Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Proverbs 13 (NIV)
13 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes. 2 From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things, but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence. 3 Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin. 4 A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. 5 The righteous hate what is false, but the wicked make themselves a stench and bring shame on themselves. 6 Righteousness guards the person of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner. 7 One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth. 8 A person’s riches may ransom their life, but the poor cannot respond to threatening rebukes. 9 The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out. 10 Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. 11 Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow. 12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. 13 Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it, but whoever respects a command is rewarded. 14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death. 15 Good judgment wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction. 16 All who are prudent act with knowledge, but fools expose their folly. 17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a trustworthy envoy brings healing. 18 Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored. 19 A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning from evil. 20 Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. 21 Trouble pursues the sinner, but the righteous are rewarded with good things. 22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous. 23 An unplowed field produces food for the poor, but injustice sweeps it away. 24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. 25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content,
but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.
What recurring themes do you see here?
Lord, I want my life to be fertile ground that produces an abundance of fruit for You. The way that I can have a rich, fertile life is found in righteousness. Allow me to surround myself with Your wisdom. Wise advice is like fertilizer that enriches my soil to grow stronger in You. Thank You that You have provided me, parents, to instruct and correct me, prune me, and help me grow. I continue to follow what I learned from them and teach my children and grandchildren in the same way. Help me to grow strong by soaking up Your enriching sunlight from Christian friends, and the everlasting water from Your Word. Help me to use common sense in financial decisions, make wise choices that bless You and those around me, and crowd out the influence of the weeds of evil in my life. Let the results bloom in who I am and what I do. Let my life develop fruit that feeds others through what I say and how I say it, by working hard, loving the truth, and being a person of integrity. Use the seeds of my life to feed others who are struggling on the hard road, in the rocks, or in the midst of the weeds of life. Allow me to transplant them to the fertile ground of Your love and salvation. Use the fruit of my life to bring glory to You. Amen