Proverbs 14 contrasts attitudes and actions all the time, showing us vividly that there are two different ways of living which lead to two totally different outcomes. Put simply, there are the wise, who think about how they live and will be rewarded for their faith (see vs 2, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14-19, 24, 26, 32 and 34) and the foolish, who live thoughtlessly with little regard for God and who end up in death (“there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Prov 14:12) )

Wisdom comes when we seek God and fear Him. “The gullible believe everything they’re told; the prudent sift and weigh every word.” (Prov 14:15.) “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.” (Prov 14:27) God’s ways help us in life (“a heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones” (Prov 14.30) could come straight out of a modern counselling guide!) and can benefit whole communities ( “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Prov 14:34)) as well as individuals (“when calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge.” (Prov 14:32))