Use the Proverbs

Do you know how to act in every circumstance? The book of Proverbs offers you that important knowledge.

The Book of Proverbs begins, "These are the Proverbs of King Solomon of Israel, David’s son: he wrote them to teach his people how to live – how to act in every circumstance" (Proverbs 1:1 – 2, The Living Bible).

You can use the Proverbs to gain knowledge, understanding and wisdom and thus to build character. Proverbs can help you to handle difficult or awkward situations, and Proverbs can also be used as a spiritual tool to overcome personal problems and build spiritual strength in your character and personality.

You could use the book of Proverbs to learn, for example, how to get ahead on your job – to earn more money and advancement to a better position and the important thing is that you can do it God’s way.

Analyze yourself

What do you need to work on? The first thing you need to do is to define your problem and your goal. Of course, you should always ask God for guidance. You might also ask your husband or wife or a friend if they could give you ideas or flaws to work on. If you ask them, don't be offended or shocked at what they might tell you.

When setting a goal to work on, you should only have one goal to work on at a time. It is difficult for a nation to wage war on more than one other nation simultaneously and be successful. Working on one of your character flaws can be very challenging.

Let's look at a hypothetical example of how to get ahead on your job. We defined the problem – our goal then is to become a successful employee.

Do Some Research

Now it's time to do some research on our problem and our goal. Since Proverbs gives us guidelines about how to act in every circumstance, let's find some Proverbs that tells us how to deal with our job in order to be successful.

There are a couple of ways to accomplish this. You could read through the Proverbs for Scriptures relating to employment situations and write down the applicable Scriptures as you come to them, or by using various topical Bibles and concordances.

It is helpful to take each Scripture, and meditate on the different ways it might apply to your job situation. Write the Scripture down in your own words and some of your thoughts from your meditations.

An Example

Proverbs 24:27, "Prepare your work outside, and make it fit for yourself in the field; and afterwards build your house." This proverb stresses for you to develop your business first before building your house. You should be established and successful in your employment and your means of income before you start spending a lot of money buying or building a home.

It would be unwise to spend much on pleasures and luxuries when your job is insecure. It is a matter of putting things in perspective and placing your job at the top of your physical priorities.

Here’s another scripture to look at, Proverbs 10:4-5 "Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich. {5} A wise youth works hard all summer; a youth who sleeps away the hour of opportunity brings shame." Are you willing to put forth the effort to be a good hard worker, to put in 8 hours of work for 8 hours of pay and not goofing off every chance you get.

Let’s look at one more scripture, Proverbs 13:18, "Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuses instruction: but he that regards reproof shall be honored." Another way to say it is, " If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept criticism, you will be honored." Will you take correction from your employer? Will you follow his orders? Are you willing to eliminate bad work habits and cultivate good ones?

Are you willing to learn additional job-related skills – if need be on our own time? Are you willing to take advantage of training seminars and correspondence courses, studying after work hours? We must be willing to learn more than is required of us in order to be successful employees. This is how we get ahead God's way by going above and beyond what is expected of us.

Bible Helps and Translations

It is very helpful to check reliable references and translations to dig the meaning out of the Scriptures we might not otherwise understand clearly. The Living Bible is helpful in some instances, by rendering the Proverbs in modern English. Of course, we must realize it is a paraphrase rendition of the Scriptures, not a translation. Therefore, it is always wise to check individual passages with the King James Version.

Use the Proverbs

You can use the Proverbs in any aspect of your life and in building character. Do you want to know how to cultivate friends? Avoid arguments? Avoid accidents? Do you want successful children? Be able to say the right thing at the right time and avoid "putting your foot in your mouth?"

Dig out the proverbs and with God's help extract their meaning, and apply them to your personal life and act on them!

Make reading the Proverbs a part of you prayer life. Read part of a chapter every day and do a brief meditation on each verse. You have to expose yourself to the Proverbs to be able to use them.

As you read the proverbs you will notice that it talks a lot about knowledge, understanding and wisdom. The way we gain knowledge, understanding and wisdom is through the fear of the LORD.

As you continue to study the Proverbs each day you will then be armed with the same wisdom Solomon had – the very wisdom of God!

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