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SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 21:23-26

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SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)


Practical Life Principles: Selfishness Brings Harm To Others and Self: Proverbs 21:23-26

23) Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
24) Proud [and] haughty scorner [is] his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
25) The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.
26) He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not. 


This text emphasizes for us that living a life of selfishness brings troubles and death…



23) Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
A selfish lifestyle is revealed by unguarded speech…
The man who diligently guards speech will guard his life from distress and anxiety

Many times our ill-spoken words will harm others, which will create future problems for the speaker.

For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same [is] a perfect man, [and] able also to bridle the whole body.  Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.  Behold also the ships, which though [they be] so great, and [are] driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.  Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!  And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.  For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:  But the tongue can no man tame; [it is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.  Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.  Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.  Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet [water] and bitter?  Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so [can] no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.  Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. (James 3:2-13)


24) Proud [and] haughty scorner [is] his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
A selfish lifestyle is revealed by uncontrolled anger….
Those who are presumptuous and who arrogantly mock are known when they exhibit arrogant, out of control anger towards others.

When a person’s life is filled with uncontrolled anger, they are showing themselves to assume there will be no retribution for their actions.  This type of lifestyle and attitude makes a public mockery of the Word of God.

Better [is] the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: [and] the patient in spirit [is] better than the proud in spirit.  Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.”   (Ecclesiastes 7:8-9)


25) The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.  26) He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.
A selfish lifestyle is revealed by laziness…
1.  The longings of the lazy will destroy him Because he abhors and rejects work.  The lazy will hungrily selfishly to satisfy his flesh all day.
2.  Those who are in alignment with the desires of God will give of himself to help others and will not hold back.

When a person is not willing to work to meet their own needs and the needs of their family, they are headed for sure ruin.  They live a totally selfish existence, while the Godly man will work and then share his gain freely with others who possess legitimate needs.

I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;  And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, [and] nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, [and] considered [it] well: I looked upon [it, and] received instruction.  [Yet] a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:  So shall thy poverty come [as] one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.”   (Proverbs 24:30-34)


Living a life of selfishness is revealed by unguarded speech, uncontrolled anger and laziness.   It results in a variety of troubles for both the lazy person and those who come in contact with them.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

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  1. Terry says:

    very good reading this morning Rob

  2. Help me dear LORD to be full of you and none of me!

  3. SLIMJIM says:

    From different counseling I’m doing the last two weeks with church, I’m reminded that the Gospel is the only thing that can successfully remove the idol of self-centeredness. Only if we have the Gospel, the love of God can we be properly motivated to remove self first, in light of the goodness of God which we respond to, that leads us to make Him Lord of our life.

  4. It has been so evident in my life the danger and turmoil the ‘tongue’ can cause. Hurtful and unkind words spoken leaves the hearer of those words devastated or wounded in spirit… We can either affirm another or discount their value… Diane

  5. The tongue . . . pride . . . laziness . . . all, as you say, point to self-centredness – when we should be pointing to the glories of the Lord.
    Thanks for another reminder Rob.

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