The post on this chapter will focus on two things: what/who we listen to and what we say/do not say. Steady yourself. The impact of these five verses might cause the airbags might deploy.
Verse 1: When we resist instruction and correction we welcome destruction. A stern warning indeed. Shying away from, or deliberately avoiding, instruction might appear to make things easier for now, but without fail it will make things hard later.
Verse 5: Flattery deceives, and can destroy, others. For the weak-minded or weak-willed flattery can first snare, then enslave them to the approval others. This is why we must develop our identity from God’s word and in Christ, not allow it to be shaped by our culture or others around us.
Verse 11: Let’s stop and stare at this one for a while. It’s an excellent memory verse that packs a wallop.
“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” Proverbs 29:11
I do not have a clever summary statement for this verse. If I did have one it would take away from its pointed and poignant truth. It says much with few words. This kind of truth is easy to read but hard to live out. Take a moment and think about all the applications from this verse — social media, “venting to others,” speaking without thinking it through, etc. Ouch!
Those who “vent their feelings” often are unwise, by God’s standard, but affirmed and applauded by our culture. To be wise we must exercise discernment and determine what we should and should not say.
Verse 18: When God’s teaching is absent, or ignored, people lose restraint, then harm follows.
The New King James Version translates this nicely:
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law.
God’s Word being put aside, or rejected, people casting off restraint … does this sound like a country you know? That country’s name rhymes with Erica …
Verse 20: Hasty words erupt from foolish hearts. See “fools with leaky mouths” in verse 11.
Verse 25: Seeking the approval of and relying upon others en-shackles; seeking God brings safety and surety.
In summary, our ears should bend toward the truth and shut around those who flatter; our tongues should be governed by discernment, and our path should be directed by God’s Word. Simple truths. Difficult truths to live out consistently. Thankfully, God comes to us and empowers us by His Holy Spirit to live them out.