50 Wise Counsels from Proverbs and Ecclesiastes
Both Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are included in a small division of Old Testament books called wisdom literature. These books are credited to sages who possess:
- wide knowledge of the created world;
- special insight into human affairs;
- exceptional good judgement on how to succeed in various aspects of life.
Who better to share counsel on common sense (the ability to make intelligent decisions especially in everyday matters) than these wise authors?
Both the aging and the youth will find these 50 wise counsels (from the New Living Translation) relevant to several aspects of their daily lives.
- Follow the steps of good men (Proverbs 2:20).
- To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction (Proverbs 12:1).
- A person with good sense is respected (Proverbs 13:15).
- From a wise mind comes wise speech; the words of the wise are persuasive (Proverbs 16:23).
- As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person (Proverbs 27:19).
- Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride (Ecclesiastes 7:8).
- Doing wrong leads to disgrace, and scandalous behavior brings contempt (Proverbs 18:3).
- The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences (Proverbs 18:21).
- Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor (Proverbs 18:12).
- If you love sleep, you will end in poverty (Proverbs 20:13).
- The person who strays from common sense will end up in the company of the dead (Proverbs 21:16).
- Never slander a worker to the employer, or the person will curse you, and you will pay for it. (Proverbs 30:10).
- Don’t eavesdrop on others—you may hear your servant curse you. For you know how often you yourself have cursed others (Ecclesiastes 7: 21, 22).
- Don’t make fun of the powerful, even in your own bedroom; for a little bird might deliver your message and tell them what you said (Ecclesiastes 10:20).
- A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones (Proverbs 14:30)
- A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health (Proverbs 15:30).
- Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body (Proverbs 16:24).
- Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction (Proverbs 18:20).
- Do you like honey? Don’t eat too much, or it will make you sick! (Proverbs 25:16).
- So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy (Ecclesiastes 11:30).
- The generous will prosper (Proverbs 11:25).
- Trust in your money and down you go! (Proverbs 11:28)
- It is senseless to pay to educate a fool, since he has no heart for learning (Proverbs 17:6).
- Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold (Proverbs 22:1).
- Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! (Ecclesiastes 5:10)
- Wisdom is even better when you have money. Both are a benefit as you go through life (Ecclesiastes 7:11).
- Drink water from your own well— share your love only with your wife (Proverbs 5:15).
- The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends (Proverbs 11:30).
- A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate (Proverbs 15:17).
- Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends (Proverbs 17:9).
- To one who listens, valid criticism is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry (Proverbs 25:12).
- An open rebuke is better than hidden love! (Proverbs 27:5)
- Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren (Proverbs 13:22).
- Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged (Proverbs 17:6).
- The gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old (Proverbs 20:29).
- There is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can (Ecclesiastes 3:12).
- We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born. We can’t take our riches with us (Ecclesiastes 5:15).
- When people live to be very old, let them rejoice in every day of life (Ecclesiastes 11:8).
- A wise youth harvests in the summer, but one who sleeps during harvest is a disgrace (Proverbs 10:5).
- The glory of the young is their strength (Proverbs 20:29).
- My child, listen and be wise: Keep your heart on the right course (Psalm 23:19).
- Young people who obey the law are wise; those with wild friends bring shame to their parents (Proverbs 28:7).
- Young people, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do. (Ecclesiastes 11:9)
- So now, my sons, listen to me. Never stray from what I am about to say: Stay away from her [the immoral woman]! Don’t go near the door of her house! (Proverbs 5: 7, 8)
- A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies has no sense (Proverbs 12:11).
- Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty! (Proverbs 14:23)
- As workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat the fruit, so workers who protect their employer’s interests will be rewarded (Proverbs 27:18).
- There is nothing better for people than to be happy in their work. That is our lot in life (Ecclesiastes 3:22).
- People who work hard sleep well, whether they eat little or much. But the rich seldom get a good night’s sleep (Ecclesiastes 5:12).
- Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom (Ecclesiastes 9:10).