Welcome back to our study through Proverbs. It’s been a few days since we’ve dug into these wise words, and I’ve missed it! Today, we’ll pick it up right where we left off: Proverbs 12.
This entire chapter is filled with opposite statements—statements about the wise and statements about the foolish. Basically, the writer is saying, “It’s either this or that. You decide.” In fact, there are a lot of “buts” in this Proverbs. They go a little something like this:
If you want to be wise, __________, BUT if you’re foolish, then you’ll do _____________.
See what I mean? There is such power in opposing statements like these, because they force the reader (you and me) to determine which one best describes him or her. They are polarizing statements. They are defining statements. Let’s take a look at a few of them together.
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates reproof is stupid.” Proverbs 12:1
Ouch! The writer withholds nothing on this one. You’re either wise or “stupid.”
“An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.” Proverbs 12:4
Now, I know not all of us are married, but many of us are. Do we ever take this verse into account in our marriages? I don’t want to be bone rot in my husband. I want to be life-giving, don’t you?
“An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
but the righteous escapes from trouble.” Proverbs 12:13
Words and wisdom again. There is such wisdom in restraint, in holding the tongue. The fool vents without thought of the consequence of his words. The wise and righteous will avoid this kind of trouble because there is active restraint in their life in regards to their speech.
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs 12:15
This one is HUGE! To be teachable is to be wise. To heed wise counsel is prudent. To assume no instruction is needed is foolish. Which is your bent? Do you lean into the godly counsel of others or do you do things on your own? Do you have people who have permission to speak truth into your life?
“In the path of righteousness is life,
and in its pathway there is no death.” Proverbs 12:28
And here you have the final words of chapter 12, a perfect summary of wisdom. Here are the benefits of wisdom, the benefits of righteousness: Life and no death. I want that. That is what I’m after. Choose the wise walk today, my friends. Because it’s either this or that.