Confrontation is never pleasant—not only to those on the receiving end but also to those confronting. It takes guts to warn a friend about their poor choices, and often, fear of hurting feelings or losing the friendship altogether can keep people silent. But this chapter of Proverbs says looking away is even worse. As iron sharpens iron, the heartfelt counsel of a friend is something to value.
1 Don’t brag about tomorrow,
since you don’t know what the day will bring.
2 Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth—
a stranger, not your own lips.
3 A stone is heavy and sand is weighty,
but the resentment caused by a fool is even heavier.
4 Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood,
but jealousy is even more dangerous.
5 An open rebuke
is better than hidden love!
6 Wounds from a sincere friend
are better than many kisses from an enemy.
7 A person who is full refuses honey,
but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.
8 A person who strays from home
is like a bird that strays from its nest.
9 The heartfelt counsel of a friend
is as sweet as perfume and incense.
10 Never abandon a friend—
either yours or your father’s.
When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance.
It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.
11 Be wise, my child, and make my heart glad.
Then I will be able to answer my critics.
12 A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
13 Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt.
Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.
14 A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning
will be taken as a curse!
15 A quarrelsome wife is as annoying
as constant dripping on a rainy day.
16 Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind
or trying to hold something with greased hands.
17 As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.
18 As workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat the fruit,
so workers who protect their employer’s interests will be rewarded.
19 As a face is reflected in water,
so the heart reflects the real person.
20 Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied,
so human desire is never satisfied.
21 Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,
but a person is tested by being praised.
22 You cannot separate fools from their foolishness,
even though you grind them like grain with mortar and pestle.
23 Know the state of your flocks,
and put your heart into caring for your herds,
24 for riches don’t last forever,
and the crown might not be passed to the next generation.
25 After the hay is harvested and the new crop appears
and the mountain grasses are gathered in,
26 your sheep will provide wool for clothing,
and your goats will provide the price of a field.
27 And you will have enough goats’ milk for yourself,
your family, and your servant girls.
Subscribe to Receive Daily Devotionals
Start your morning off right! Enter your information below to receive email notifications of our Proverbs devotionals.