The one who neglects discipline ends up in poverty and shame, but the one who accepts reproof is honored. A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools abhor turning away from evil. The one who associates with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. Calamity pursues sinners, but prosperity rewards the righteous.

Proverbs are each separate statements for the most part, but sometimes a group is related. This passage speaks of our tendency to choose what we want rather than what God wants for us. We read that “fools abhor turning away from evil”, a sad statement about our failure to avoid things that lead us away from God.

There is a better way – “the one who associates with the wise grows wise”. By being in fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we learn the path Jesus taught and how to share his love with the world. This is our task from Him, to continue to His ministry using the gifts we have been given.

Part of becoming wise is spending time in scripture and prayer. Jesus demonstrated this every day. Our connection to God is based on knowing His word and speaking with Him regularly. May our relationship with Him strengthen us for faithful living.

Gracious God, we are sorry for the times we fail to love You and Your children as You have commanded. Bless us to be strong in faith and go to the world to share Your love. Amen.

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