Advice for Life

Advice for Life

Text: Proverbs 27:1-27


Boasting

(Proverbs 27:1-2)

            Don’t live as if tomorrow is a certainty. We don’t know the future (James 4:13-17). Similar proverbs (Proverbs 16:1,9; 19:21).

            Don’t blow your own trumpet. It is fine if someone else chooses to praise you, but when you brag about yourself it comes across badly. Similar proverbs (Proverbs 15:33; 16:18).

Disagreements

(Proverbs 27:3-6)

            The obnoxious behavior of a fool is a heavy burden to bear. It might be tolerable at first, but it won’t take long before it becomes intolerable.

            Envy or jealousy is a stronger emotion than anger. It can be like a flood that is not easily stopped (Proverbs 6:34-35).

            An open rebuke can be an expression of love (Leviticus 19:17; Revelation 3:19). A friend might have to say something that hurts, while an enemy might pretend to be kind (Psalms 141:5; Hebrews 12:10; Proverbs 26:23-26). Therefore, words alone might not tell you what the motive is behind the words. Some examples of deceit in the guise of kindness are Joab in II Samuel 20:9-10 and Judas in- Matthew 26:48-50.

Desires

(Proverbs 27:7-8)

            Your perception changes depending on circumstances. If you are full, even sweets are not appealing. If you are hungry, even bitter things sound appealing (Luke 15:16).

            What Proverbs 27:8 says is clear, but you will find a wide variety of interpretations depending on what a person thinks is the focus of a bird wandering from her nest. When you leave your connections to home and family, you expose yourself to dangers. Many people don’t realize how well off they are and wander from their place in search of something better only to find themselves worse off.

For discussion:

  1. How would Proverbs 27:7 be applied in daily life?

Friends

(Proverbs 27:9-10)

            Advice from the heart is appreciated by friends, like good smelling perfume (Proverbs 25:11-12).

            Learn the true value of friends, whether your own or your parents’ friends. Don’t neglect them because they are valuable, especially in times of trouble. You are better off with a nearby friend than long distance relative. Consider that your father’s friends are people who have shown their value for a long time. A good example is David’s loyalty to Jonathan’s descendants (II Samuel 21:7). A bad example is Rehoboam’s neglect of his father’s advisors (I Kings 12:6-8).

For discussion:

  1. Compare Proverbs 17:17; 18:24 and Proverbs 27:10. Are they saying the opposite thing? How are they compatible?

Foreseeing Problems

(Proverbs 27:11-16)

            When a son acts wisely, it not only makes his parents happy, but it also gives proof to his parent’s wisdom (Psalms 127:5); thus, it raises his parents’ status in the community and removes an avenue of attack.

            A prudent man looks ahead, sees evil and avoids it. The ignorant ignores it and suffer the consequences (Proverbs 22:3).

            Don’t trust someone who would guarantee a loan for a stranger or a sinner. Demand extra proof or additional insurance. Someone who is making bad business deals isn’t a good risk (Proverbs 22:16). Given the verse prior to it, there is the implication that such a person doesn’t think ahead to the consequences of his actions.

            This is another verse that says timing is important (a negative of Proverbs 25:11). Loud praises of another would generally be appreciated, but not early in the morning. Notice that each piece is not a problem, but in combination it becomes one. But it is also a warning. Over-the-top praises (especially those given before an audience) is an indication of insincerity (II Corinthians 12:6).

            A contentious woman is like a continual drip. The mere repetition gets annoying. While stated before, here it is extended to note that it is impossible to stop a contentious person (Proverbs 19:13; 21:9, 19).

Testing

(Proverbs 27:17-22)

            Friends improve friends (Hebrews 10:23-25). Friends shape each others thinking and behavior to their mutual benefit if you have been wise enough to pick good friends.

            There is reward in serving others ( I Corinthians 9:7; John 12:26). Fig trees are slow to mature but produce for a long time once they are established. The implication is that there isn’t instant recognition, but one that develops over time and then lasts for a long while. Also notice that the service must come first before there is any benefit.

            A person’s heart is reflected in what he does (James 1:22-25; Mark 7:21). By watching a person's behavior, we can grasp who a person is inside, but it is not an absolute grasp, just as water does not make a perfect mirror.

            A greedy person, who is driven by wants, is never satisfied (Ecclesiastes 5:10; 6:7; Habakkuk 2:5). Even when a want is gained, there is more that is wanted.

            This proverbs starts out the same as Proverbs 17:3. Praise by others determines the value of a man. The effect praise has on the person reveals his true character. For example, how do you find a good employee?

            You cannot force foolishness out of a person (Proverbs 17:10). For some, no amount of punishment will drive foolishness from a determined fool (Isaiah 1:5; Jeremiah 5:3; Revelation 16:10-11). For example, consider Ahaz in II Chronicles 28:19-23.

For discussion:

  1. How can a business owner use the ideas in Proverbs 27:17-22 to find a good employee?
  2. Compare Proverbs 22:15 and Proverbs 27:22 and explain the difference.
  3. How do children often illustrate the principle taught in Proverbs 22:20?

Pay Attention to What You Have

(Proverbs 27:23-27)

            You need to keep track of where you are financially for the very fact that riches are an untrustworthy commodity. Understand the cycles of your business, gathering so you last during the “off” cycles. Have a variety businesses that run on different cycles. Balance consumption and production. Then you will have adequate supplies for your needs.