Humility is a hard lesson, we love honour.
It seems each chapter has one famous proverb at the moment. This one has:
A gentle answer turns away wrath,but a harsh word stirs up anger.
But really there are a gazilion that say similar. In fact, you do get this constant nag about it that fiery people would find quite frustrating.
Sometimes it’s good to be fiery. Jesus called the religious leaders a “nest of vipers”. I suppose the key there is that he wanted to stir up anger. It was calculated.
It’s not necessarily saying don’t do it, more don’t be surprised.
I’ve been thinking about whether proverbs encourages a particular somewhat supercilious attitude that is annoyingly always above the fray. Would the proverbs person be much fun? I don’t think I’ve found one praising fun.
But perhaps the answer is in the oppositional characteristics it pairs with them. Take:
The opposite of soothing is perverse. You could adopt quite a fun tone in the way of being soothing and still be not perverse.
I like the ones that talk about God being aware. This one’s a little scary until you remember God’s love:
This book seems as much to be about how deeply God understands our foolishness, as about us being wise.
I simply found these appealing and memorable:
I’m so happy at work, the paperwork came through for my permanent status yesterday. Exactly the same job, no promotion.
But that’s ok. Humility comes before honour, and a small serving of vegetables with love is better anyhow.