What we think becomes what we say and do, and what we say and do becomes who we are. This is the Bible’s consistent explanation of the human condition. We are fallen and corrupted by sin, but by God’s power and grace we can change. Left to our own way, we will follow our evil minds and desires in what Proverbs repeatedly calls the “way of the wicked.” But if we turn from our sin and to God through faith in Christ, we will follow the good hearts that He gives us in the “way of the righteous.” Today’s passage from Proverbs 12 paints a vivid picture of the way of the wicked as “stupid” (v. 1), condemned by God (v. 2), and unstable (v. 3). The wicked person is filled with spiritual “rottenness” (v. 4), marked by deceit and violence (vv. 5-6), and “despised” by others (v. 8). Not a happy life that we would want! No, we want the blessed life of the righteous. We want to be known as people who love to learn truth (v. 1), enjoy God’s favor (v. 2), are firmly rooted in life (v. 3), and have happy families (v. 4). We want to leave behind godly spiritual legacies (v. 7) and be known as faithful followers of Christ (v. 8).
The basic theme of Proverbs is not hard to understand. Everyone is either walking in the way of the wicked on the path to death, or in the way of the righteous on the path to life. But biblical wisdom requires more than just knowledge. To be wise in God’s eyes is to believe His Word so much that we act upon it in repentance and faith. It is the doers of the Word whom God honors, not the hearers. Let today’s passage sink into your heart and direct your thoughts, words, and actions today.
The Text (Proverbs 12:1-8)
1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.
2 A good man obtains favor from the Lord, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.
3 A man is not established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous cannot be moved.
4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.
5 The thoughts of the righteous are right, But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
6 The words of the wicked are, “Lie in wait for blood,” But the mouth of the upright will deliver them.
7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more, But the house of the righteous will stand.
8 A man will be commended according to his wisdom, But he who is of a perverse heart will be despised.
Questions to Think About
- Are you seeking God’s help in directing your thoughts and attitudes this summer? How can you tell?
- What blessings have you experienced in the past year as you have grown in your relationship with Christ?
- How has avoiding the path of the wicked protected you from bad consequences in the past year?