At its core, the book of Proverbs is an instructional and didactic text. Offering guidance to live better, more fruitful lives; Proverbs combines common sense experiences with profound divine truth. We come back to the book of Proverbs time and time again, reminded that when we place our pursuit of God at the center of our lives, we invite the seed of true wisdom to take root. For this reason, the book of Proverbs contains some of the most popular Bible verses quoted by people of faith.
Here then is a list of some of the most insightful and reflective proverbs from the Bible. We invite you to read and ruminate upon these verses, considering the way these ancient words of wisdom continue to speak to us today.
What are Proverbs?
Before we dive into our list, we’ll take a brief look at proverbs as a literary genre and style. Generally speaking, a proverb is a wise saying--a simple statement or phrase illuminating common or fundamental truths. Biblically, the proverbs seek to express specific wisdom regarding how to live well in the world and how to know God. Knowing and submitting to the Creator are central to the wisdom that Proverbs teaches. Stylistically, the proverbs found in the Bible span instructional advice, poetic reflection, ethical rumination, and figurative teaching. At the core of the book of Proverbs is the call to dedicate oneself to God’s will for one’s life. You can learn more about the book of Proverbs in “What Are Proverbs?” and “The Book of Proverbs – Experience the Presence of God Through Wise Living”.
Proverbs About Loving Wisely
These proverbs offer insight into how one ought to engage their friends and loved ones. Our closest relationships ought to be preserved and nurtured intentionally. The below Bible verses advise us to treasure those who care for us and to care for them in kind.
“Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.”
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.”
“Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.”
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born to help in time of need."
Proverbs About Speaking Wisely
Words have weight and value. The words of these proverbs remind us to think before we speak and to conduct ourselves with patience, grace, and compassion. We should strive to build up those around us through our speech, not to tear others down.
“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”
"A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up anger."
“The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.”
“When [a wise woman] speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.”
“Some people make cutting remarks, but the word of the wise brings healing.”
Proverbs About Following God
The book of Proverbs is very clear—the key to living a wise life is to place God at the center of all we do. These verses urge us to allow God to guide our steps and to rely not on our own understanding and preferences but upon the will of our Creator.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will make straight your paths. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.”
“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.”
“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”
"A wise son accepts a parent’s discipline; a mocker refuses to listen to correction."
"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
Proverbs About Being Wise with Money
In both the ancient world and our culture today, money is a constant presence. How can we be responsible stewards of the resources we have been blessed with? These proverbs illustrate a wise relationship with wealth.
“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.”
"Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it."
“Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold. The rich and poor have this in common: The Lord made them both.”
“Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.”
“Better to live humbly with the poor than to share plunder with the proud.”
Proverbs About Wise Leadership
Proverbs encourages us to allow God to lead us, but how do we lead others wisely? These verses offer insight into what responsible and thought leaders ought to strive for as well as offering metrics for determining the wisdom of those we may encounter in positions of power.
“Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.”
“Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.”
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
“Rulers lead with [God’s] help, and nobles make righteous judgments.”
"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice."
As a book of the Bible Proverbs serves as a fountain of encouragement, wisdom, and instruction. Studying scripture is a tangible way to ensure that we place our Creator at the center of our lives. As you impress these Bible verses from Proverbs upon your heart and mind, we hope that you are encouraged. May our spirits be lifted and may we stand firm in faith.
To learn more about the book of Proverbs and the rest of the Bible’s wisdom literature, take a look at the Wisdom Collection from Alabaster.