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  • Writer's pictureJack Selcher

Proverbs and Godly Living Skills--Part Ten

Jesus with a crown of thorns on his head holding a cross

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 Ten describes five characteristics of wise people. They are impartial, have God-honoring motives, and are self-correcting, diligent, and bold.

They Are Impartial

Partiality is favoring the lesser over the more qualified, usually because of a relationship with the former. Favoritism opened the door for one of my summer jobs and slammed the door in my face for a job many years later.

Who people know, not what they know provides unfair opportunities for many political appointees. John F. Kennedy selected his brother Robert as his attorney general. Ivanka Trump became an advisor to the President of the United States, her father.

“The spoils or patronage system is a practice where government jobs are given, usually after winning an election, to political party supporters, friends, and relatives as a reward for working toward victory, and as an incentive to keep working for the party.”1

Wise people don’t show favoritism or partiality when passing judgment (Proverbs 24:23, 28:21). They treat others with absolute fairness, thereby loving their neighbor as themselves (James 2:8). They treat people as God does.

 “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere” (James 3:17 NLT). 

God doesn’t show favoritism (Deuteronomy 10:17, Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11). He welcomes those who fear Him and do what is right (Acts 10:34–35). Those who do wrong will receive the consequences (Colossians 3:25).

They Have God-Honoring Motives

Motives matter to God. Evil motives often underlie favoritism (James 2:4). God doesn’t answer prayers polluted with wrong motives (James 4:3). They smell to Him like a skunk does to our noses.

Wise people sacrifice with the right motives (Proverbs 21:27). That is, they give willingly and joyously (1 Chronicles 29:17). They seek to please God, not people (1 Thessalonians 2:4).

God examines secret motives and gives everyone the rewards their actions deserve (Jeremiah 17:10).


They Are Self-Correcting

Wise people learn from their and others’ mistakes (Proverbs 26:11). They honestly evaluate themselves (Romans 12:3). They make the changes necessary to prevent reoccurring sins and mistakes. Foolish people keep repeating theirs.

They Are Diligent

Wise people put their hearts into carrying out their responsibilities (Proverbs 27:23). They diligently obey the LORD’s commands (Deuteronomy 6:17). That’s what Jesus did.  “He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8 NLT).

The wise aren’t indifferent (Revelation 3:19). They work willingly at whatever they do, as though they are working for God rather than people. Christ is their Master (Colossians 3:23–24). They receive their full reward (2 John 1:8).

They Are Bold

The wise are bold as lions (Proverbs 28:1). “The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13 NLT).

Wise people communicate God’s message boldly (Philippians 1:14). They also pray boldly (Hebrews 4:16). #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. 

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