The first part of Proverbs 22 is part of the proverbs of Solomon (Proverbs 10-22). The second part begins a new section known as the sayings of the wise. These sayings of the wise are instructive, covering justice, right living and warnings.
Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer. Proverbs 30:25
Read: Proverbs 30:25
Listen: Proverbs 30
Slow and steady wins the race. We learn this lesson as children through Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare. The author of Proverbs passes on this wisdom long before these fables, except he uses an ant. The ant works tirelessly—back and forth, back and forth—to store up food. It is slow, and it is steady. Proverbs points toward the ant as wisdom, “Go to the ant…consider its ways and be wise” (Proverbs 6:6).
We live in an instant world. This reality is part of the reason why the coronavirus shutdown has been so hard on many of us. We expect things to happen right away. We have two-day shipping, mobile check deposit, same-day grocery pickup, on-demand entertainment, food delivery and online education. But true greatness doesn’t work that way.
We might say a specific moment changed our life. But if we look a little closer, we see it just started us down a different path. The path required small, purposeful habits repeated over and over in a meaningful direction. It’s slow and steady in the right direction that leads to growth. The tortoise wins.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Continue, revive or begin The Wisdom Challenge. We’ve been in Proverbs for over two months. Maybe it’s starting to feel old to you or you’ve simply given up. Remember the ant! Reading a chapter of Proverbs every day is a great way to slowly and steadily move our hearts in the right direction. As we read, write and share—the Spirit works in our hearts to reshape them in his character. One proverb from today’s The Wisdom Challenge speaks to this “Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach” (Proverbs 22:17). Download the lock screen below to remind you.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.