Unwise: Conclusion to Proverbs

Unwise: Conclusion to Proverbs

Unwise: Conclusion to Proverbs

WISDOM: the practical art of living skilfully (Peterson); ¬†moral understanding; astute discernment; shrewd insight; practicing the truth in daily life; learning to live as our Creator intended; a lifestyle of applying God’s revelation-knowledge to decision-making; “practical spirituality” (NIV notes).

The book of Proverbs is centered on the makings of wisdom, about being wise and being unwise. Proverbs poses the following qualities as being enemies of wisdom, the common foes of wisdom. The following traits make it difficult for a person to acquire wisdom. And they demonstrate what it looks like when a person’s character is lacking wisdom. These traits reveal unwisdom. All proverbs are taken from the New Living Translation.

Pride: “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” (16:18).

“Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.” (29:23).

Stubbornness: “Only a fool despises a parent’s discipline; whoever learns from correction is wise.” (15:5).

“If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself, but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.” (15:32).

Laziness: “Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.” (13:4).

“A lazy person is as bad as someone who destroys things.” (18:9).

Injustice: “Evil people don’t understand justice, but those who follow the Lord understand completely.” (28:5).

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” (31:8-9).

Ignorance: “It is senseless to pay to educate a fool, since he has no heart for learning.” (17:16).

“Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more.” (9:9).

Violence:¬† “Don’t envy violent people or copy their ways. Such wicked people are detestable to the Lord, but he offers his friendship to the godly.” (3:31,32).

“Don’t envy evil people or desire their company. For their hearts plot violence, and their words always stir up trouble.” (24:1,2).

Dishonesty: “Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed.” (12:19).

“The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.” (12:22).

Stinginess: “Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.” (11:24).

“Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.” (21:13).

Foolishness: “The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.” (14:16).

“Simpletons are clothed with foolishness, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.” (14:18).

Anger: “A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.” (12:16).

“Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.” (22:24,25).

Gullible: “The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.” (10:21).

“Only simpletons believe everything they are told! The prudent carefully consider their steps.” (14:15).

Quarrelsome: “Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so stop before a dispute breaks out.” (17:14).

“Throw out the mocker, and fighting goes out too. Quarrels and insults will disappear.” (22:10).

Wicked: “When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.” (10:25).

Wickedness never brings stability, but the godly have deep roots.” (12:3).


“Wisdom shares the secrets of God’s knowledge…

If in this life wealth is a desirable possession,

What is more wealthy than Wisdom whose work is everywhere?

Or if it be the intellect that is at work,

Who, more than Wisdom, designs whatever exists?

Or if it be righteousness you love,

Why, virtues are the fruit of her labors,

Since it is Wisdom who teaches temperance and prudence, justice and courage.

Realizing that I could never possess Wisdom unless God gave her to me,

I prayed to the Lord with all my heart and entreated Him.”

(from the Book of Wisdom, in the Apocrypha, chapter 8, New Jerusalem version. This book was written 100 years before Christ, and accepted by the early church leaders as divinely inspired).

One Reply to “Unwise: Conclusion to Proverbs”

  1. Interesting that those four ” temperance and prudence, justice and courage” are the exact same four characteristics that Aristotle identifies as the “Cardinal Virtues.” He puts Prudence first, but the same four. He argues they are identifiable from Natural Law… maybe that’s why the Jewish scriptures identify the same four qualities.
    “Since it is Wisdom who teaches temperance and prudence, justice and courage.