A good name is to be chosen rather than great wealth, good favor more than silver or gold. (22:1)
It’s been said that reputation is everything. I don’t know that I would go quite that far, but reputation is very important. For Solomon, a good reputation should be preferred over “great wealth.” This was one of the things that God liked about Noah – “he was blameless among his contemporaries” (Genesis 6:8-9)
Train a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. (22:6)
There are many parents who don’t believe this is true. They did their best when raising their kids, but the kids seem to be going off in their own direction away from God.
Don’t give up! I spoke to a church member last night who’s daughter will be turning 60 soon. She has finally come back to God. It’s never to late to see God get a hold of a person’s life.
The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. (22:7)
This is probably the verse that Dave Ramsey is best known for. The fact is, it’s true. ‘Nuff said. If you’re going to borrow from someone, they own you until you repay the loan. And the closer the person is to you at the time you borrow from them, the harder it is to live your life until you’re out from under their rule. Get out of debt and stay there.
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him. (22:15)
I taught an entire message on the (non-biblical) saying, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” You can listen to it here.
Incline your ear and listen to the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my instruction. For it is pleasing if you keep these sayings within you, and they are ready on your lips. (22:18-19)
Solomon points out an important distinction between knowledge and wisdom here. It’s one thing to know a lot of stuff about God and the Bible. It’s a completely different matter to “apply your heart…keep these sayings…[so that] they are ready on your lips.” Paul reminded us that “knowledge puffs up but love builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1). Which do you do?