Proverbs: Day

Day 14


Today's Text: Proverbs 14

Hi, girls!

I hope you are all well as you sit down to read today. I know you are all in a thousand different places in your days, in your lives, and in your life situations. Do you know that I (we) pray for you? Sometimes by name. Sometimes by face. We pray that the Lord is teaching you and changing you and giving you the wisdom and understanding that He promises in His word. And often, we pray that you will be able to hear what God is saying – sometimes through our words, and often in spite of them.

I’ve already prayed for you this morning.

Let’s sit down together today with chapter 14.

This is where I am – perched on my bed with books and notes surrounding me. Oliver is at school and Hazel is taking her nap. There are a hundred things that could be done right now – all vying for my attention. But I’ve done my best to shut out distractions, turn off all those dinging, chirping, buzzing notifiers on my phone and computer, and I’ve found a place of quiet. The only sounds I hear are the hum of the dishwasher (we have an old, loud dishwasher), and the water draining in the spin cycle of my washing machine.

I am asking the Lord to help us all with distractions – things that would take our attention away from Him. He has something for each of us today, that I know. Let’s ask Him to reveal His Truth to us.


Day 14 | Chapter 14

As you know, we are tackling this grouping of chapters a little bit differently than we did with the first few chapters of Proverbs. We are reading the entire passage through, at least once, in at least one version (are y’all finding it helpful to read the chapters and verses in a variety of translations?). This gives us a ‘big picture’ of the chapter. Then we pick out a verse or two to study more deeply. You are welcome to chose your own verse or portion for deeper study, or join me today in my close-up look at verse 31 of Proverbs 14.

Here I’ve copied it down in four different translations:

31  Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker,
but he who is generous to the needy honors him. (ESV)

31 He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor. (KJV)

31 You insult your Maker when you exploit the powerless; when you’re kind to the poor, you honor God. (The Message)

31 Those who exploit the powerless
anger their maker,
while those who are kind to the poor honor God. (CEB)

And below is my best effort to restate verse 31 in my own words. (You do it too – before you look at mine):

Taking advantage of the poor and looking down on them is an insult to the God who made you both. Being good to the poor is a good way to show reverence to your Maker.


Let’s turn some pages in our Bibles today – where else does God talk about the poor? Specifically, how we treat them/consider them/love them?

Job 31:13-15 “If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant, when they brought a complaint against me,
what then shall I do when God rises up?
When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him?
Did not He who made me in the womb make him?
And did not One fashion us in the womb?

Now read James 2 (especially verses 1-7), Matthew 25:40, and 1 John 3:17.

How do these passages relate to Proverbs 14:31?

What do they tell us about God’s character?

What if we think of the “poor” in broader terms – beyond those with little money. Are there other ways to be poor? Perhaps those who lack an abundance of family or friends or those who are poor in spirit – might these verses also teach us about God’s heart for these folks?


I would love to hear your insights today about this topic or other verses in chapter 14 (any of these verses would have been great for deeper study!).

What are you learning?

How is God changing you?


I’ll close with something my pastor asked us this past Sunday in his sermon on Luke 6:27-36: “What if our attitude with each paycheck, instead of ‘how much should I give’, was ‘how much must I keep?”

Have a lovely Tuesday, friends! The weather is getting just a little crisper here and it makes me want to go sit outside!!

  • I LOVED verse 30: A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Life to the body just by having a heart at peace. May I continue to choose peace over strife!

  • Samantha

    14:13 really got to me. I've been ill and fell behind but after getting such a kick from Proverbs 14, I'm not feeling lost as having fell behind anymore!

    It's like the verse IS me.

    "Even in laughter the heart may ache, and rejoicing may end in grief" NIV
    "Laughter can conceal a HEAVY HEART, but when the laughter ends, the grief REMAINS" NLT
    "…all that laughter will end in heartache"

    I took this in a personal way, I battle with depression and anxiety daily, my day consists of putting up a front for at least 80% of it. When I go out with friends, I laugh and joke and make fun of my issues. Inside, I'm sobbing my heart out. Inside, I haven't a clue what I'm doing.

