Daily Wisdom 353: Proverbs 15:21

Proverbs 15:21 (NKJV) — 21 Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, But a man of understanding walks uprightly.

A substitute for joy. Those who have no wisdom will mistake folly for joy. They are unable to see that folly is but a poor substitute. They may laugh, but their laughter is empty. (See Proverbs 14:13.) Those who are wise immediately see the emptiness of folly and reject it. In their understanding, they walk uprightly, and they will have true joy.

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Daily Wisdom 352: Proverbs 15:20

Proverbs 15:20 (NKJV) — 20 A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish man despises his mother.

The marks of a wise or foolish son. To a large degree, the emotions of parents are affected by the behavior of their children. It is an unusual parent who can demonstrate gladness who has a foolish son. A wise son will behave in a manner that makes his parents glad; anyone who despises them is foolish. Regardless of circumstances, children should show respect for their parents. A son should honor his mother, regardless of her attitude or spiritual condition.

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Daily Wisdom 351: Proverbs 15:19

Proverbs 15:19 (NKJV) — 19 The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns, But the way of the upright is a highway.

Thorny path of the slothful. One of the consequences of slothfulness is unpleasant, painful adversity. When the slothful person does move, it is as if he is caught in a hedge of thorns. There is trouble in every direction. But the way of the righteous is cleared of obstructions. He is able to make headway, to progress without undue difficulty.

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Daily Wisdom 350: Proverbs 15:18

Proverbs 15:18 (NKJV) — 18 A wrathful man stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays contention.

Stirring up or appeasing strife. Those who stir up strife, regardless of their self-justification, are people of wrath. Emotions may be hidden beneath a facade of concern or self-righteousness, but anger is beneath the surface. On the other hand, those who have their emotions under control demonstrate it by defusing strife.

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Daily Wisdom 349: Proverbs 15:17

Proverbs 15:17 (NKJV) — 17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred.

The relationship between possessions and the right attitude toward one another. It is love that creates a happy home, not luxury and riches. It is love that makes a dinner a joyous occasion, not the quantity or quality of food. (See Proverbs 17:1.)

The atmosphere around the table should be one of tranquility and love. Parents who use mealtime to correct their children or to bring up unpleasant subjects are making a mistake. Food cannot be properly digested when one is tense or angry. Parents should work at creating an atmosphere of peace for family meals.

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Daily Wisdom 348: Proverbs 15:16

Proverbs 15:16 (NKJV) — 16 Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, Than great treasure with trouble.

The relationship between possessions and the right attitude toward God. A simple lesson, but one so rarely learned, is that the quality of life has nothing to do with the quantity of possessions. Those who serve God, though they have little, are in a much better situation than those who reject God and have immense material wealth. Those who do not serve God will discover that material wealth is no guarantee of peace. Indeed, they will experience as much trouble as those who are poor and reject God. They will not have more genuine peace or happiness than their neighbors. But those who serve God will have peace of heart and mind, though they may have little in the way of material wealth. (See Psalm 37:16.)

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Daily Wisdom 347: Proverbs 15:15

Proverbs 15:15 (NKJV) — 15 All the days of the afflicted are evil, But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.

Life as a banquet. This verse appears to be a companion to Proverbs 15:13. There, a merry heart is commended as the source of a cheerful countenance, while a sorrowful heart is said to break the spirit. Here, a merry heart is seen as causing one’s life to be like a continual feast. This verse does not mean that a merry heart will prevent all unpleasant events from occurring but that a merry heart will cause even these events to have a positive and nourishing effect in the long run. A person with a merry heart enjoys life, looking on the bright side, seeing the good rather than the bad. This outlook is good for a person physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. (See Proverbs 17:22.)

By contrast, those without a merry heart see all of life as evil. They see no point in affliction, no purpose in pain, no good in the world. The difference in the quality of life is not without, but within. The choice to have a merry heart puts a different perspective on all of life.

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