Proverbs often takes us back to basics, reminding us of our God roots, which may be forgotten in the busyness of life. Proverbs 19:23 reminds us that “the fear of the Lord leads to life. Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” We can know peace and calm even in the storms of life if our roots go deep in God. We can be like “a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.” (Ps 1:3)

But Proverbs reminds us that life is not lived in isolation. This chapter talks about our family relationships again, reminding us that wealth may be inherited from parents but “a congenial spouse comes straight from God” (Prov 19:14) and that “a foolish son is his father’s ruin and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.” (Prov 19:13) . Discipline in family life is necessary (Prov 19:18); children need to learn respect and the ability to listen to advice (Prov 19:26-27). It also talks about friendships, which can be very fickle (Prov 19:5-7).

Proverbs 19 goes on to look at wisdom again, including avoiding laziness (Prov 19:15, 24) and the transitory nature of wealth (Prov 19:1). Wisdom and clarity of thinking are to be prized (Prov 19:8); lying is to be avoided (Prov 19: 9). Patience and the ability to hold one’s tongue are virtues (Prov 19:11); stupidity is a human characteristic, for which God should not be blamed! (Prov 19:3). All very down-to-earth and sensible: we should not think that spirituality isn’t manifested in these basic attitudes and ways of living