One of the things that God used in my life as a young teenager (and brand new Christ-follower) was being given a copy of The Living Bible (a paraphrase of the Scriptures by Ken Taylor). It was the early 1970’s and the only Bible I had used up to that point was the old King James Version.
For a Jr. High student who loved sports more than school – and a poor reader too – slogging through the KJV was tough for me to understand. Then I was given a copy of The Living Bible – and I began to read the book of Proverbs. Wow!
I began to underline and highlight verses – and Scripture came alive to me in a whole new way (then, on my 15th birthday, I received from my parents my much beloved NASB Bible that I still use to this day).
I encourage young people – older Elementary age, Jr. High, High School & College age, in particular – to read the book of Proverbs regularly and take to heart the wisdom that is contained there.
The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that…
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (NASB)
This includes the book of Proverbs… which is profitable for “teaching, reproof, correction, for training in righteousness.”
Recently I was skimming through my old copy of The Living Bible (pictured above) and I was reminded again of the verses that impacted me throughout my early teenage years. Here are a few verses from Proverbs that were very impactful for me (from Proverbs chapters 10-16).
I would encourage everyone to consider reading through the book of Proverbs every month (one chapter each day – 12 times a year). It will allow this wisdom literature to sink deep within our hearts. And if you have young children (or grandchildren), consider sharing some of these proverbs with them.
Don’t talk so much. You keep putting your foot in your mouth. Be sensible and turn off the flow! When a good man speaks, he is worth listening to, but the words of fools are a dime a dozen. Proverbs 10:19-20 (TLB)
A wise youth makes hay while the sun shines, but what a shame to see a lad who sleeps away his hour of opportunity. Proverbs 10:5 (TLB)
Hatred stirs old quarrels, but love overlooks insults. Proverbs 10:12 (TLB)
A wise man holds his tongue. Only a fool blurts out everything he knows; that only leads to sorrow and trouble. Proverbs 10:14 (TLB)
Anyone willing to be corrected is on the pathway to life. Anyone refusing has lost his chance. Proverbs 10:17 (TLB)
The Lord hates cheating and delights in honesty. Proud men end in shame, but the meek become wise. A good man is guided by his honesty; the evil man is destroyed by his dishonesty. Proverbs 11:1-3 (TLB)
To quarrel with a neighbor is foolish; a man with good sense holds his tongue. A gossip goes around spreading rumors, while a trustworthy man tries to quiet them. Proverbs 11:12-13 (TLB)
Without wise leadership, a nation is in trouble; but with good counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14 (TLB)
Your own soul is nourished when you are kind; it is destroyed when you are cruel. Proverbs 11:17 (TLB)
To learn, you must want to be taught. To refuse reproof is stupid. Proverbs 12:1 (TLB)
A fool thinks he needs no advice, but a wise man listens to others. A fool is quick-tempered; a wise man stays cool when insulted. Proverbs 12:15-16 (TLB)
Some people like to make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise soothe and heal. Proverbs 12:18 (TLB)
Pride leads to arguments; be humble, take advice, and become wise. Proverbs 13:10 (TLB)
An empty stable stays clean – but there is no income from an empty stable. Proverbs 14:4 (TLB)
Before every man there lies a wide and pleasant road that seems right but ends in death. Proverbs 14:12 (TLB)
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words cause quarrels. Proverbs 15:1 (TLB)
A quick-tempered man starts fights; a cool-tempered man tries to stop them. Proverbs 15:18 (TLB)
A sensible son gladdens his father. A rebellious son saddens his mother. Proverbs 15:20 (TLB)
Plans go wrong with too few counselors; many counselors bring success. Proverbs 15:22 (TLB)
Everyone enjoys giving good advice, and how wonderful it is to be able to say the right thing at the right time! Proverbs 15:23 (TLB)
A good man thinks before he speaks; the evil man pours out his evil words without a thought. Proverbs 15:28 (TLB)
If you profit from constructive criticism, you will be elected to the wise men’s hall of fame. But to reject criticism is to harm yourself and your own best interests. Humility and reverence for the Lord will make you both wise and honored. Proverbs 15:31-33 (TLB)
We can make our plans, but the final outcome is in God’s hands. Proverbs 16:1 (TLB)
We should make plans – counting on God to direct us. Proverbs 16:9 (TLB)
How much better is wisdom than gold, and understanding than silver! Proverbs 16:16 (TLB)
It is better to be slow-tempered than famous; it is better to have self-control than to control an army. Proverbs 16:32 (TLB)