I teach a Sunday-school class at our church, and we are currently studying the book of Proverbs. The other week, we were studying the first half of Proverbs 6, perhaps one of the most practical sections of the entire book. And that’s saying something, because Proverbs is extremely practical by nature.
Consider with me, if you will, what Solomon shares with his son in these verses. The first five verses tell us to take great care not to make legal agreements over which we have no final control. One application would be not to cosign a note for someone else because you cannot control whether or not they will pay. That teaching does not nullify the biblical idea of kindness and generosity, but we must certainly be careful about our commitment.
In Proverbs 6:6-11, there are warnings about laziness. We should learn from the ant how to work and prepare for the future. In the New Testament, Paul wrote, “If a man will not work, do not let him eat.” It sounds harsh, but the Bible is clear that God expects his children to be hardworking contributors to society.
The next paragraph in this chapter includes verses 12-15. The main idea in those verses is the need to be straightforward and honest in your dealings with others. There is a warning of “calamity” to come if we are not that way. Finally, in verses 16-19, there is a list of seven specific sins that God “hates.” And yes, that is the very word that is used.
Why do I share this with you? It’s a simple reminder that the Bible is very practical in nature and seeks to teach us how to live in harmony with both God and others. Many think of the Bible as a book of rules to make life difficult. No, that could be either the NCAA rule book or the tax code. Rather, the Bible helps us live in a way that makes life better.
I want to encourage you to read the Bible. Start with the book of Proverbs. See if you find advice that makes life better and easier. And as you do, you just might grow a little closer to the author.