1 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.
2 From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things, but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence.
3 Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
4 A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.
5 The righteous hate what is false, but the wicked make themselves a stench and bring shame on themselves.
6 Righteousness guards the person of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner.
7 One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
8 A person’s riches may ransom their life, but the poor cannot respond to threatening rebukes.
9 The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.
10 Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
11 Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
13 Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it, but whoever respects a command is rewarded.
14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.
15 Good judgment wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.
16 All who are prudent act withknowledge, but fools expose their folly.
17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.
18 Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.
19 A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning from evil.
20 Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
21 Trouble pursues the sinner, but the righteous are rewarded with good things.
22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
23 An unplowed field produces food for the poor, but injustice sweeps it away.
24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.
25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.
Writing an article about Proverbs 13 is the equivalent of herding cats. For those unfamiliar with cowboy lingo, try teaching two grasshoppers a thirty minute routine of synchronized jumping.
I am a very organized and orderly pattern type of guy. I like to have a subject to talk about or at least a theme. After reading Proverbs 13 approximately 42 times and looking for a theme or a subject, I finally gave up.
That’s when God showed me what the Chapter was all about. He’s showed me from the beginning.
Proverbs 13:1 – A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.
After this verse, God speaks through the writer to give examples of this. You can’t quantify them or categorize them very effectively or efficiently. That’s not the purpose of Proverbs.
The purpose of Proverbs 13 gives examples from every walk of life that basically says, “God’s way will be shown to you and you should follow it. He will even correct you when you mess up.”
Proverbs isn’t about another set of rules and regulations to add to the Law. As humans, we try desperately to find a checklist of things we can mark off so that are trek to heaven can be checked off.
That’s what makes the Law so appealing, but none of these wise sayings mean anything without the heart.
You can act like a wise person without being wise. You can act righteous without being righteous. You can act like a good father around others, but that doesn’t necessarily make it so.
The width and depth of chapter thirteen’s nuggets of wisdom show that it’s not about acts of kindness we can perform, but the heart’s motive.
What do we seek? What’s the purpose in our actions? What’s the motivation behind the act? Is the event pointed to make us look good or show our love of God? Do we do it because God said, or do we do it because we want to glorify Him?
Verse 7 – One fellow pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
This doesn’t mean that in order to get rich, you have to walk around in dirty clothes and hold a sign proclaiming your poverty. It means that you should be humble and not flaunt what you have to those that have not so that you will feel above them.
Proverbs 13 can be equated to those bumps on the side of the road that makes your truck feel like it’s going to vibrate apart. The bumps are an audible warning that you may be getting too close to the edge of the road.
Finally, don’t think that the road follows the bumps. The bumps follow the road.
We should treat Proverbs as guard rails that keep us from going over the edge.
Remember, “A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.”
Kevin Weatherby is a Pastor at the Pecos County Cowboy Church in Fort Stockton, Texas and founder of Campfire Cowboy Ministries, the online gatherin’ place for Christian Cowboys and Cowgirls.
His blog Campfire Cowboy Ministry http://campfirecowboyministries.com/ strives to teach, explain, and look at Christianity from a cowboy perspective. You can also follow Kevin on Twitter @CowboyMinistry
The articles and devotions you will find on his blog range from the humorous life of a working cowboy, to the serious need for a relationship with Jesus Christ instead of a legalistic religious life without Him.
Kevin’s goal is to show that Jesus’ greatest wish is that you and him ride his pastures together. He is not a Greek god waiting to zap you with a lightning bolt if you make a mistake, but rather an old friend that loves you so much that he gave his life for you.