Here are seven valuable lessons from the Book of Proverbs that can empower you, improve your life and relationships.
1. How to Genuinely Care for Others
Proverbs 25: 20 “Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day and like vinegar on soda.”
This scripture teaches us how to care and be there for people who are hurting. When someone is hurting, they are very fragile, so we have to be sensitive to their pain. We need to be cautious with our words or actions because even though we may have good intentions, what we do could cause them more pain than they were experiencing. It’s like rubbing salt on a wound even though it wasn’t intentional to do so. It happens when we focus more on toxic positivity rather than accepting that painful emotions and situations are a part of life.
So when you tell someone who has a heavy heart things like “You are stronger or smarter than that,” “You have to focus on the positives,” “Everything happens for a reason.” “or “you give your examples of how you overcame adversity” “or you say some people have gone through worse than that.” All of these statements diminish and invalidate their emotions and their experiences. We need to learn to hold space for the person and meet them where they are in their journey without judging their feelings. Rather say things like “I understand, and I’m sorry that you are going through this,” “What do you need right now? Usually, people going through difficult emotions need someone to be there for them or want a listening ear.
2. Self-Control Protects You
Proverbs 25:28 “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”
Self-control means having restraint over your own emotions, desires, and actions. God encourages us to have self-control because He knows that we will be safe and protected with self-control. God doesn’t want our actions, desires, and emotions to control us. Instead, He wants us to have power over them. Self-control is a favourable spiritual trait or character trait. It gets you out of trouble, saves you from many things, and gives you strength, especially in difficult times. How can you practice self-control? You can practice self-control by doing what is suitable and beneficial to achieve a better goal. It’s going to be extremely difficult but worth it in the long run. Identify areas in your life where you lack self-control and start making better choices. You have to learn to say no to yourself and deny yourself certain things. Most importantly, always pray that God gives you strength.
3. Each Day is a Gift.
Proverbs 27:1 “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”
No one knows what will happen tomorrow, and you don’t know if you will be alive tomorrow. It’s easy to neglect the gift of life that God gave us today by focusing so much on the future. Instead, you should make the most of today. It`s easy to take the gift of life for granted. Maybe you`re living in the past or focused on the future that you forget to be present. This Proverb is a reminder that God wants you to be mindful and present. Challenge yourself to look at every day as a new day, a fresh start, and a day to live your life to the fullest—no more procrastination when it comes to your peace of mind, happiness, and heart desires.
4. Learn From Your Mistakes
Proverbs 26:11 “Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a full who repeats his folly.”
Honestly, the image of a dog eating its vomit is very gross! It`s a visual representation of what happens when you go back to your old ways. These can be habits, patterns, choices, people, places, or things that you know very well are not suitable for you and the spirit within you. You are a student, and God is your teacher. In His eyes, you are a child, and He is your Father. He’s challenging you to learn. To learn from the Bible, learn from your past, and learn from others. Use this knowledge to empower and better yourself. You have the spiritual tools and personal experiences to help you build new habits and make good choices. Decide to do what is best for you and back that up with your actions.
5. Work, Work, Work Work, Work
Proverbs 6 10-11 “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber.”
Here`s a disclaimer. We are firm believers of mental health days and taking time to recharge and refuel ourselves. Taking care of yourself is very important. I think this Proverb is talking about laziness and the habit of procrastination. God wants you to be consistent, proactive, and productive in your life. “Poverty” in this text can be spiritual poverty, financial poverty, or both. Spiritual poverty happens when you don’t take time to read the word, meditate on the word and pray, and have conversations with God.
Consider making God the center and priority in your life. He is your Anchor, and He is the roots that keep the tree steady. When you are rooted in Christ, you will not be easily manipulated by external things when you are not. So it’s crucial to have a relationship with God and make him part of your daily routine. While you are still on earth, you need money to support yourself. Financial poverty is when you don’t seek work and waste money on unnecessary things. It’s a spiritual requirement to be responsible. Start with what you have right now and work towards your financial goals.
6. Solid Support Structure
Proverbs 11:14 “Where the is no guidance, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors, there is safety.” Proverbs 15:22 “Without counsel, plans fail, but with many advisers, they succeed.”
Having a solid support structure will improve the quality of your life. A supportive network is not only limited to family and friends. It extends to other areas of your life such as business, finance, physical health, religion, relationships, education, workplace, and mental health. A support structure will help you grow in ways you couldn’t have if you were by yourself. They can show you your blind spots and prevent you from making bad decisions that you may not have thought of. Online platforms can also be a support structure if you follow personal development pages or spiritual pages. For example, YouTube is an excellent platform for learning from content creators, podcasts are great, and there are groups you can follow on Reddit to connect with like-minded people. However, it’s imperative to let your intuition guide you regarding the people you surround yourself with and the content you follow. Practice discernment because not everyone will have your best interest at heart, so be cautious.
7. Pave the Way for Future Generations
Proverbs 13:22 “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children….”
This Proverb is self-explanatory. It`s a challenge to think big and beyond your generation. Whatever you do in your life right now will affect the next two generations. Inheritance can be finances, health, character, or habits, regardless of the situation you were born into or your current circumstances. It`s your responsibility to create a better life for yourself and create generational blessings for the next generations to come.
What are your thoughts about these quotes?