Why a man should choose wisdom over anything else: 7 practical proverbs that will help you live daily life

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When I was a kid I heard a story about one of the wisest men in the world. The story is about a young man who is about to be king, and God asks him a question. He says, “ask for whatever you want and I will give it to you.” Solomon, knowing that he is young and inexperienced asks God to give him wisdom to govern his people.

God being pleased with this answer, grants wisdom to Solomon and also wealth, power, and prestige.

I always loved this story because Solomon was not self-serving, and he was very aware of what he would need to be a good King. He was more concerned about being a good leader than he was about being rich or famous. I wanted to be as wise as Solomon, and I still do.

He had enough wisdom, to ask for wisdom.

He was constantly being sought out for his wisdom. People came from all over to listen to him. He was bombarded with questions, and what I can imagine as people trying to take his money or his life.

If he was alive now, he would be wealthier than the richest men alive. People would seek him out for his wisdom still. If he had a Facebook account, he would have millions of followers.

Solomon also wrote a book called Ecclesiastes, which takes us on a journey of self reflection from the wisest and wealthiest men that ever lived.

I’m not sure why more emphasis is not put on both of these books. In fact, most of the sayings and quotes you hear people using actually came from one of them, and sometimes people just shuffle the words around a little bit and make them their own. Like Solomon says in Ecclesiastes though, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

The greatest thing is that Solomon in all his wisdom, wrote down a book of proverbs, containing thirty-one chapters, which just happens to be one chapter for every day of the month.

One of my daily habits is to read one of these. I’m not always perfect, but one thing is for sure. Once you have read one, you will certainly find a way to apply it to your life, because you will inevitably be given an opportunity.

The Key to Wisdom

There are 10 proverbs that I believe are essential for a man’s daily life.

I get frustrated with churches because they want to tell everyone about the gospel, but for everyone else there is no daily practical application on how to live.

Proverbs is that guide. In fact one of the chapters in Proverbs (Chapter 6) is headlined as: “Lessons For Daily Life.” Whether or not you believe in God is irrelevant right now. What matters is that you have a guide for daily life.

What better advice can you find, and why wouldn’t you want to read it?


Lesson 1

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1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
    if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
you have been trapped by what you said,
    ensnared by the words of your mouth.
So do this, my son, to free yourself,
    since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands:
Go—to the point of exhaustion
    and give your neighbor no rest!
Allow no sleep to your eyes,
    no slumber to your eyelids.
Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
    like a bird from the snare of the Fowler.

Do not cosign for a loan or go into debt

What does the world teach you?

30 days same as cash, 12 months zero percent interest, lease your car, buy a house, get the bigger boat, get the new toy or gadget. You can pay later.


Lesson 2

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6 Go to the ant, you sluggard;
    consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
    no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
    and gathers its food at harvest.

How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
    When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 and poverty will come on you like a thief
    and scarcity like an armed man.

Be prepared. Work Hard and don’t be lazy.


Lesson 3

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12 A troublemaker and a villain,
    who goes about with a corrupt mouth,
13     who winks maliciously with his eye,
    signals with his feet
    and motions with his fingers,
14     who plots evil with deceit in his heart—
    he always stirs up conflict.
15 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant;
    he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.

Don’t stir up trouble by manipulating and deceiving. Don’t be a coward.


Lesson 4

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25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
    or let her captivate you with her eyes.

26 For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread,
    but another man’s wife preys on your very life.
27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap
    without his clothes being burned?
28 Can a man walk on hot coals
    without his feet being scorched?
29 So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife;
    no one who touches her will go unpunished.

30 People do not despise a thief if he steals
    to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay seven-fold,
    though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
32 But a man who commits adultery has no sense;
    whoever does so destroys himself.
33 Blows and disgrace are his lot,
    and his shame will never be wiped away.

34 For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,
    and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will not accept any compensation;
    he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.

Don’t sleep with another man’s wife, and don’t cheat on the one you have


Now, we will move onto another book called Ecclesiastes. This section of the text is called “Wisdom for Life”


Lesson 5

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Ecclesiastes 7

A good name is better than fine perfume,
    and the day of death better than the day of birth.
It is better to go to a house of mourning
    than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone;
    the living should take this to heart.
Frustration is better than laughter,
    because a sad face is good for the heart.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
    but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.
It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person
    than to listen to the song of fools.
Like the crackling of thorns under the pot,
    so is the laughter of fools.
    This too is meaningless.

Life is so short. It is important to think about death, and ask about eternity.


Lesson 6

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Ecclesiastes 9

11 I have seen something else under the sun:

The race is not to the swift
    or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
    or wealth to the brilliant
    or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.

12 Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come:

As fish are caught in a cruel net,
    or birds are taken in a snare,
so people are trapped by evil times
    that fall unexpectedly upon them.

Don’t judge a person by what they have, and always be prepared. Bad times will come.


Lesson 7

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Ecclesiastes 11

Ship your grain across the sea;
    after many days you may receive a return.
Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight;
    you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.

If clouds are full of water,
    they pour rain on the earth.
Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
    in the place where it falls, there it will lie.
Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
    whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.

As you do not know the path of the wind,
    or how the body is formed[a] in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
    the Maker of all things.

Sow your seed in the morning,
    and at evening let your hands not be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
    whether this or that,
    or whether both will do equally well.

Invest in many ventures. Don’t just try one thing. Let your money work for you by diversifying it.


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Skeleton Key photo credit: Corey Holms POTW 24 via photopin (license)