Well, I’m glad that many of you found last week’s article, 10 Wise Sayings, very interesting; to the point of suggesting that I write a book. I enjoyed reading the comments; they were interesting too. And thanks to Funmilola and Didi for sharing some wise sayings with us – sayings that have kept them out of trouble thus far.
I hope I can get some more wise sayings from my readers in the comments this week. If I get enough, then I’ll do an article on that next week – just highlighting some of the wise sayings that I think everyone could benefit from.
Like I promised, this week, I’m showcasing 10 more wise sayings from the Book of Proverbs. I had a lot to share last week and decided to break them into two articles instead. I’ve put my own interpretations below each proverb. Please feel free to call me out if you think I’ve misinterpreted any of them!
Enjoy… and selah!
#1 “Some “friends” pretend to be friends, but a true friend sticks closer than a brother.”
My Interpretation: We all have ups and downs in life. We should watch out, especially during the down times, to see those who still stand by our sides. Those are our true friends. And a note of warning here – even your own brothers and sisters may let you down during those times! A true friend never will.
Do you have true friends?
#2 “To act without knowing how you function is not good; and if you rush ahead, you will miss your goal.”
My Interpretation: Before making any major commitments (or even minor ones) make sure you understand yourself, your psychology, your physical, mental and emotional makeup first.
This is why a lot of people drop out of their new year’s resolutions very early on. They take on way too much than they can handle and end up being burnt out. Most times, you’ll be fine if you start small and then make incremental steps along the way. Start by going for a walk every evening, then a brisk-walk, then a jog, then a run; instead of starting off with running many miles on the first day and not being able to sustain it.
This also applies to hanging out with the wrong crowd or dating the wrong person, with hopes that you can change them. And then they end up changing you. You didn’t understand yourself first, how you function, and so you missed your goal.
#3 “The character of even a child is known by how he acts, by whether his deeds are pure and right.”
My interpretation: Pay more attention to what people do than to what they say. Talk is cheap. Everyone can talk a big game, but actions speak louder than words. Even a little child can say A and do B and you know who he is not by the A he says, but by the B he does. That’s character. It’s found more in action than in speech.
So, when next a politician, employee, friend, or family member comes with speeches and promises, talking a big game, pay more attention to their track record. How exactly have they performed in the past? How do they treat those closest to them? When those who know you the most respect you the least, then you have a serious character flaw.
We should also be fair and judge ourselves too by our actions and not by our intentions. This helps us to have a more objective view of our true character.
#4 “A gossip goes around revealing secrets, so don’t get involved with a talkative person.”
My interpretation: People who talk a lot are usually gossips. They easily run out of topics due to their loquaciousness and so they resort to talking about other people and revealing their secrets.
If they are talking about others to you, they are talking about you to others. So if you don’t want your secrets exposed, don’t tell it to someone who has told you the secrets of others. Better still; don’t get involved with a talkative person just like the proverb says.
#5 “A lazy man says, “There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed if I go out in the street!””
My interpretation: Any excuse will do, when you’re too lazy to do what you ought to do in the first place. “I’m sure there’s a lot of traffic out there, I’ll just stay home and not make that appointment”. “It seems it’s going to rain. Well, there goes another church-less Sunday.”
Worse is talking ourselves out of applying for a job, scholarship, or anything competitive; because those competing with us for the spot are as ferocious as lions and would eat us up. Any excuse is enough to stop you. Just do it!
#6 “Do you see a man skilled at his work? He will serve kings, not obscure people.”
My interpretation: Know your craft, hone your craft. Always seek to improve your way of getting things done, no matter how insignificant your work may seem.
Sadly, we have started to replace skill with certificates. People go for certifications in many areas without actually developing their skill in those areas.
They say the biggest gap in this world is the gap between knowing and doing.
Applied knowledge is wisdom. The more wisdom you have, the better your skills get. And that (wisdom) is what gets you to the top – to stand before kings, and not mean [average] men.
#7 “Don’t eat the food of a stingy man; don’t be greedy for his delicacies.
For he is like someone who keeps accounts – “Eat! Drink!” he says to you, but he doesn’t really mean it.
The little you eat you will vomit up, and your compliments will have been wasted.”
My interpretation: When someone who isn’t known for giving gifts freely or doing favours for people suddenly wants to do these things for you, don’t be flattered, be alarmed. They usually want something in return, and don’t kid yourself thinking they would be too shy to ask you to return the favour. They’ve got you now! You owe them one!
#8 “If you find honey, eat only what you need; for if you eat too much of it, you may throw it up;
So don’t visit your neighbor too much, or he may get his fill of you and come to hate you.”
My interpretation: Just like you would come to hate something (sweet) that you’ve eaten too much of, you would get sick of someone (no matter how sweet) who ALWAYS comes by to see you, especially unannounced. Don’t be that someone. Familiarity breeds contempt. Awoof dey run bele. Make yourself a little bit scarce. Scarce commodities are valuable.
#9 “Discipline your child while there is hope, but don’t get so angry that you kill him!
… Doing wrong is firmly tied to the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away from him…
Don’t withhold discipline from a child – if you beat him with a stick, he won’t die!”
My interpretation: Give your child a beating when necessary; it drives the innate foolishness away. But make sure you don’t do it in anger. Cool off first before disciplining. And I think it’s safer to use the stick/rod than your hands. With your hands, you’re more tempted to kill. It’s just easier to grab, twist, pull, shake, punch, strangle, choke. Discipline to teach, not to retaliate.
#10 “Who has misery? Who has regret? Who fights and complains all the time? Who gets bruised for no good reason? Who has bloodshot eyes?
Those who spend their time over wine, those always trying out mixed drinks.
Don’t gaze at the red wine as it gives its colour to the cup. It may glide down smoothly now; but in the end, it bites like a serpent – yes, it strikes like a poisonous snake.
Your eyes will see peculiar things, your mind will utter nonsense. You will feel as if lying on the waves of the sea or sprawled on top of the mast –
“They hit me, but I didn’t feel it. They beat me up, and I didn’t even know it. When will I wake up?
… I’ll go get another drink.”
My interpretation: Don’t get wasted.
So, that’s it. 10 more wise sayings for you! I hope you enjoyed this one as much as you did the last one.
Remember to let us know any wise saying at all that you know and that has kept you safe for years. It doesn’t have to be scriptural. It could be something you even heard on a TV show that you thought was wise and has proven to be so over the years, keeping you away from trouble. If I get a good number of them from you guys, then I’ll do an article on them next week.
But until then, remain wise out there.