1 Better the poor whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.
2 Desire without knowledge is not good— how much more will hasty feet miss the way!
3 A person’s own folly leads to their ruin, yet their heart rages against the LORD.
4 Wealth attracts many friends, but even the closest friend of the poor person deserts them.
5 A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will not go free.
6 Many curry favor with a ruler, and everyone is the friend of one who gives gifts.
7 The poor are shunned by all their relatives— how much more do their friends avoid them! Though the poor pursue them with pleading, they are nowhere to be found
8 The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper.
9 A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will perish.
10 It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury— how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!
11 A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
12 A king’s rage is like the roar of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.
13 A foolish child is a father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof.
14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
15 Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless go hungry.
16 Whoever keeps commandments keeps their life, but whoever shows contempt for their ways will die.
17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.
18 Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.
19 A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty; rescue them, and you will have to do it again.
20 Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
22 What a person desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar.
23 The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.
24 A sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he will not even bring it back to his mouth!
25 Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence; rebuke the discerning, and they will gain knowledge.
26 Whoever robs their father and drives out their mother is a child who brings shame and disgrace.
27 Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
28 A corrupt witness mocks at justice, and the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.
29 Penalties are prepared for mockers, and beatings for the backs of fools.
When I was growing up I was considered poor white trash. Most of my life was spent in a single-wide trailer. My parents owned 28 acres and we lived in what had been the original farm-house when it was an actual homestead. It caught fire and burned to the ground and for reasons I still don’t know to this day, my parents decided to buy a single wide trailer and that was what we lived in until I moved out. True to most trailers, it was not that nice. I was incredibly ashamed to live in it. On top of that we never had much money growing up and the clothes I had were either from Kmart or Goodwill or were hand me downs. Which was essentially social suicide growing up where I did. Brand names were huge and I never had anything brand name until I was in high school, making my own money and could purchase those things myself. One year my mom purchased the largest turkey she could find for Thanksgiving and we lived on the leftovers until spring time as that was all we could afford. It took me many years before I could actually eat turkey.
I grew up feeling extremely poor and wanted nothing more than to make lots of money and acquire “things” so that I never had to feel that way as an adult. The jobs I wanted were to either be a big time defense lawyer or a very popular actor. I was going to make it big and give myself all the things I never got as a kid.
Obviously I have never been any of those things. There was that brief gig in college as a model, but I didn’t profit financially. God has a way of changing us or at least changing our hearts. I have spent the majority of my adult life in social work. A less than glamorous or high paying job, but nonetheless one that is very important and has changed me and my outlook on life completely.
God has incredibly blessed me financially. I am far better off financially than my parents ever were at my age. This is not by any means bragging, simply a realization that God has incredibly blessed my wife and children and I. God has also changed my heart in regards to money and being rich. I no longer care if I have a lot of money. I am actually very happy living on less and having my family and friends around me. As the father of 6 kids, I don’t feel poor nor have I ever heard my kids complain they feel like they are poor or have less than others.
When I was a Youth Pastor and took my kids on a mission trip, God used this to show me how fortunate and lucky I am to live where I am and have what I have and by no means should I consider myself poor. He impressed it upon me that living in America I was not poor nor should I consider myself poor, I was richer than I could even comprehend. Since then my whole views of wealthy, money and importance have completely shifted.
By the standards of the US and even the world I may not have a lot of wealth, I may not have the newest gadgets or cars and my house may not be top of the line. None of that matters to me, I am rich in ways many people cannot comprehend. I may be poor by many standards, but I would rather be poor than a liar, or a fool whose lips are perverse.