One day I noticed that when I was reading through Proverbs, I would just read each proverb as if I were reading a fortune in a fortune cookie. Some verses were harder to understand than others, and some seemed rather obvious in their meaning. I found that I would just fly right over both kinds without much thought.
I was needing to slow down to really soak in the truths of these proverbs. Here is a really neat way to do that. For lack of a better name, I call it the Proverbs Pause. It works best with the proverbs that say one thing is “like” another. You know, “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” Proverbs 25:28.
The technique is simple. When I do this, all I do is use my hand to cover up the second half of the verse while I read the first part by itself.
For example, read the first part of Proverbs 25:12:
Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold…
What descriptive words come to mind when you think of a gold earring or ornament?
Here are the words I think of: valuable, beautiful, sometimes a gift, treasured
Now, keeping your descriptive words in mind (the ones you answered above), move on to the second part of the verse and find out what the proverb is saying is valuable, beautiful, sometimes a gift, and treasured. I inserted my words; you would use your words there.
It says that a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear is______________________ (insert your descriptive words there).
So, when I apply that verse to my life, I might say that a wise man’s rebuke is valuable, beautiful, and treasured like a gold earring. This is something that I need to learn, because I am not usually very good at taking constructive criticism.
Go practice with some other proverbs. Use your descriptive words to fill in the blanks and then fill in how this might apply to your life personally and what the Lord might be wanting to teach you.
The pause technique is helpful for me when I read any of the proverbs. I just make sure to stop and think about what the first half is saying before I move to the second half of the verse.
There are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs. Some people will read a chapter a day to correspond to the day of the month. For example, they read the second chapter on the second day; third on third day…you get the idea.
Try using the Proverbs Pause and see if it helps you to focus on what you can learn from this rather unique book. You’ll find some insightful things to talk to the Lord about as you ask Him to help apply what you’re learning to your life.