These 5 chapters contain more of the Proverbs of Solomon and cover a variety of topics, ranging from humility, gossip, wisdom, character, money, righteousness, and many more.
One section that especially stuck out to me was Proverbs 26:4-5.
“Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.”
These two proverbs occur back to back and seem to directly contradict one another. What this tells me is, like with all proverbs, discerning how and when to apply them is just as if not more important than knowing them at all.
What this tells me about God is that he wants us to dig into his word and search out how to apply it. Wisdom is found all throughout his word, but like many Proverbs say, it is not accessible to the sluggard. We have to put in the work as well if we want to truly discover wisdom and how to apply it.
This passage reminds me that not everybody responds the same to things. People are complex and unique. In certain scenarios it is a fool’s errand to try to point out a fool’s folly, thus an attempt to do so makes you a fool yourself. There are other times when pointing out someone’s folly will help to humble them and prevent them from continuing in it. We must be discerning to know which response is appropriate for the situation.
As a result of this reading I will make more of an effort to be discerning in my interactions with others, and rely more on God and wisdom to help me know the right way to respond to things.
Jesus was a master of discernment. He always knew exactly what to say or do in every situation, and he treated each person he interacted with exactly how they needed to be treated in that scenario; sometimes with tremendous grace and compassion, and other times with sharp correction. He knew all peoples’ thoughts and hearts.