    The easiest way to describe it is, when you have those too many glasses of wine and sure, the time is fun and jolly, you're having a grand time. But the next day. That hangover. That gloom. It's going to follow you around.
    It's a really easy thing to start (the mask on, not drinking) but after a while, you run out of jokes and you're just miserable all the time. I should know, I learnt that the hard way!

  • alishayarbrough

    i'll tell y'all what, god is i feel it in my heart. but the thing is…it's a very uncomfortable lesson. through situations in my relationship and my in-laws, i am facing some of my own short-comings. and not just little "you left a cup on the sink" things…but deep. and each day reading proverbs, what i see clearest are MY negative ways. not in all…but some. i am praying that god is showing me these things, in proverbs and my life, to remind me of what HE loves and is pleased with. and that quite possibly i had gotten a bit high on my horse about others failings, instead of maintaining an open, forgiving heart. anybody have any scripturenthey could share with me on this?

  • krystina / lollipops

    by the way did you say the weather is crisper, as in cooler? i am melting away; sweltering in this heat here in San Diego. looking forward to some cooler temps soon! you're lucky!

  • krystina / lollipops

    yes! the different versions are very helpful, for instance i have NAS and verse 30 confused me – "passion is rottenness to the bones." NIV says "envy rots the bones." that made more sense to me as i am a passionate person and while i have to watch my little green monster i do like being passionate :)

    and such good stuff – i love verse 31 and the relating passages – thank you, such good reminders.

  • Michelle

    Showing mercy….. I have been desperately struggling with this ladies. I had a man in my life disrespect me and placed me in danger with his own hands. He no longer is in my life but I am so hurt and broken still after a few months. I have been praying and working through trying to forgive him and show mercy. I feel like I am falling soooo short of this. I still have so much pain and so much disappointment and unhappiness. I am trying to lean on God so much but can not see light right now. Trying to show mercy—- I just don't think I have the understanding. I have been praying and now I am getting stressed about having poor understanding, knowledge and discretion. I feel like I am striving so much to be close to God but fall daily farther from being who God wants me to be. Reading Proverbs is opening me eyes, but also soooo overwhelming. I see how sooo far away from living like Jesus I am.

    Has anyone else been here?

    • krystina / lollipops

      i think we feel freedom in forgiveness and letting go. mercy in this case may not be up to you to give as he is no longer in your life. it will be up to God to give this man mercy. do not weigh it upon yourself to burden you that much more.

  • This really makes me think about how I react to those who are poor in ways other than financial difficulties. Often times it is so easy to just shrug off the wayward, judge them with my nose in the air, laughing at their choices. How AWFUL! All I have to do is remember my own story – I spent 10 years living a completely ungodly life because I too was poor in the promises of the Scriptire. I was poor with no community who supported a Christian lifestyle or heart. So I lived completely for myself. I was so broken. Now that I have been living (or trying to live) a more Godly life, I need to remember my own motivations for my former way of life and have NOTHING but compassion for those who I see making the same mistakes I did. They are not bad people. They are simply poor with no help to see how they can live a more fulfilling life. As God’s child, I am called to give His compassion my feet and serve them lovingly, with no judgment.

  • xanewdefinition

    I loved verse 22. It seemed to have a strong "reaping what you sow" concept. I've struggled with the motives behind my actions at times. Though I may be doing "good," I was doing it for selfish reasons or to make myself look better, not necessarily to benefit another person. For a few weeks now, I've struggled with this concept. Being in college now, I feel like it's really important to decide what I want my life to be about. Do I constantly want to look "cool?" Or do I truly want to make a difference in my life and the life of those around me? I feel like, though I may do the same things I've done because they're good things, the reasons why I do them will change. I don't want to look like the "perfect" Christian. I want to be the person who strives to be more like Christ in everything I say and do and help others find the same joy in Christ that I've found.

