithful among men.
29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaints?
Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 Those who linger over wine,
who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly!
32 In the end it bites like a snake
and poisons like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange sights,
and your mind will imagine confusing things.
34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas,
lying on top of the rigging.
35 “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt!
They beat me, but I don’t feel it!
When will I wake up
so I can find another drink?”
24 Do not envy the wicked,
do not desire their company;
2 for their hearts plot violence,
and their lips talk about making trouble.
3 By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
4 through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.
5 The wise prevail through great power,
and those who have knowledge muster their strength.
6 Surely you need guidance to wage war,
and victory is won through many advisers.
7 Wisdom is too high for fools;
in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths.
8 Whoever plots evil
will be known as a schemer.
9 The schemes of folly are sin,
and people detest a mocker.
10 If you falter in a time of trouble,
how small is your strength!
11 Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?
13 Eat honey, my son, for it is good;
honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.
14 Know also that wisdom is like honey for you:
If you find it, there is a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.
15 Do not lurk like a thief near the house of the righteous,
do not plunder their dwelling place;
16 for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,
but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.
17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls;
when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice,
18 or the Lord will see and disapprove
and turn his wrath away from them.
19 Do not fret because of evildoers
or be envious of the wicked,
20 for the evildoer has no future hope,
and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.
21 Fear the Lord and the king, my son,
and do not join with rebellious officials,
22 for those two will send sudden destruction on them,
and who knows what calamities they can bring?
Further Sayings of the Wise
23 These also are sayings of the wise:
To show partiality in judging is not good:
24 Whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent,”
will be cursed by peoples and denounced by nations.
25 But it will go well with those who convict the guilty,
and rich blessing will come on them.
26 An honest answer
is like a kiss on the lips.
27 Put your outdoor work in order
and get your fields ready;
after that, build your house.
28 Do not testify against your neighbor without cause—
would you use your lips to mislead?
29 Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me;
I’ll pay them back for what they did.”
30 I went past the field of a sluggard,
past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31 thorns had come up everywhere,
the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed
and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.
Mind is blown right? Such great words and makes you take a step back for a second. Bottom line is you’re going to mess up every day but don’t think for a second you have failed. Do your best, keep your eyes on the ultimate race and not the sidelines where the small things of life pull you down.