There seems to be 2 parts to this chapter.
The first from verse 1 to 16 contrasts between the righteous and the wicked. Those that chose and pursue righteousness will benefit in the long run and bring good to those around. But for those that run the way of the wicked, although they may thrive for now, what will follow down the line is hardship and death to those around.
So it is clear which path we should choose.
The rest of the chapter from verse 17 – 27 speaks of discipline – even if the word is not used. Sons and servants are disciplined in the hope that they will make wise choices. If the parent pampers the child, he is not loving the child but it will result in future foolishness.
A fool vents all his feelings,
But a wise man holds them back.
~ Proverbs 29:11
An angry man stirs up strife,
And a furious man abounds in transgression.
~ Proverbs 29:22
A few days ago, I learned that if I do not want to be a fool, I must learn when to speak and when not to speak.
The above verses shows us another danger sign of being a fool – that is when we give full vent to our anger and not hold anything back. Our anger may stir up further strife and sin. BUT… the wise man knows that he has to hold back – and hence keep himself under control.
Have you ever seen a spoilt child jumping and crying just to get their way. Without realizing it, sometimes we behave exactly like that when we do not get our way or when we get angry. We think that we are justified in our actions and words. And that everyone has to listen to us or give way to us just because we are louder and angrier than anyone around.
While we may not jump up and down like a child and we control our actions and behaviours, there is one area that we find it very difficult to keep it under control – that is our tongues.
When we get angry – we may not use our fists or “kung-fu”. BUT our tongues do not remain under control. We feel compelled to explain things out and blame others. We illicit sympathy from others while offering none. We hold nothing back verbally.
Think about when you last did it … felt like a fool didn’t you? Did your tirade get you anywhere? Did you get what you wanted just because you were louder and more “in-your-face”?
Is your first reaction to scream and shout?
Many seek the ruler’s favor,
But justice for man comes from the Lord.
~ Proverbs 29:26
Now are you a man-pleaser? Do you find that your self-worth is dependent on what others think of you?
Although we know who we should draw near to, many a times, we are living our lives the way we want – seeking to please our superiors and others – anyone BUT the one we should please – our Lord Jesus Christ.
Like the rich young ruler, we want to be disciples of Jesus but we do not want to do what Jesus says and sell all that we have.
When it comes to the crunch, we are willing to seek our earthly ruler’s pleasure rather than the justice that comes from our Lord Jesus.
It might seem strange to some but I am sure many of us can identify with this.
So ponder about it.