  • Hi! Just found this site recently and just started reading yesterday – what a blessing!

    While I am right on board with the meaning of the message on the blog today, couldn’t we easily go a step further and say “do unto others”…no matter WHO they are? In fact, one verse later in James (James 2:8) says just that!

    I feel that in my personal life I’m being tugged in that direction It’s such an easy thing to hear and remember but not always the easiest to follow through with sometimes. :)

    Keep up the awesome work!

  • Margaret

    I love verse 5, where it says "a truthful witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies" (NIV). When I think about it, not being deceitful goes beyond simply not lying, but it means being completely transparent. I think about how sometimes I will try to deceive others into thinking I have things together when I don't, or even in trying to present this "picture-perfect" person to the world. Sometimes deceit comes if I am trying to cover some sort of sin up. And it's so silly that I do this, because it usually leads to feelings of uneasiness and anxiety that my deceit will be found out. But this verse reminds me that I need to be completely transparent and authentic, allowing Christ to shine through me instead of trying to control what others think of me.

  • Great post, Raechel! You really do have a gift for encouraging others to study the word and apply it! I love that quote from your pastor. So true…

    So, this is my 2nd day here, and I really felt like I dove in today. At least better than I have in the past. It was fun! I went to and read the chapter, picked a verse, and wrote out 3 translations. Then I wrote it out literally from the Hebrew, and then I wrote it in my own words. It sticks in my mind very well now!

    Proverbs 14:22 ESV-
    Do they not go astray who devise evil? Those who devise good meet steadfast love & faithfulness.

    My words-
    Those who create misery will wander lost. But those who create the best will be blessed with a character of merciful love & correct understanding.

    I read the hebrew and the words for "going astray" means wandering like sheep. Like the verse that says "all we like sheep have gone astray…" The word for "devise" also means engraving. So when we literally make plans and carry out the ugliness of our sin, we are turning away from the Lord and heading toward hopelessness.

    But when we make a point to engrave the best of us and of God in the lives of others and into all we do, we will show and become people who are merciful and deeply understand the truth of the Lord.

    It was super eye-opening and I loved really getting down to the nitty-gritty meanings of the words. :)

  • Elizabeth

    I am humbled that you pray for me! I must say I need it – often :) I just finished a study on the book of James and this verse 31 struck a cord with me as well. As one who struggles with anger and fear (mostly when I realize how little control I have over things) I was hit by verse 17 as well. I chose however to focus on verse 30 "A heart at peace gives life to the body but envy rots the bones." As a mama of three young children surrounded by wonderful loving friends who also have young children, a blogger and a craft teacher/expert I find myself often wishing I was like so and so. Envy really does rot the bones and God speaking to me this morning – be content with WHO I made you to be, be content with WHY I made you, be content with WHAT I've given you and rest easy knowing I love you more than you could ever know! I'm listening . . .

  • Madeline @ Food, Fitness, and Family

    The verse that really struck me today was 14:17: The quick tempered man makes a fool of himself, but the prudent man is at peace.

    I've found myself losing my temper a little too easily with my husband lately over silly things. This verse reminds me to be PATIENT. To watch my words. To try to be better. Being a SAHM with very little alone time I find myself being overly critical sometimes. Just a part of life that I need to work on :)

    • Good gravy! Me too. Last night was a prime example of my patience-less-ness and just plain being unloving. I lose my temper too easily as well, then often, I justify that I was right after all, instead of seeking his forgiveness. So many verses stuck out to me today! Going to go follow your blog right now!

  • Rachel Hillary

    I live in a city where homeless men and women line the sidewalks and beggars' appeals have become part of the soundtrack of my walk to class and to work. I struggle every day with how to be good to these citizens. Thank you for the direction you took today's devotional!

    In relation, the verse that stood out to me today was verse 10: "Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy." (NIV) I used four more translations (ESV, GNT, the Message, and KJV) of this verse before following related verses in my NIV study Bible, and my oh my was that enlightening. Upon first glance, the verse seemed so pessimistic to me and out of place among the more positively-framed phrases in this chapter. No one else can share in the joy of my heart?! What am I doing wrong??

