Proverbs 22 contains some gems that we hear often. If you're following the running analogy, we are maintaining our form - steady breathing, pace and rhythm.
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches and loving favor rather than silver or gold (v1). When all is said and done, all you have left is your name. I’d like to think that when people hear my name they say, “O yeah, she’s a good person, a Christian woman, smart, a person of her word, possessing sound character.” Of course, there are many more things that can be added to this list. A good reputation is worth having but it should be based on what’s inside – a good character. Do you have a good name, that’s consistent with who you are? If you were running for political office, would any dirt be found on you?
Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it (v6). The training takes place when children are young however they reap the rewards when they are old. Often times they may think you’re being mean to them, or you don’t understand, or you’re too strict. But if done with love and understanding they will reap the benefits of this when they are older. As parents, we don’t know when this epiphany takes place, but we know it happens. As a parent, don’t neglect your responsibility because it seems hard for the moment; in the end it will be beneficial to the child.
Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction drives it far (v15). Most babies are cute, angelic even. Yet it is amazing that one of the first words a child masters is “No,” and knows how to use it in its proper context. Foolishness starts young, as does the correction, the training, and the discipline. (Please note, I am not advocating child abuse, neither is the scripture.)
Make no friendship with an angry man….(v 24,25). Spirit has a wonderful and unaccountable influence upon spirit. From those with whom we associate we acquire habits, and learn their ways, imbibe their spirit, show their tempers and walk in their steps. We cannot ever be too careful of our company, for we may soon learn ways that will be a snare to our soul (Clarke’s commentary). Be careful of the company you keep.
Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings....(v 29) Don't be afraid of hard work; of being persistent and conscientious. One of the rewards of diligence is success, which means the accomplishment of what you set out to do. Diligence springs from an attitude of the heart; it will transport you to unexpected places.