For the next few chapters of Proverbs, you and I are going to be introduced to the language of a wise person. In fact, we will be given “the 30 sayings of the wise” between Proverbs 22 and Proverbs 24. We’ll take a look at the first 6 sayings today in Proverbs 22. So, get ready to take some notes, make some mental notes, pull up a chair, and glean some wisdom from the wise.
#1: Listen to wisdom.
Ok, this is my translation of what Proverbs 22:17-21 is trying to say. Open up your ears, listen to wise instruction, and heed wise instruction. It is then and only then that you will learn to truly trust the LORD. Learn to tune your ears to wisdom.
“Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise;
apply your heart to what I teach,” Proverbs 22:17
“So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I teach you today, even you.” Proverbs 22:19
#2: Care for the poor.
So consistent throughout Scripture is God’s heartbeat for the poor, the needy, the marginalized, and those who suffer. We are instructed on what we are to do for them, and here in Proverbs 22, we are told what not to do to them. God stands in their defense, and so should we.
“Do not exploit the poor because they are poor
and do not crush the needy in court,” Proverbs 22:22
#3: Choose your friends wisely.
Again, this is my translation of this third wise saying, but ultimately, this is the truth it’s teaching. If you want to be an angry person, then hang out with angry people. It won’t take long for their anger to rub off on you. Instead, choose those who will influence you the most by using wisdom in your choosing. Be wise in relationships.
“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,
do not associate with one easily angered,
or you may learn their ways
and get yourself ensnared.” Proverbs 22:24-25
#4: Avoid debt.
This is such practical wisdom and godly advice for the taking here in Proverbs 22. Basically, don’t buy what you can’t afford. When you sign up for debt, you sign up for bondage to whom you owe.
“if you lack the means to pay,
your very bed will be snatched from under you.” Proverbs 22:27
#5: Don’t move what isn’t yours to move.
God has established boundaries for us to live by, and it is foolish for us to try to adjust or move them out of the way. They were placed their for our protection. Moving them only succeeds in removing the protection that they bring.
“Do not move an ancient boundary stone
set up by your ancestors.” Proverbs 22:28
#6: Use the gifts God has given you.
Too many of us sit on our gifts, disqualifying ourselves from the work God has created us to do. Stop it! Get up, and start moving and working within your giftedness. Stop making excuses for why you’re not. Start using the gifts God has given you!
“Do you see someone skilled in their work?
They will serve before kings;
they will not serve before officials of low rank.” Proverbs 22:29