    And there it is: Psalm 38: 17-18 reads: "For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me. I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin."

    What I am doing wrong is keeping the bitterness locked up in my heart so that I can't participate in its joy. I am shunning my own bitter moments (The Message) in an attempt to live in celebration, but the Lord commands that I go to Him *conscious of my guilt before HIm, with an attitude of repentance and the desire for God's forgiveness and grace* (from NIV note on 1 Kings 8:38). It's not a matter of how plagued I am by sin, it's a matter of how willing I am to open up that sin before God and submit to Him. That's when I'll experience true joy apart from lingering bitterness.

    And to tie this exploration back to learning how to be good to the poor, it is only when I turn my bitterness and sin over to God that I will truly understand how to be reverent to Him in my actions toward the poor. I have to acknowledge my struggle with my relationship toward the poor in my neighborhood before I can share God's blessings with them, because otherwise my heart will be too consumed with the struggle to let God work through me. Of course, the struggle itself is part of God's work, but I think that this verse in particular points me to a way that I can pray through it and relinquish bitterness and fear to the Lord.

  • My words: vs. 14

    Whoever does the poor injury, either by scoffing or reproach, reproaches God that made him. Having mercy on the poor honors Him.

  • Adrienne K.

    The verse that really struck me was 14:12 "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death."

    I struggle with seeking God's plan. I like to plan certain things in my life out – even years ahead – because it gives me a sense of security. This verse hit right to the core… plans could actually lead to death! The only way is God's way and I need to be seeking that continually, even if it means I'm stepping out blind.

    • Raechel

      Love this, Adrienne. This verse got a big "underline" for me too. What an emphasis on the importance of really seeking wisdom from the Lord as we make decisions.

  • Semi_Healthy Amanda

    I love how you pointed out that being "poor" isn't necessarily talking about money. People can be poor in other ways as well and it's our job as Christians to help the poor! :)

  • At first, I saw verse 4, and I'm like, ok this makes no sense. "without oxen, a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest." (NLT) I thought about it some more and thought about the fact that though it is inconvenient to have to clean the stable because you have an ox, the ox is actually a blessing because with it, you can produce a strong harvest. how many things do we think of as inconveniences that we should think about more carefully and realize they are blessings in reality?

    • Raechel

      I loved verse 4 too, Nicki. In fact, a friend of mine actually likened it to a home filled with children. When there aren't little people, the "manger/stable" is clean, but when it's full and messy, it's a sign of a great thing happening – much good work is being done!

  • I love verse 26 – "He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge."

    As the mother of a 14 month old with another on the way, I want to have that secure fortress not only for myself, but for my children. I look at the example my parents have set – their faith has certainly been a refuge for me as I embraced it for my own. I hope to model that for my children. I want them to see God's presence as a place of refuge – as they observe me resting in Him as my strong fortress!

    • Amy

      That has always been one of my favorite verses as well. It gives me comfort when i am worried about my kids :)

  • I am so-so loving everything you all have going on at Shereadstruth and I praise God for it!

    I like the direction you went with in terms of helping the poor. Another verse also spoke to me as well- Proverbs 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. (NIV)

    Two weeks ago, our pastor told us to figure out what was getting in the way of our relationship with God and then fast that item.

    I'm a teacher so this is still summer break for me and unfortunately, I use this time off to catch up on FACEBOOK! It really can be a distraction and get in the way of my quiet time if I let it. How embarrassing!

    It is also easy to get on Facebook and see what other people "present" to the world- new houses, promotions at work, cute babies, etc. and at times, I admit that jealousy creeps in.

    When you think about it, our physical bones are our foundation- they help us move and protect our organs. Research shows that bone loss can manifest itself in other areas in our body- i.e. when we let envy take control of our lives (or our "bones)- that can cause problems in other areas of our lives- not just in the area we "think" we are lacking.

