The wise love not only wisdom, but also justice, goodness, and kindness. By contrast, fools are wasteful, corrupt, evil, and heartless. The wise bring their parents and teachers joy; they are a blessing to others (Proverbs 29:3a). But the foolish bring sorrow to the adults who care about them because they waste their money and time on their selfish lusts and desires (v 3b). The wise lead treat others fairly (v. 4a) and avoid the traps of sin by loving righteousness (v. 6a). But the foolish love stuff more than doing right by other people (v. 4b) and constantly find themselves tripping up others with their lies (v. 5) and caught in the snares of sin themselves (v. 6b). Finally, the wise care for the poor (v. 7a); they love them with the kindness of Christ. The foolish, however, cannot understand why someone would want to help the needy because they have no compassion for others in their selfish hearts (v. 7b).
So which list of traits better describes you today? Are you wasting the life that God has given you on sin and self, or are you wisely offering your life back to God in holy service? Remember that Christians are not perfect, but we are growing in grace. We should look in our own hearts and desire to be more wise, fair, good, and kind than before we met Jesus. That is the goal – to follow in His steps. If you find, however, that you are always wasteful, unjust, entangles in sin, and uncaring towards others, you might need a spiritual wake up call from the Lord. Get alone with God and ask Him to start changing your desires to be like His. Walk in the way of the wise today, and determine not to waste your life like the fool.
The Text (Proverbs 29:3-7)
3 Whoever loves wisdom makes his father rejoice, But a companion of harlots wastes his wealth.
4 The king establishes the land by justice, But he who receives bribes overthrows it.
5 A man who flatters his neighbor Spreads a net for his feet.
6 By transgression an evil man is snared, But the righteous sings and rejoices.
7 The righteous considers the cause of the poor, But the wicked does not understand such knowledge.
Questions to Think About
- Would your friends describe you as wise? How about fair, good, and kind? Why or why not?
- Which of the sins mentioned above are the biggest struggles for you right now: wastefulness, lust, dishonesty, or a lack of compassion? What steps can you take to better fight against these sins in your walk with Christ?