Proverbs 18

Over August we're going to read through the book of Proverbs. There are 31 days in August and 31 chapters in Proverbs, so we'll be putting them up on Saturdays and Sundays too.

Instead of relying on other reflections on the passages, we want to make space for God to speak to us all in the expectation that we will be transformed into his likeness as we open ourselves to his Spirit and seek to live wise and godly lives.

Open yourself to the Spirit, ask him to highlight a particular verse, phrase or section for you to think about during the day.

Read the chapter slowly. If something jumps out at you or catches your attention stay with that for a while.

Ask yourself, does this make me feel uncomfortable/reassured/challenged?

Ask questions of the Proverb?
Why did the original writer think this was worth writing down?
How does did this apply to people's lives in the past?
How does it apply to my life now?

Ask the Spirit what he may be saying.
Is God calling me to change/repent/see things differently?
How would my life look different if I lived this out?
What steps can I take to make this happen?

Take this Proverb with you throughout the day and see how the wisdom of the ages can transform your life today.

Proverbs 18

18 An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends
    and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.
2 Fools find no pleasure in understanding
    but delight in airing their own opinions.
3 When wickedness comes, so does contempt,
    and with shame comes reproach.
4 The words of the mouth are deep waters,
    but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream.
5 It is not good to be partial to the wicked
    and so deprive the innocent of justice.
6 The lips of fools bring them strife,
    and their mouths invite a beating.
7 The mouths of fools are their undoing,
    and their lips are a snare to their very lives.
8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
    they go down to the inmost parts.
9 One who is slack in his work
    is brother to one who destroys.
10 The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
    the righteous run to it and are safe.
11 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city;
    they imagine it a wall too high to scale.
12 Before a downfall the heart is haughty,
    but humility comes before honour.
13 To answer before listening -
    that is folly and shame.
14 The human spirit can endure in times of illness,
    but a crushed spirit who can bear?
15 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge,
    for the ears of the wise seek it out.
16 A gift opens the way
    and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.
17 In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right,
    until someone comes forward and cross-examines.
18 Casting the lot settles disputes
    and keeps strong opponents apart.
19 A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city;
    disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.
20 From the fruit of their mouth a person's stomach is filled;
    with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.
21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
    and those who love it will eat its fruit.
22 He who finds a wife finds what is good
    and receives favour from the Lord.
23 The poor plead for mercy,
    but the rich answer harshly.
24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
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