If you tend to stick to reading the New Testament, then you’re missing out on a lot of help in life. Let me encourage you to read through the book of Proverbs (maybe several times.) You’ll be blown away by its practicality. It’s a virtual feast (see, now the photo fits) of good advice! Here’s a sampling. (Since every quote is taken from the book of Proverbs, I’ve only listed the chapter and verse for each one.)
Pay attention to what God says.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (3:5-6).
“To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice” (21:3).
“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him” (30:5).
Guard your heart.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (4:23).
“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones” (14:30).
Watch your mouth. (This starts with guarding your heart.)
“The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent,and their lips promote instruction” (16:23).
“Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips” (4:24).
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (18:21).
Don’t be lazy.
“A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man” (6:10-11).
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom” (11:2).
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (16:18).
“Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor” (29:23).
“A kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth. Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves” (11:16-17).
“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done” (19:17).
“The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor” (22:9).
Easy to do? Maybe not, but these words of wisdom are so important and, clearly, what God is asking us to do, with the help of the Holy Spirit. (‘Cause we’ll all fail miserably on our own.) Next week I’ll give you the verses that talk about financial wisdom, choosing friends, raising kids, handling rebuke, becoming self-controlled, and appreciating your wife (!). Stay tuned! And have a great week.