Proverbs 23: Wise Sayings

What is the difference between good and bad manners?

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Proverbs 23:1 When you go to dinner with very important people, proper etiquette matters.
King James
Proverbs 23:1 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:

If scarfing down food, being a glutton, isn’t a good idea, why do people do it?

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Proverbs 23:2 Being a glutton, scarfing down food, isn’t a good idea.
King James
Proverbs 23:2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.

How can we be sure that a picture justifies the price?

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Proverbs 23:3 Don’t order the most expensive item on the menu, for the picture doesn’t justify the price.
King James
Proverbs 23:3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.

What are the dangers of being a workaholic?

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Proverbs 23:4–5 Don’t work yourself to death, trying to get rich. Abandon that kind of thinking.
Why would you set your sights on what you can’t keep? Wealth has a way of growing wings and flying off like an eagle, far away into the sky.
King James
Proverbs 23:4–5 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

Why do people accept dinner invitations? Under what circumstances should they be refused?

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Proverbs 23:6–8 Accept no dinner invitation from the wicked, who would entice you with something that only looks good. From their conscious minds, they may say, “Be my guest. Eat, drink, and be merry,” while their subconscious being says something else. Their words that taste so good will turn sour in your stomach and make you vomit.
King James
Proverbs 23:6–8 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.

How can we know when our wisdom should be shared?

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Proverbs 23:9 Sharing your wisdom with fools is a waste of good words, for you will be despised for saying something that hurts their ears.
King James
Proverbs 23:9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

How will thieves be judged if nobody knows what they have done?

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Proverbs 23:10–11 The ancient landmarks should not be moved to take the land that belongs to orphans, for God is a mighty defender who will take up their case against you.
King James
Proverbs 23:10–11 Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless: For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.

If we aren’t aware of what we need to know, how can we effectively listen and learn?

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Proverbs 23:12 Be eager to learn, listening carefully to words of knowledge.
King James
Proverbs 23:12 Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.

When is a spanking constructive? When might it be destructive?

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Proverbs 23:13–14 Children need discipline. A good spanking will give them life, not death. Physical punishment can save them from spiritual death.
King James
Proverbs 23:13–14 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

What are the best ways the children can honor their parents and make them proud?

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Proverbs 23:15–17 My child, as you gain wisdom, I rejoice more and more. When you speak the truth, I am thrilled to the core of my being.
Don’t envy the wrongdoers who seem to be doing so well, but honor the Lord in everything you say and do.
Proverbs 23:22 Heed the advice of your father, who gave you life. Care for your mother when she is old.
King James
Proverbs 23:15–17 My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine. Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things. Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long.
Proverbs 23:22 Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.

What should we do when, day after day, we do not see our hopes fulfilled?

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Proverbs 23:18–19 There will come a day when your hope in God will be fulfilled.
Be wise, my child, and set your heart upon doing what pleases the Lord.
King James
Proverbs 23:18–19 For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off. Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.

What is the perceived benefit of hanging out in the bars or enjoying an all-you-can-eat buffet?

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Proverbs 23:20–21 Avoid gluttony and drunkenness, for that kind of conduct leads to lethargy and poverty that will leave you in rags.
King James
Proverbs 23:20–21 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

How important is the truth? How can people miss seeing its value?

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Proverbs 23:23 Righteous children bring their parents great joy. A wise child is a parent’s great delight.
King James
Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

If righteous children make their parents proud, how do you think God feels? Why?

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Proverbs 23:24–25 Righteous children bring their parents great joy. A wise child is a parent’s great delight.
Make your father and mother proud of you. May your mother be glad to call you her child.
King James
Proverbs 23:24–25 The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.

Which sends the louder message, actions or words? Why?

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Proverbs 23:26 My child, pay close attention and watch what I do.
King James
Proverbs 23:26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

What makes seduction effective? How is it overcome?

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Proverbs 23:27–28 A prostitute is a deep pit you must avoid. You don’t want to fall into a seductive woman’s distressful well. She stalks her prey and causes more men to be unfaithful.
King James
Proverbs 23:27–28 For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit. She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.

Why do worried, grieving people hang out in bars? Why is that counter-productive?

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Proverbs 23:29–35 Who is worried sick, consumed with grief, or weary from strife? Who is complaining about undeserved wounds, with eyes red from crying? They are the people who hang out in bars, getting drunk.
Don’t gaze at the cup, enticed by the redness of the wine that will go down so smoothly. Later, it bites like a snake with venomous fangs. You will hallucinate and say things that are out of touch with reality. You will be like a sailor tossed by the waves, hanging on to keep from drowning. You will say, “They struck me, but I wasn’t hurt. I was beaten, but I feel no pain.” You will anticipate the morning so you can drink some more.
King James
Proverbs 23:29–35 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.