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  • Writer's pictureJack Selcher

Proverbs and Godly Living Skills--Part Nine

Jesus with a sad look on his face and his hands tied with a rope

People demonstrate biblical wisdom by the quality of their advice and lives. Like Jesus, their words and ways bless some and offend others. Proverbs and Godly Living Skills--Part Nine describes five characteristics of wise people. They forgive others’ faults, persevere, refrain from gossip, trust God’s sovereignty, and work competently.

They Forgive Others’ Faults

In the political realm and elsewhere, we often hear, “I did nothing wrong!” Usually, that adds lying to the previous offenses. God’s standard is loving Him with all our being and loving our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:37–39).

By that measuring stick, we’ve all done a lot wrong. Usually, we maximize others’ mess-ups, deny or minimize our own, or blame others for them. We often neglect what is most serious—our offenses against God. Forgiveness can’t begin until self-justification ends. They can’t coexist.

Because wise people know they drive their own offending garbage trucks, they forgive others' faults and failures. It makes sense to forgive others if we expect God and others to forgive us.

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you” (Matthew 6:14 NLT). God’s forgiving grace doesn’t give us what we deserve. We must pass it on to others (Matthew 18:21–35).

Wise people don’t dwell on others’ faults. They control their tempers and forgive (Proverbs 17:9, 19:11). They don’t repeatedly replay the offenses in their minds. They delete them.

Wise people don’t try to get even for a wrong (Proverbs 20:22). They let the LORD handle it. They treat their neighbors mercifully (Proverbs 21:10). They don’t testify against them without cause, lie about them, or try to get even with them (Proverbs 24:28-29).

They don’t rejoice when their enemies stumble and fall (Proverbs 24:17). They provide food and drink for them (Proverbs 25:21).

They imitate what Jesus did on the cross. He said, “But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike” (Matthew 5:44–45 NLT).

They Persevere

Wise people may trip seven times, but they will get up each time (Proverbs 24:16). They don’t give in to or align with the wicked (Proverbs 25:26). It’s always too early for them to quit.

They don’t give up on a life of trust, obedience, and good deeds (Galatians 6:9–10). They endure when the going gets tough. That’s what Jesus did.

“Therefore, … let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne” (Hebrews 12:1–2 NLT).

They Refrain from Gossip

Gossiping is character assassination. Wise people don’t listen to it or pay attention to slander (Proverbs 17:4). They don’t hang around those who gossip (Proverbs 20:19).

Gossip fails the Ephesians 4:29 test.  It’s abusive language. It isn’t good and helpful. It doesn’t encourage anyone. Neither Jesus nor the wise gossip.

They Trust God’s Sovereignty

Wise people don’t expect to understand everything the LORD does in their lives (Proverbs 20:24). They realize His thoughts are on an unimaginably higher plane. They can’t comprehend His ways and thoughts (Isaiah 55:8–9). They trust Him even though they often don’t understand what He does or why.

They accept their responsibilities. They prepare for battles but trust in the LORD (Proverbs 21:31).

They Work Competently

Wise people are truly competent workers (Proverbs 22:29). They work willingly for the LORD and not for people (Colossians 3:23) because they love Him with all their heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). They understand judgment day will reveal the quality of their work (1 Corinthians 3:13). #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 2,699 people. I invite you to check it out.

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