For the past few weeks, I’ve been reading and meditating on the book of Proverbs again for my quiet time. The last time I did an in depth study on this book was almost three years ago when I turned 25. Now, since I’m entering a new season of bigger responsibilities I just felt that I should read it again to get practical insights and gain more wisdom, especially in decision making.
A proverb is defined as “a short pithy saying in general use, stating a general truth or piece of advice.” There are many verses in the book of Proverbs which contains short, timeless pieces of truth as observed by the authors of this book. In one section of the book of Proverbs, specifically in Proverbs chapters 10 to 22, these are where you’ll find most of the “short pithy sayings”. Most of the sayings that you’ll find here are contrasts, for example:
“Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth”
In this proverb, laziness and diligence are being contrasted, and seeing the conclusion that both brings.
Having said that, if you’ll look at Proverbs chapters 10 to 22, there are more than 340 proverbs that you’ll find in those 13 chapters. This is the part of proverbs that we usually remember. This is the part where we get our most quotable quotes in the book of Proverbs, quotes about diligence, prudence, wisdom and so on and so forth. In fact, I surveyed a few of my friends and asked them what comes to their mind when they think of the book of Proverbs? My friends said that things that automatically pop in their minds are: wisdom, diligence, fear of the Lord and so on and so forth. In fact, if I were to ask you, what comes to your mind when you think about the book of Proverbs, you’ll most probably say the same things. These are also the same thing that came to my mind! As I mentioned earlier, I read the book of proverbs more than three years ago, I used that book as my quiet time for 30 days. I even wrote a blog to note my top learnings from that book:
The top learnings from my blog more than two years ago are divided into two categories: Wisdom for work and Wisdom for relationships. Here’s the top things:
Wisdom for Relationships
1) The value of holding your tongue
3) Covering Offenses
4) Patience vs. Temper
Wisdom for Work
6) Diligence vs. Sluggishness
8) The downfall of trusting in one’s ways
9) Planning and seeking advices to ensure victory
10) The advantage of wisdom vs. wealth and riches
Now, the reason I’m saying this is because after reading the book of proverbs again for the past few weeks. I tried to do a simple analysis on the 340 proverbs in those 13 chapters. What’s my Math and Statistics skills for anyway? HAHA. Might as well put them to good use.
I carefully copied and pasted all 340+ proverbs for a few days then tried to group them according to the category where they’l best fit, in my own opinion anyway! As usual, there’re categories like diligence, wisdom, the tongue, correction that stood out. However, what surprised me the most is that I discovered another category of these 340+ proverbs which I totally missed out as I’ve read this book before. This category, in my opinion is actually the biggest category which we can group all these 340+ proverbs, this group contains more proverbs than any other category we can find in those 13 chapters. When I saw and learned about this last week, I was so dumbfounded that I can’t believe I missed it all the while! I guess this the reason why we really have to study scripture. This is the reason why we can’t let our feelings interpret what the word of God has to say.
Ok so I’m already making this too long for you already. To satisfy your curiosity, the biggest category in those 13 chapters and 340+ proverbs is the category that talks about RIGHTEOUSNESS or a RIGHTEOUS PERSON. That’s right! That’s more than 14% of those 340 proverbs.
BIG DEAL right?! When I learned about that, I was like, “OKAY! So what’s the importance of that?” at first. However, I realized that there must be a purpose why there’s so many proverbs that talks about righteousness. I can’t just easily dismiss it like that. So I tried to learn more about that word.
What is RIGHTEOUSNESS anyway, or what does a RIGHTEOUS PERSON look like? When I hear the word RIGHTEOUSNESS, I think of people who are good, nice, religious, holy maybe? That’s why maybe the word never resonated for me in the book of Proverbs. However, as I researched on the word, I realized that it was way more than my perception on it at first. The word RIGHTEOUSNESS is defined as such in http://www.gotquestions.org:
“Dictionaries define “righteousness” as behavior that is morally justifiable or right. Such behavior is characterized by accepted standards of morality, justice, virtue, or uprightness.”
RIGHTEOUSNESS is more than just a nice person, it’s more than just good behavior. RIGHTEOUSNESS goes beyond those things and is supposed to be associated with morality, justice, virtue and uprightness according to gotquestions.org. As I looked at most of the proverbs which contains the word RIGHTEOUSNESS, I noticed that RIGHTEOUSNESS some of the things it is associated to:
A PERSON WHO HAS INTEGRITY
The righteous lead blameless lives;…
A PERSON WHO RUNS TO THE NAME OF THE LORD
The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
A PERSON WHO SPEAKS LIFE
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,…
A PERSON WHO HAS JUST PLANS
The plans of the righteous are just,
After reading all of those things that describes a righteous person, my perspective on it totally changed. I now love righteousness! This is what a righteous person looks like. Now I realized why there’s so many things written about it in the book of Proverbs.
After having all of these revelations, I realized that if I really desire wisdom and if I want to make the right decisions and choices then I have to be a RIGHTEOUS person. A righteous person again, is someone who has integrity, runs to the name of the LORD, has just plans and one who speaks life.
Basically, to summarize everything I said above, a righteous person, is a person who does WHAT IS RIGHT. If you want to have wisdom in your decisions in life, then ask yourself that question: “What’s the RIGHT THING to do?” I believe that God through the power of the Holy Spirit will guide us in making the right choices and gaining wisdom in the choices that we make. God bless! 🙂
*Disclaimer – The topic of RIGHTEOUSNESS here talk about what proverbs tells about it and does not contain the whole view of the BIBLE. 🙂