Proverbs 12:25-28 – “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad. 26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray. 27 The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, But diligence is man’s precious possession. 28 In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway there is no death.” NKJV
Proverbs provides a plethora of wisdom and too often we read for quantity rather than quality and skim over some incredibly powerful words of wisdom. I have been guilty and I’m reasonably sure that most of you have as well. The Spirit of the Lord has been challenging me more and more to cease doing that and carefully muse upon each word, sentence, and paragraph as I read and study the scripture. It has proven to be a dynamic endeavor and I’ve gleaned more from passages that I formerly only gave a cursory reading.
The words of wisdom, found in these four verses, are an example of the wealth of pearls to be found in the Book of Proverbs. Each could be examined solitarily but I will highlight them and allow you to do further study and examination to find that which the Lord would speak to your heart from these treasures.
- Anxiety in the heart produces depression contrasted to a good word bringing a vivacious spirit.
When we allow anxiety, fear, or worry to take a dominant place in our thinking the result will be depression but if we give or receive a ‘good word’ from God’s word we will find that our spirits soar and become alive with excitement and anticipation. Depression arises from an ‘inward focus’ or a ‘focus on self’ but the spirit soars when the focus is on God.
- Careful selection of friends or those you come into an alliance with is critical because those of ill repute and walk in wickedness will bring you down.
The old saying ‘birds of a feather flock together, and a little leaven leavens the entire lump’ is surely applicable and factual. I’ve known many a young person who had become so infatuated with a member of the opposite sex that they wanted to enter into marriage thinking and declaring that they could and would effect a change in the other person only to find that the reverse was true and endured a miserable relationship. It is important to surround yourself with people who demonstrate a positive faith and character.
- The contrast between laziness and diligence.
The translation of this word to ‘roast’ is a most interesting one. The Hebrew word is ‘charak’ and comes from the primitive root – ‘to braid, entangle, snare, or catch in a net.’ Some translations render it as ‘the slothful man will not secure (keep in his net) what he takes in hunting”. He will let whatever he gains slip from his hands through a lack of effort and attention. Laziness produces lack and diligence produces abundance or adequate provision at the minimum.
- Righteousness leads to life whereas unrighteousness leads to death.
No wonder Jesus said, ‘Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life and few will find it.’ The path of least resistance is almost never the best way to go. The pathway to destruction is broad and wide with few visible obstacles but the pathway to life is filled with obstructions placed there by the evil one in an attempt to discourage and shipwreck our journey.
I am quite sure that as you read these and give them thought the Holy Spirit will highlight some particular areas for you to delve deeper into and embark on a journey to implement them into your life.
So as you imbed yourself in God’s truth I bid you a good day and pray God’s blessings upon you!