Proverbs 13

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As we begin a new year, we’ll be studying the book of Proverbs for the first 31 days of the year. The new year is a great opportunity to invite your friends, families, and Life Groups to read along with you in 2023. If you missed the first day’s reading or are looking for an overview of the book, click here to catch up!

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Read Proverbs 13

13 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction,
    but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.

From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things,
    but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence.

Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
    but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

A sluggard’s appetite is never filled,
    but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

The righteous hate what is false,
    but the wicked make themselves a stench
    and bring shame on themselves.

Righteousness guards the person of integrity,
    but wickedness overthrows the sinner.

One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
    another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

A person’s riches may ransom their life,
    but the poor cannot respond to threatening rebukes.

The light of the righteous shines brightly,
    but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.

10 Where there is strife, there is pride,
    but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

11 Dishonest money dwindles away,
    but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.

12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

13 Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it,
    but whoever respects a command is rewarded.

14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
    turning a person from the snares of death.

15 Good judgment wins favor,
    but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.

16 All who are prudent act with knowledge,
    but fools expose their folly.

17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
    but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.

18 Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame,
    but whoever heeds correction is honored.

19 A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
    but fools detest turning from evil.

20 Walk with the wise and become wise,
    for a companion of fools suffers harm.

21 Trouble pursues the sinner,
    but the righteous are rewarded with good things.

22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children,
    but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.

23 An unplowed field produces food for the poor,
    but injustice sweeps it away.

24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
    but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content,
    but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.

Go Deeper

It’s been said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. The people we spend time with have an immense impact on who we are. How we speak, what we do for “fun,” the attitudes we adopt. Dr. David McClelland of Harvard says “[the people you habitually associate with] determine as much as 95 percent of your success or failure in life.” This chapter tells us that if we walk with the wise we will become wise, but if we walk with fools we will suffer harm (v. 20). Reading through this passage, it’s important that we pause and ask ourselves “Who are we walking with?” 

There is a lot in this life we cannot control. Disease. Death. Weather. However, we can control the people we spend time with, who largely shape who we are. It is exceedingly important to take over this part of our life. Are we becoming more like Christ for being around them? Are we growing in wisdom? Are we loving more and increasing our patience? The Apostle Paul explains the same concept in 1 Corinthians 15:33 saying, “Do not be misled; ‘bad company corrupts good character.’’ Don’t miss how important it is to choose wisely the people we allow into our lives. It is formative. 

Another thread throughout this passage is that the good life isn’t found by boasting in what the world deems “success”. Society makes us believe having it all is equivalent to having money, status, and fame. The car, the house, the diamonds, the luxury vacations, a verified checkmark on social media, or successful kids with the right reputation. Yet, scripture paints a different picture. Scripture says when we have Jesus in the right place in our hearts, that is when we have it all. John 14:6 says “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”  

Sure, we can use money to pretend we have a rich life. But money without Jesus leaves us poor, miserable, and with nothing. The point is not to refrain from material riches. We need money to live and to give. Money can certainly be used for good. But we need Jesus more–His grace, His love, His compassion, His patience, His mercy, and His hope. 

He provides and He is faithful. Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will meet all of your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”. Don’t miss out on the richness of a life with Jesus all while striving for what the world will try to tell you is success. Only God can provide the enriched life we all desire.     


  1. What are some Christ-like qualities you look for in friends or admire in the friends you have?  
  2. Do you feel wiser for being around the people you spend time with?   
  3. In what ways are you experiencing the true richness of life?

Keep Digging

What was the Apostle Paul referring to when he initially said that bad company could corrupt good character? Check out this helpful article from to learn more

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4 thoughts on “Proverbs 13”

  1. What an amazing, thought provoking commentary! One of the richest blessings throughout my life have been those who have walked beside me and challenged me to seek after the heart of God. They are priceless gifts! (Some of these precious friends are in my Life Group.) I’m looking at the practical instructions given in this chapter and setting goals:
    -guard my lips and what I say
    -be diligent in all things
    -chose the righteous path
    -take advice
    -use good judgement
    -be trustworthy
    -be disciplined with finances
    -show integrity
    -receive correction
    -walk with the wise
    I’m trusting God and recommitting my life to following the narrow way that leads to life.

  2. Since joining HC we are in an amazing life group. It has shifted and changed some but for the good and we miss the ones who left. I do know that if I or we have are having any difficulties they are right there. Being a good friend is bringing situations to the word of God. So if you as the friend do not know the answer but are willingly to go to the Word then tell your friend that but follow through. Ella’s list is wonderful. Be diligent, listen, obey, be full of integrity, receive correction, be honest, keep confidences, hang out with Godly people. Pray for people. BUT GOD is always in the midst when 2 or more come together and speak about Him. Sometimes it is not possible to pray for someone in the minute except silently, but if at all possible pray with them out loud or in a text so they can read it. I believe with my whole heart there is so much more power in and through this. God is what we are supposed to be glorifying. So with all that we do do, all the lists, the prayers for our fellow believers and loved ones if we pray with them in their time of need, just a simple short “God be with them now in this time” is such a comforter.

    God thank You for showing me how to love on people today. Thank You for giving me Your words to comfort or guide. God continue to let me see them through Your love goggles in Jesus name Amen

  3. 1. Patience, respect, humility, gentleness, joy, peace, wisdom, compassion/love, trust, authenticity, and discernment
    2. I don’t really have any friends, but I pray they help to become more wiser in my life in the future, God willing.
    3. I’m experiencing the true riches of life by remembering that my identity is not found in what I do but my identity is founded on the rock which is Jesus Christ.

  4. Kayla, when we moved to Waco many years ago, I didn’t have friends here. But God answered my prayers with some of the richest, long lasting friendships I could have imagined.

    I’m praying He will provide for you as well. Don’t be afraid to take the first step.

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