As we say goodbye to 2019 and say hello to 2020 it’s smart to have a plan to make the coming year better than the previous one. To do that we all need wisdom and, when it comes to wisdom, the biblical book of Proverbs is the place to go. I’ve scoured through the wisdom of Solomon and leave these Top Ten Proverbs with you to help you make the most of the coming year:
Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.
Be thankful for your past and learn from your past but don’t live in your past. Focus on the future. 2019 is over and 2020 is here. Spend more time looking to the future than rehashing the past. There’s a reason why your car’s windshield is a lot bigger than the rearview mirror.
A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.
You don’t have to let everyone know everything you know. As tempting as it is to share those juicy secrets about someone, be a person who has the strength to keep things confidential. Too many people are slandered and too many relationships are destroyed by gossip. Loose lips do sink ships!
He who seeks good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it.
What do you look for in people? If you look for faults, you will find them. If you look for strengths, you will find them. Be a person who looks for the good in people rather than the bad. Remember, what you look for in others will be what others look for in you!
Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.
How often do we escalate conflict by picking a fight? So many arguments are over insignificant matters. Say it aloud, “It’s not that big a deal.” Drop it and move on!
Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.
Did you spend more time in 2019 making money than building relationships? Were you obsessed with making money and now realize a year in your life is gone and you have missed out on too many life experiences? When it comes to priorities in life, if money is at the top of your list then your list needs some serious adjusting in 2020!
As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.
Mistakes made in 2019 are in the past, so don’t make them a pattern. You did something foolish this year, don’t do it again. Everyone makes mistakes. Fools make the same mistakes over and over again. Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.
The memory of the righteous will be a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.
Another year is gone and with it another building block in the legacy you will leave behind. What will your family and friends remember you for? Start building a legacy of goodness in 2020. Do something outrageously good this year, something people will talk about and be inspired by for years to come!
In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.
Was 2019 characterized as the year of consumption - make money and spend it! God doesn’t give us stuff so we can consume it all. Save some. Give some away. See every resource you are blessed with in 2020 not just as something for you to consume, but see it as some way you can bless others!
He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.
There’s a good chance that many of the problems you had in 2019 were because you spoke without thinking. Think, then speak. God gave us two ears and one mouth — I think he was trying to tell us something!
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Delight in all the joys around you every day. Laugh more in 2020 than you did in 2019.
Have a Happy and Wisdom Filled New Year!
Todd Catteau is the preaching minister for the Park Avenue Church of Christ in Denison. He and his wife, Henriann, have four children and two grandsons. He is a native of Massachusetts and loves his Boston sports teams. His writings and links to sermons can be found at catteau.net. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Herald Democrat.