This chapter puts a lot of subjects together: fools, lazy people, arguing, and words. This is a great chapter to study on these subjects because it puts more than one proverb together, and makes it easy to see more than one point.
The proverbs that really impacted me this morning were about thinking you are wise in your own eyes (vv.5, 12, 16). There is wisdom in knowing when to give someone unsolicited advice – usually we shouldn’t or it makes us look foolish (v.4), but sometimes we should so that they can learn and grow (v.5). More than this, though, is the question – how honest am I in my estimation of myself? Can I be confident and humble at the same time?
Wisdom is something that the wise don’t think they have enough of. They always want more, always pursue more, always ask questions and seek more truth and understanding. In Christ, I can have confidence, but not arrogance. I can pity the fool (thanks Mr.T) who does not live God’s way, but that does not mean I am arrogant, but I want the foolish choices they are making to change. I can’t make them change, but I can help show the way when they are ready to make that choice. I can be confident and strong in the wise choices I have made, following Christ. Walking with Jesus gives me confidence, yet since He is the leader I am not arrogant.
I can be humble and confident – because I am following Jesus. I must always want to follow Him more, want more of His wisdom and more of His truth – to know Him more.