It is dangerous to have zeal without knowledge, and the one who acts hastily makes poor choices. (19:2)
This is the “Barney Fife” person. Remember Barney Fife from “The Andy Griffith Show”? He was the comedic supporting part to Andy Griffith’s smart, cool, collected role. Barney got the laughs.
But it wasn’t because he was cracking jokes. We laughed at Barney because he was…clueless. Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife had the zeal, or excitement, to catch the bad guys, but he didn’t have a clue how to actually do it. And we laughed as we watched him fall all over himself before Andy rescued him AND got the bad guys.
Solomon says, “Don’t be Barney. Don’t be zealous, but stupid. Make a plan and follow through with it.”
Many people entreat the favor of a generous person, and everyone is the friend of the person who gives gifts. (19:6)
Isn’t that the truth! I remember a girl in high school who always had money on her. I don’t remember her name, but I know it seemed like she always had money, and just about every guy (including me, ashamed!) called her “girlfriend” at some point, because she was generous toward those close to her.
If you don’t have money – don’t be a mooch! Work hard and make some. If you have money, be generous, but don’t enable the moochers.
The one who acquires wisdom loves himself; the one who preserves understanding will prosper. (19:8)
This stuck out because we are told to “love our neighbors as we love ourselves”. Nathan asked me once, “But what if someone doesn’t love himself?” It was a good question. My best answer was one about understanding our identity in God and Christ.
However, this proverbs plays into how we can love our neighbor – by sharing the wisdom we have gained in order to help build and grow them.
A foolish child is the ruin of his father, and a contentious wife is like a constant dripping. (19:13)
I referenced the second half of this last week in a conversation I was having with someone. It reminds me of what we used to call “Chinese Water Torture”. (I don’t know if they actually do this, but that’s what we called it.) Basically, the idea is that the captors would strap down the prisoner and cause a slow, steady drip of water to drop onto his forehead until he would break and give them the information they wanted.
Solomon says that a contentious, nagging wife is like Chinese Water Torture – constantly dripping, over and over, until the husband (prisoner) finally breaks. I praise God (not often enough) that my wife, Saralynn, is NOT like that! We have had 12 great years together, and I’m looking forward to many more! See verse 14 here, too.
The one who is gracious to the poor lends to the LORD, and the LORD will repay him for his good deed. (19:17)
This is what we do through Hope Ministries every day. It’s a pleasure to serve there by teaching people God’s Word. If you haven’t checked out what Hope is doing in South Bend, you are missing out on a huge blessing.