Pathway Through Proverbs: Chapter 26

Chapter 26: Three Types of People NOT to Be

As I read through this chapter, I see three different types of people. They are all types that every one of us should strive not to be. Solomon was trying to instruct his son that if he wasn’t careful, he would end up as one or maybe even all of these types of people.

The first type of person we shouldn’t be is a fool. In the first 12 verses of this chapter, Solomon talks about the fool and some characteristics of a fool. I want to look at one verse, verse 11, “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.” Now I have seen a dog do exactly what this verse is talking about and it wasn’t a pretty sight. It was actually pretty gross. I watched this dog return to his vomit and lick it up. I wanted to yell at the dog “What are you doing? That’s gross!!” The dog had no sense at all. The sad thing is this is exactly what a fool does. A fool messes up and instead of learning from his mistakes, he goes right back and does the same thing over and over. Solomon is telling his son and us, “Hey don’t be a fool! Learn from your mistakes!” Since we are all human, we all mess up. That is how life goes. The difference is that some of us will be wise and learn from our mistakes and be better and not make the same one again. And others will be like that dog, they will be a fool and mess up the same way again and again and never learn from their mistakes. Don’t be a fool! Be wise!

The second type of person we shouldn’t be is a slothful person. The next four verses talk about the slothful person. When you look this word up for a definition, all you get is one simple word, lazy! Solomon was instructing his son not to be lazy. In verse 13, it says “The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; alion is in the streets.” When I read this verse, I think of a lazy person making excuses. Most of the time lazy people work hard at making excuses not to work hard. If they would just work, the job would get done a lot quicker. Solomon did not want his son to make excuses when it came to work. He wanted his son to work hard and get the job done. Don’t be like a lazy person and make up excuses every time a job comes up!

The third type of person we shouldn’t be is a talebearer. The rest of this chapter talks about the talebearer. What is a talebearer? A talebearer is a person who maliciously gossips or reveals secrets. This type of person can’t control their tongue. They are always in the middle of other people’s business. “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.” Proverbs 26:20 A talebearer is always stirring something up, trying to cause strife among those around him. Solomon was trying to teach his son here to mind his own business. We all know those people that can’t keep a secret, they always have to have the latest gossip or even spread the new gossip. These people do not know how to mind their own business. Don’t be a talebearer. Mind your own business.

Take these three thoughts with you today:

  1. Be wise, learn from your mistakes.
  2. Work hard, do not make excuses!
  3. Mind your own business.

If we can take these three simple lessons and apply them in our life, we would have a much easier and peaceful life!

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