    Sorry for the rant. I hope that made sense….? Have a great day, ladies!

    • Semi_Healthy Amanda

      Oh Facebook is so good and so so bad! A gal on the radio said that we need to stop comparing our insides to other people's outsides. Meaning, on Facebook, we generally present the best part of ourselves (aside from those who are always complaining about something), so it's not really the whole picture. Sure the baby is cute, but maybe the mom is suffering post-partum depression. Sure the promotion is awesome, but maybe that leaves less time with the family and the marriage is struggling as a result.

      Basically, I hear ya about Facebook, but we need to take it all with a grain of salt! :)

  • I love that I just hopped in at this point, because this topic is exactly what's been eating at me lately. I've been having issues with Christians who use the bible against others (namely the poor). I interpret "the poor" to be a broader term, which includes people who are poor in thought as well (so I guess I should forgive these people who use the bible against others?).

    I've been learning a lot. I'm new to this, and I'm not sure where I'm going. More than anything I'm here to learn about positivity and forgiveness so I can be more positive and learn to forgive others and basically be a better person.

  • MidWestGirl

    Great devotional today. Considering those who are poor, a random thought occurred to me the other day that making fun of those who do not fit our version of “normal” is perhaps an insult to God and his creation. Today’s devotional seems to speak to that. Whether someone is poor socioeconomically, poor in speech articulation, poor in spirit — we often find ourselves looking down on them when we can lift them up!

  • Verse 31 is very good to think about and really apply what it means. Help the poor,don’t oppress. Be thankful in what we have. The Lord is changing me,in ways of looking at his word and this proverbs study is very helpful! I am filled with joy when I find it time for my devos.I

  • I love this particular verse. I highlighted it from an earlier study. I think it speaks to a lot of people who look down upon the poor, but I agree, "poor" doesn't just mean money, it can mean many things and I had not thought of it that way. Thanks for the insight! Really enjoying She Reads the Truth. Thanks for all y'all do.

  • Anything about patience, waiting, and peace I am in need of, so verses 17 & 29 caught my attention:
    v17 – a quick tempered person does foolish things
    v29 – whoever is patient has great understanding

    Thank you Raechel for sharing your broader perspective of "poor" and that tidbit from your pastor.
    Great day, ladies :)

  • The verse that stood out most to me was the very first one!
    "A woman's family is held together by her wisdom, but it can be destroyed by her foolishness." (v.1 CEV)
    I have had the privilege of being a stay at home mom for over 8 years now. However, I have to admit that there are some days of discouragement when it feels like kind of a "nothing job" compared to what other people do.
    I LOVE this verse because it reminds me that my job as a homemaker is HUGE. There's nothing small about it. I actually have the power to either build or tear down my home/family with my own hands, through my attitudes and actions…with EVERY single choice I make. That's a big deal! It may not be a job with much recognition or any salary, but in God's eyes, it's priceless.
    I made a list in my journal of ways I can build AND tear down. Some of the things I thought of were:
    To BUILD my home/family–seek God in prayer and meditate on His Word daily for guidance and strength and encouragement; Take care of myself physically; pray for and with my husband and kids regularly; encourage each of them; model Christ to them; share with them how God works in my own life/answers prayers, etc to increase their faith; keep a neat & orderly home environment, etc.
    Things that would TEAR DOWN my home/family would include–neglecting daily time with the Lord; being lazy/idle in my home; allowing "trash" to invade our home by way of bad TV shows, books, music or anything else that dishonors God; disrespect my husband–especially in front of the kids, etc.
    Bottom line, this verse is reminding me of the tremendous influence I have in my home and with my family members. I pray that I keep that in mind as I begin each day and I will be asking God to help me make WISE choices that BUILD up rather than tear down!

    • Semi_Healthy Amanda

      So glad you found encouragement in this chapter!

