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  • Writer's pictureJack Selcher

Proverbs and Godly Living Skills--Part Eleven

three images of Jesus, facing ahead, left, and right in a thought bubble

People demonstrate biblical wisdom by the quality of their advice and their lives. Like Jesus, their words and ways bless some and offend others.

Proverbs and Godly Living Skills--Part Eleven describes five characteristics of wise people. They are hard-working, law-abiding, content, and dignified, and they prepare for the future.

They Are Hard-Working

Proverbs describes the benefits of hard work and contrasts them with the price of laziness. Wise people:

·       Aren’t complacent (Proverbs 1:32).

·       Are diligent and don’t make excuses for inactivity (Proverbs 26:13).

·       Don’t sleep their lives away (Proverbs 20:13, 24:30–34).

·       Work hard and aren’t lazy (Proverbs 6:6-11, 10:4, 18:9, 19:15).

·       Plan well, work hard, and avoid shortcuts (Proverbs 21:5).

·       Have plenty of food (Proverbs 28:19).

·       Become leaders (Proverbs 12:24).

Wise people enthusiastically work hard:

·       For the Lord (Romans 12:11, 16:12).

·       To help those in need and benefit others, including other believers (Acts 20:35, Romans 16:6,

Ephesians 4:28, Hebrews 6:10).

·       To persuade others to follow Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:11).

·       To demonstrate the results of their salvation (Philippians 2:12).

·       To prove they are among God’s called and chosen (2 Peter 1:10).

·       To receive their full reward (2 John 1:8).

·       To correctly explain God’s word to others (2 Timothy 2:15).

·       To receive God’s approval when they present themselves to Him (2 Timothy 2:15).

God will reward them for their hard work (1 Corinthians 3:8). He works through them by His grace (1 Corinthians 15:10) and within them (Colossians 1:29) by Christ’s mighty power.

They Are Law Abiding

Wise people obey God’s law (Proverbs 28:4) and the laws of the land (Romans 13:1–7). They don’t applaud evil. Young people demonstrate maturity and wisdom, not by foolishly celebrating imagined freedom from God’s commandments, but by obeying them (Proverbs 28:7).

They Are Content

Wise people are content with enough wealth to meet their needs (Proverbs 30:8). Money can become a consuming focus for those who have too much or too little.

Jesus was content when He had no place to lay His head (Luke 9:58). The Apostle Paul learned to be content with whatever he had (Philippians 4:11–13). He told Timothy that true godliness with contentment is great wealth (1 Timothy 6:6) and to be content if he had enough food and clothing (1 Timothy 6:8).

They Are Dignified

Dignity clothes wise people (Proverbs 31:25). They are calm, controlled, serious, and worthy of respect. Authority oozes from them because of their appearance, words, and ways. They possess gravitas. Paul wrote to Timothy, “Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:2 NLT).

They Prepare for the Future

Wise people prepare for the future (Proverbs 20:4). They foresee danger and take precautions (Proverbs 22:3) without neurotically trying to protect themselves from every possible calamity.

What can we do now that will enhance our future? I began saving money for college when I was in sixth grade resulting in no college debts. I save money to buy items with cash and have never made a monthly payment. I know everyone can’t do that, but it has saved me substantial interest payments over my lifetime.

I buy seeds and start my garden plants in the basement. Twenty years of applying grass clippings and chopped leaves to my garden’s soil has greatly improved its fertility.

Jesus spent more than three years preparing His disciples to carry on His mission. “Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you” (John 20:21 NLT).

Jesus told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18–20 NLT). #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources

See free spiritual growth resources for Christians at

God has equipped and empowered me to write His Power for Your Weakness—260 Steps Toward Spiritual Strength. It’s a free devotional discipleship resource. Pastors have used it in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia to lead people to faith in Christ and teach the basics of Christianity to 2,860 people. I invite you to check it out. 

Photo: AI art by Kelly Selcher

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