18Losing your temper
causes a lot of trouble,
but staying calm
19A lazy person refuses
to clear a thorny path,
but everyone who does right
walks on a smooth road.
20Children with good sense
make their parents happy,
but foolish children
21Stupidity brings happiness
to senseless fools,
but everyone with good sense
follows the straight path.
22Without good advice
everything goes wrong—
it takes careful planning
for things to go right.
The lives of the rich and famous are consistently on display for all of us to see. Every day, we can be surrounded with stories of people we can see are moving towards success, and people who seem to be heading towards disaster. We talk about the path they seem to be on as if we know all of what is happening in their lives. If our lives were on display like those of the “famous,” what would people be able to see about the path we seem to be on?
In today’s reading, we see a comparison between two types of people, those whose lives are moving towards success in accomplishing goals and those who are either facing or heading towards disaster.
People who are heading towards disaster are typically hot tempered, lazy, lacking good judgment, and arrogant. Wise people who are heading towards accomplishing their goals are patient, filled with integrity, make good decisions, and surround themselves with good advisors.
The writer of Proverbs elaborates. Do we see ourselves here?
Hot tempered people are actually stirring up conflict; they find themselves consistently in a struggle with others. By contrast, patient people calm down any conflict.
Lazy people seem to find a never ending list of problems that prevent them from getting what they want. By contrast, people acting with integrity and diligence have fewer problems and their lives are more like a smooth highway.
Those who lack judgment run after whatever they want at whatever cost. They are creating problems – even with their own parents. People who makes good decisions bring joy to their family.
Arrogant lone rangers continue to run from one plan to the next. They face constant failure in their plans, but still think they know better. In comparison, the wise person is humble enough to surround himself with good advisors and to listen to their counsel.
Success in life is often measured by the moment rather than by direction and destination. Today, we are receiving good wisdom to examine our own actions and attitudes to make sure that we are heading in the right direction with our lives.
Father God. Thank you for your desire to see me succeed. Help me to see what needs to change in my life. Help me to listen to Your wisdom today. Change my attitude and my actions so I can move ahead in the life You have for me.