      I often consider being a stay-at-home mom one day, but I really feel like it might be too hard or that I wouldn't get the recognition or respect I deserve. It really takes a special person to devote her whole life to her family, knowing that she might not even get a thank you. Props to you for doing this for 8 years!! :)

    • Jessica

      Thank you for your post! I love your examples of ways to BUILD and things that would tear down. It really hit home with me :)

      • Amy

        Aw thanks, Jessica. That's a great verse, huh?! As I've been going about my morning, I've been mentally adding to my lists. So funny how the world wants you to believe a stay at home mom is not much of a job, when in reality–in God's eyes–it may very well be one of the most important jobs there is! :)

    • Nancy

      I want to encourage you in being a "stay at home" mom. My kids are both in college. One is 23 and the other 20. I worked 30 years in the dental field and i guess you could say "retired"early at 50 to stay home. So, yes, I worked while they were young,and shed a lot of tears over it. Not being to stay home with them through sickness, toting them along to work if they were sick and trying to split my job over taking care of them at work sick!! Yeah….it was tough. ( We had a basement I could set-up with t.v. and things like that). I loved my job and the people that I worked on. However, seeing their lives after high school and setting their goals for careers/college, I felt it time to stay home a guide them. I felt they actually need my presence more now than when they were younger for some reason. Being able to get a hold of me at any hour of the day. If I were working, that wouldn't happen. Lots of adjustments to leaving home and college life. So, you hang in there and continue to take care of your family. If the Lord is blessing you financially, so you can stay at home, then that is great! I feel that guiding them at this point of their lives is so important. It is now that college age kids tend to "stray" away from their church home because they do leave the "nest". So, I am home now to guide them and encourage their strength in the Lord and pray with them over the phone when needed . Bottom line is, keep on where you are. God will guide you in the future of your life. Your family needs you. LOL-yes you do have a job. Your family!

    • karalynnkelly

      Amy, thank you for your thoughts on verse 1, they have really encouraged me today! I'm a stay at home mom (we have a two year old) and have been having a hard time this week staying patient, gentle and loving. This is a needed reminder of how much influence I have over not just my son but our entire family. I am grateful to be a mom to such a precious little one but I know I need so much more of Jesus to do it well!

  • I love the insight you gave for verse31. I teach in a Title 1 high school with poor and needy kids. Often my friends pity me and remark about the students I serve. It is a temptation to join in with them or brush them off. But those kids need love more than my teaching. And that is why I am there. To love them. I need a better answer for when people say…."well you know Carrie teaches at THAT schol. She has it rough." because I truly love the way God lets me serve them.

    Verse 30 has been a favorite of mine for years! A heart of joy and peace not only changes your attitude and outlook but those around you. This verse help remind me to choose peace and thankfulness for what I have and not to look around at what I don't.

  • Being a teenage girl,in high school verse 14:6 in a way made me ashamed of my self. What I got from that verse is making fun of people doesn't build your relationship with god, it in a way pushes you farther, but those people who don't talk about other people and just compliment them instead of tearing them down gains wisdom and find building a relationship with Jesus. I do find my self on occasion talking not the best and gossiping about people I'm not to found of and this verse just brought a reality check to me. THANK YOU! So much for this plan it's honestly bringing my walk in life with god closer

  • Hannah Odarve

    This is awesome Raechel. I especially loved it when you talked about thinking of the "poor" in a broader term. It really is like a wake up call for me to be sensitive and be aware of who is "poor" in my surrounding and make an act of kindness to them.

    As for today, verse 14 tugged my heart: —->> Proverbs 14:14(MSG) A mean person gets paid back in meanness, a gracious person in grace.

    That's why I could really relate to the verse that you chose too. See, whatever we do, mean or good, it will always be repaid with the measure that we used. So if we are kind to the "poor", we don't only honor God, we also get to be rewarded and will be given the recognition for our efforts and achievement.

    And my offer to make the lock screens still stands so if anyone of you wants to memorize a verse and needs a lock screen but don't have time to make it, I will be blessed to make it for you. Check it here:

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