Proverbs 17: Wise & Calm


Separation. Divorce. Serious illness. Job loss. Death. A prodigal. There are many situations in life that feel chaotic and out of control. In my life, as I was in the swirling storm of the crashing of my marriage, I realized I couldn't talk my way out of the situation. Instead, I had to be still, seeking wisdom and understanding. As I was walking with God, locking my eyes on Him in the midst of the storm surrounding me, seeking understanding, the chaos lost its power. His peace covered me.

He Calms the Storms

Proverbs 17:27 is one of my favorites. As my husband was living with his girlfriend, the only way to remain calm was to seek understanding and say very little. I chose my words prayerfully and carefully, realizing I didn't need to respond to everything Scott said to me every day. Some of our most powerful conversations were when he was so very angry, unloading anger and foolishness on me, and I didn't respond with any more than a quiet "I'm sorry you feel that way. I love you."

Scott was, more often than not, left to chew on and stew in his own angry words. They bounced around his head. They haunted him, because deep inside somewhere, he knew how foolish he was being, he could hear the Holy Spirit speaking to him. Ignoring Jesus, not seeking wisdom, Scott didn't know how to step out of the foolishness. And until he saw my consistent new character, he didn't know if he could trust it.

A Whack on the Head of a Fool

17 A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 A wise servant takes charge of an unruly child and is honored as one of the family.

3 As silver in a crucible and gold in a pan, so our lives are assayed by God.

4 Evil people relish malicious conversation; the ears of liars itch for dirty gossip.

5 Whoever mocks poor people insults their Creator; gloating over misfortune is a punishable crime.

6 Old people are distinguished by grandchildren; children take pride in their parents.

7 We don’t expect eloquence from fools, nor do we expect lies from our leaders.

8 Receiving a gift is like getting a rare gemstone; any way you look at it, you see beauty refracted.

9 Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend!

10 A quiet rebuke to a person of good sense does more than a whack on the head of a fool.

11 Criminals out looking for nothing but trouble won’t have to wait long—they’ll meet it coming and going!

12 Better to meet a grizzly robbed of her cubs than a fool hellbent on folly.

13 Those who return evil for goodwill meet their own evil returning.

14 The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam, so stop it before it bursts.

15 Whitewashing bad people and throwing mud on good people are equally abhorrent to God.

16 What’s this? Fools out shopping for wisdom!T hey wouldn’t recognize it if they saw it!

One Who Knows Much Says Little

17 Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.

18 It’s stupid to try to get something for nothing, or run up huge bills you can never pay.

19 The person who courts sin marries trouble; build a wall, invite a burglar.

20 A bad motive can’t achieve a good end; double-talk brings you double trouble.

21 Having a fool for a child is misery; it’s no fun being the parent of a dolt.

22 A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.

23 The wicked take bribes under the table; they show nothing but contempt for justice.

24 The perceptive find wisdom in their own front yard; fools look for it everywhere but right here.

25 A surly, stupid child is sheer pain to a father, a bitter pill for a mother to swallow.

26 It’s wrong to penalize good behavior, or make good citizens pay for the crimes of others.

27 The one who knows much says little; an understanding person remains calm.

28 Even dunces who keep quiet are thought to be wise; as long as they keep their mouths shut, they’re smart.

Proverbs 17 The Message

So many powerful verses! Which will you carry with you today?

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