Key Verse: “He who finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22 NKJV)

Proverbs 18: 1 Loners who care only for themselves
    spit on the common good.

2 Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse;
    all they do is run off at the mouth.

3 When wickedness arrives, shame’s not far behind;
    contempt for life is contemptible.

Many words rush along like rivers in flood,
    but deep wisdom flows up from artesian springs.

It’s not right to go easy on the guilty,
    or come down hard on the innocent.

The words of a fool start fights;
    do him a favor and gag him.

7 Fools are undone by their big mouths;
    their souls are crushed by their words.

Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
    do you really want junk like that in your belly?

Reflection: (Proverbs 18:8)

It is as hard to refuse to listen to rumors and gossip as it is to turn down a delicious dessert.

Taking just one morsel of either one creates a taste for more. 

You can resist rumors the same way a determined dieter resists candy – never even open the box. 

If you don’ t nibble on the first bite of gossip, you can’t take the second and the third bites. 

Slack habits and sloppy work
    are as bad as vandalism.

10 God’s name is a place of protection—
    good people can run there and be safe.

11 The rich think their wealth protects them;
    they imagine themselves safe behind it.

Reflection: (Proverbs 18:11)

In imagining that their wealth is their strongest defense, rich people are sadly mistaken. 

Money cannot provide safety – there are too many ways for it to lose its power. 

The government may cease to back it; thieves may steal it; inflation may rob it of all value. 

But God never loses His power. 

He is always dependable. 

Where do you look for security and safety – uncertain wealth or God who is always faithful? 

12 Pride first, then the crash,
    but humility is precursor to honor.

13 Answering before listening
    is both stupid and rude.

14 A healthy spirit conquers adversity,
    but what can you do when the spirit is crushed?

15 Wise men and women are always learning,
    always listening for fresh insights.

16 A gift gets attention;
    it buys the attention of eminent people.

17 The first speech in a court case is always convincing—
    until the cross-examination starts!

Reflection: (Proverbs 18:13,15,17)

These concise statements give three basic principles for making sound decisions:

  1. Get the facts before answering.
  2. Be open to new ideas. 
  3. Make sure you hear both sides of a story before judging. 

All three principles center around seeking additional information. 

This is difficult work, but the only alternative is prejudice – judging before getting the facts. 

18 You may have to draw straws
    when faced with a tough decision.

19 Do a favor and win a friend forever;
    nothing can untie that bond.

20 Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach;
    good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest.

21 Words kill, words give life;
    they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

Key Verse:: 22 Find a good spouse, you find a good life—
    and even more: the favor of God!

Reflection: (Proverbs 18:22)

This verse is stating that marriage should be enjoyed and viewed as a great gift from God. 

God created marriage for our enjoyment, and he pronounced it good. 

Married people need to see their marriages as great treasures – guarding and protecting them as such. 

This is one of many passages in the Bible that show marriages as a joyful and good creation of God. (Genesis 2:21-25; Proverbs 5:15-19; John 2:1-11)

23 The poor speak in soft supplications;
    the rich bark out answers.

Reflection: (Proverbs 18:23)

This verse does not condone insulting the poor; it is simply recording an unfortunate fact of life. 

It is wrong for rich people to treat the less fortunate with contempt and arrogance, and God will judge such actions severely (Proverbs 14:31)

24 Friends come and friends go,
    but a true friend sticks by you like family.

Reflection: (Proverbs 18:24)

Loneliness is everywhere – many people feel cutoff and alienated from others. 

Being in a crowd just makes people more aware of their isolation. 

We all need friends who will stick close, listen, care, and offer help when it is needed – in good times and bad. 

It is better to have one such friend than dozens of superficial acquaintances. 

Instead of wishing you could find a true friend, seek to become one. 

If you look around, you’ll find people who need your friendship. 

Ask God to reveal them to you, and then take on the challenge of being a true friend.