Proverbs 13

American West

I’ve finished plenty of reading recently. I just finished Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport. You can see my review here.

One unique event I found out about while reading this book is that a Rock Paper Scissors tournament takes place in the United States every year (I also think it may occur internationally). It was first aired on ESPN in 2007. They share some psychological strategies. If you’re serious about Rock Paper Scissors, here’s a clip you may find amusing. I know it made me smile. RPS matches take place in a boxing ring (or at least, they did in 2007). It’s hard to describe. It’s just – different.

On another note, I’d like to share Proverbs 13 (NASB). It discusses the differences between the wise and the wicked.

A wise son accepts his father’s discipline,
But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
From the fruit of a person’s mouth he enjoys good,
But the desire of the treacherous is violence.
One who guards his mouth protects his life;
One who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Verses 1-3 discuss the importance of thinking before speaking. A secular online blog, SEFFSAID, published an article, “8 Benefits of Always Telling the Truth.” The article begins with a quote by an unknown person – “If you tell the truth, it becomes a part of your past. If you lie, it becomes a part of your future.” This is very true. Lying (even white lies) can lead to others viewing you as an unreliable person. The number one benefit is that “you don’t have to remember your lies.” This is very helpful for anyone who has a head injury and may have trouble remembering in general. Honesty is the best path. This is an interesting article. The other seven benefits include earning trust and respect, creating deeper connections with people and increasing your confidence among other things – one of which that lying takes physical and mental energy. This is mentioned later in Proverbs 13.

The soul of the lazy one craves and gets nothing,
But the soul of the diligent is made prosperous.
A righteous person hates a false statement,
But a wicked person acts disgustingly and shamefully.
Righteousness guards the one whose way is blameless,
But wickedness brings the sinner to ruin.
There is one who pretends to be rich but has nothing;
Another pretends to be poor, but has great wealth.
The ransom of a person’s life is his wealth,
But the poor hears no rebuke.
The light of the righteous rejoices,
But the lamp of the wicked goes out.

Verses 4-9 talk about the security of righteousness. Merriam-Webster defines “righteous” as, “acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin… morally right or justifiable… arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality… [or] genuine, excellent…” A feeling of security can come from faithfulness to Biblical views.

Through overconfidence comes nothing but strife,
But wisdom is with those who receive counsel.
Wealth obtained from nothing dwindles,

But one who gathers by labor increases it.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

Verses 10-12 speak of wisdom and patience (i.e. “Hope deferred”)… Overconfidence may lead you into a situation you really are not ready for, but seeking training and advice will help you prepare for the unexpected (whatever that may be – financial challenges, a medical emergency or something else). Hard work can have physical and mental benefits. According to the Eighty Six Four Hundred Blog in Benefits of Hard Work (9 Reasons Why Hard Work is Worth It), the number one reason that hard work is helpful is that it leads to self-development and can prepare you for future challenges. This is echoed in The Four Hour Workday in “The Hidden Benefits of Hard Work.” This writer (using the pen name Mr. 4HWD) states that hard work “gives you an advantage… is a great confidence builder…allows you to experience gratitude… leads to self-improvement… [and] is motivating.” Hard work has its benefits – it can be feel very rewarding.

One who despises the word will do badly,
But one who fears the commandment will be rewarded.
The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
To turn aside from the snares of death.
Good understanding produces favor,
But the way of the treacherous is their own disaster.
Every prudent person acts with knowledge,
But a fool displays foolishness.

Verses 13 – 16 describe the follies of not seeking wisdom… Your actions will reflect similar results. Hateful actions and insults (such as cursing, robbery, rape, and so on) do not reap positive benefits. Webster’s Dictionary defines “prudent” as, “marked by wisdom or judiciousness… shrewd in the management of practical affairs… marked by circumspection: DISCREETPROVIDENTFRUGAL.” There are many benefits to not rushing to make a decision while under stress unless you absolutely have to. This is why it is beneficial to read often though, so you may be knowledgeable and prepared.

A wicked messenger falls into adversity,
But a faithful messenger brings healing.
Poverty and shame will come to one who neglects discipline,
But one who complies with rebuke will be honored.
Desire realized is sweet to the soul,
But it is an abomination to fools to turn away from evil.
One who walks with wise people will be wise,
But a companion of fools will suffer harm.
Adversity pursues sinners,
But the righteous will be rewarded with prosperity.
A good person leaves an inheritance to his grandchildren,
And the wealth of a sinner is stored up for the righteous.
Abundant food is in the uncultivated ground of the poor,
But it is swept away by injustice.

The psalmist continues the psalm with a warning in verses 17-23 that adversity brings purity. The Lord is shaping your character and attitude when He allows you to endure a trial of any kind. Pain doesn’t feel pleasant, but Christ has His reasons. It might be to benefit someone else who is watching how you face your trial. There’s always something to learn from someone else who has already endured what you are going through – with any trial, not just a brain injury.

He who withholds his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.
The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite,
But the stomach of the wicked is in need.

The passage ends by talking about the importance of discipline in verses 24-25. Abuse isn’t advisable. But holding back a reward until a later time might be beneficial. The Lord will provide for you and see you through any trial.

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