Monday Memo 1147: Proverbs

Early in my walk with the Lord, someone shared some advice with me that changed my life: "There are 31 chapters in Proverbs. Read one chapter a day and you will finish the entire book in a month. Then start over again." I did that every month for many years and then I wrote and published two devotionals featuring a verse from Proverbs for every day of the year. Now fifty years later, I continue to read and study that book.

As we wrap up this series, "Never Too Young for Purpose," I offer you the same advice I was given because Proverbs is relevant for all ages, but it was especially composed with you, a young person, in mind:

Here are proverbs that will help you recognize wisdom and good advice, and understand sayings with deep meaning. They can teach you how to live intelligently and how to be honest, just, and fair. They can make an inexperienced person clever and teach young people how to be resourceful. These proverbs can even add to the knowledge of the wise and give guidance to the educated, so that they can understand the hidden meanings of proverbs and the problems that the wise raise (Proverbs 1:2-6, emphasis added).

If you read Proverbs, it will teach you about money, leadership, work, and relationships with the opposite sex. It will give guidance on how to talk, how to listen, and what to do when you're angry. It constantly explains the difference between the fool and the wise person, because we are told, "The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice" (Proverbs 12:15). Later, another verse teaches, "Keep company with the wise and you will become wise. If you make friends with stupid people, you will be ruined" (Proverbs 13:20).

This entire series has been presented to help you be a person of purpose no matter how young you are. God wants you to know and do His will, and He is ready to reveal it to you—if you're ready and willing. One way to get ready is to read God's word, especially Proverbs, for it will prepare us to handle what Paul later warned us about: "Bad company corrupts good character" (1 Corinthians 15:33).

We see in sports that a good player on a bad team can still perform well but that person and team won't win. They need to be around people who are able to do what they can't, people who challenge them to be improve. That's true in any area of life and it's true for you. If you want to be a good student, hang around other good students. If you want to be a good musician, be part of a choir, orchestra, or band made up of other good and dedicated musicians. If you want to know the Bible, go to church and take classes with people who are eager to learn just like you are. Proverbs explains it this way: "My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them. ... My son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths" (Proverbs 1:10, 15).

You have a purpose. Something for you to do that only you can do, something for you to be that only you can be. If anyone tries to divert or distract you from that purpose, don't go along with them. Don't think like they do or go where they go. God has shown you what He wants you to do and you need to be with those who will help you do it while you also help them fulfill their purpose.

God has great plans in store for you, but you can prevent them from reaching their full potential unless you walk with wisdom. The good news is that the book of Proverbs can give you all the wisdom you need for your purpose, but you must listen to its direction: "Whoever listens to me [wisdom] will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm" (Proverbs 1:33). Have a blessed week!



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