Thirty Sterling Principles

Proverbs 22:19-20 — 19 To make sure your foundation is trust in God, I’m laying it all out right now just for you. 20 I’m giving you thirty sterling principles—tested guidelines to live by (MSG).

Most scholars agree that Solomon compiled the vast majority of the book of Proverbs. He is widely heralded as the wisest man who ever lived. In 1 Kings 4:32 it is said that Solomon uttered three thousand proverbs. (I’ve had a hard enough time uttering three thousand coherent sentences.) Needless to say, he is definitely someone we can learn from.

Solomon said in Proverbs 22:17, “Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach” (NIV). Then over the next couple of chapters he goes on to teach thirty principles that, if applied to your life, will ensure your foundation is trust in the Lord. These principles are tested, and they work.

Solomon had a wealth of wisdom, but like so many of us, sometimes he lacked sound judgment and made mistakes. I believe Proverbs reflects the knowledge he acquired from both his successes and blunders. God’s desire is for us to learn from Solomon’s experience and the experiences of others.

If something works for someone else, why change it? Many people frustrate themselves trying to reinvent an idea or principle that is proven to work. Changing something that works is not being unique or cutting edge. Often times it is foolish. Some things in life are fine the way they are.

On the other hand, it is also foolish to repeat our mistakes and those of others. We can gain a lot of wisdom from learning what not to do. I want to encourage you today to take advantage of every learning opportunity you get. Be teachable, and do not pretend to have everything figured out. Purpose to learn from the examples of others. As we look at these thirty principles in Proverbs 22-24, I pray you will never be the same.

Proverbs 22:21 — Believe me—these are truths that work, and will keep you accountable to those who sent you (MSG).

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