Thirty Sayings of the Wise: How to Relate to Other People
The section of Proverbs that we will be addressing today comes from chapter 22 verse 17 through chapter 24 verse 22. The Proverbs starts off by saying, Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge, for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips. That your trust may be in the LORD, I have made them known to you today, even to you. Have I not written for you thirty sayings of counsel and knowledge, to make you know what is right and true, that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?
We see heart that this section of scripture once again the author is urging us to listen to his wisdom that he had received from the Lord. Not for selfish ambition, but because he wants you to be able to trust in the Lord. In this section, the author gives us 30 sayings of the wise on how to relate to other people. For the sake of time, I will pull out a few of these examples for you to see how a wise person of God treats other people.
Proverbs 22:22-23, Do not rob the poor, because he is poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate, for the LORD will plead their cause and rob of life those who rob them.
Here we are instructed not to rob the poor, not that it is good to rob anyone, but it is especially evil to rob someone that already has little and cannot defend themselves. In other words, do not be someone that is going around kicking people while they are down; be someone that is an encouragement to others and helps build up people that are down.
Proverbs 22:24-25, Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
Why is it not a good idea to hang out with someone that has an anger problem? Because you never know what they are going to do next and what is going to set them off. And if you are with someone that is always acting irrationally then you might find yourself in situations that you never thought you would find yourself.
So there are two lessons here: do not be the person that is quick to anger, and do not be around a person that cannot control themselves.
Proverbs 22:29, Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.
Here we are told of the blessings that a man that is skillful in his work receives. This should be a lesson to all of you whatever God calls you to do for the rest of your life, do it for the glory of God and work on the skills that he has given you.
And what is the best way to do that know in middle school? By doing what you are doing now for the glory of the Lord. Make the best grades you can for the glory of the Lord, by studying to the best of your abilities. Play basketball for the glory of the Lord. Play baseball and football for the glory of the Lord. Play in the band for the glory of the Lord. Work on developing your skills now and your work ethic and your dedication now so that when you are grown you already have that foundation. You do not become a skillful worker by just doing the minimum. If the only time you hit in the batting cage is when your coach makes you, then you are not going to be a skillful baseball player.
However, we do not do this for selfish ambition, but for the glory of the Lord. Take for example Tim Tebow. People doubt is throwing ability, but no one doubts his work ethic and overall skills. But who does he point to too when everyone is looking at him? He redirects them to someone greater than himself. He points them to God. Therefore, whatever God calls you to be do if for the glory of God and point them to God through your skill set and work ethic.
Proverbs 23:6-7, Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy; do not desire his delicacies, for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.
In other words, do not take things from a stingy person, because although they appear to be giving to you with a good heart, they are actually giving to you so that you will owe you something in the future. They are calculating all that you owe them so that they can cash in later on.
So two lessons, do not give to people expecting them to repay you and do not take things from people if they are going to hold it against you later on.
Proverbs 23:22-25, Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding. The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.
Here we see once again that wisdom directly affects your relationship with your parents. If you want to make your parents happy and proud of you then work on making wise decisions instead of foolish decisions.