Proverbs 19:20-21

Wisdom, Day 19

Welcome to Day 19 of our Journey through “31 Days of Wisdom”!


Today’s categories are integrity, generosity and diligence.


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Twice this chapter mentions it is better to be poor… vs being a liar (v.22) or to be crooked in speech and a fool (v.1). Several times throughout this book of wisdom we are told it is better to be poor or modest than to have something else that brings discontent or worse.

We also learn in this chapter that generosity comes from responsibility and diligence. We are told that it is not right “for a fool to live in luxury or a slave to rule over princes” (v.10), and this makes me think the intention is that wealth and power should come from due diligence and responsibility. It must be earned to be applied correctly.

This chapter does share it is better to have than not to have, and the practical implications of it. No one seeks the favor of the poor who do not have the resources to help, but it is important that the diligent who have earned wealth be wise in sharing it. The lazy will be wanting, but those who are industrious can be intentional and significant in their life’s contributions to society.

On a side note, I am grateful for the wife I have been blessed with, and all of her sound judgement, diligence, and caring. Proverbs mentioned yesterday (18:22) and today (19:14) that a good wife is from the Lord, and among other verses we’ll especially see this in chapter 31. Many women aspire to “be” a “Proverbs 31 Woman”, but my wife just “is”. It’s like the lyric of a beautiful woman, and she doesn’t even know it. I’m fortunate that my wife is definitely a gift from Heaven, and she’s beautifully gifted inside and out with such a big heart. I’m inspired to be wiser and more diligent every day just to honor her.


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[shareable cite=””]1 Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.

2 Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. 3 When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord. 4 Wealth brings many new friends, but a poor man is deserted by his friend. 5 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape. 6 Many seek the favor of a generous man, and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts. 7 All a poor man’s brothers hate him; how much more do his friends go far from him! He pursues them with words, but does not have them.

8 Whoever gets sense loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will discover good. 9 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish. 10 It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury, much less for a slave to rule over princes. 11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. 12 A king’s wrath is like the growling of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass. 13 A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain. 14 House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.

15 Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger. 16 Whoever keeps the commandment keeps his life; he who despises his ways will die. 17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. 18 Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death. 19 A man of great wrath will pay the penalty, for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again. 20 Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.

21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. 22 What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar. 23 The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm. 24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth. 25 Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge. 26 He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother is a son who brings shame and reproach.

27 Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge. 28 A worthless witness mocks at justice, and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity. 29 Condemnation is ready for scoffers, and beating for the backs of fools.

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Please see the Welcome to 31 Days of Wisdom post if you missed it. There are some starting resources and recommendations there.


For some helpful commentaries and other resources to dig in deeper you may enjoy the following links, or your own search at a local book store or online search/purchase.


“Make it a purpose-filled and on-target day!”


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