Proverbs 22:1-16

Talks for Growing Christians

Wisdom in Finances

Proverbs 22:1-16

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Lesson Number 35

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Proverbs are wise advice for everyday living.

Practical Application

  1. Stay out of debt!


  1. Does the first phrase of the proverb in verse 6 speak about a child’s interests, talents and abilities, or does it address the spiritual and moral characteristics of a child? Identify a New Testament scriptural reference that supports your answer.
  2. The proverbs in verses 1, 2, 4, 7 and 16 all make reference to the rich or to riches, that is, to material or financial wealth. Briefly describe the important life-teachings of these proverbs.
  3. Does the proverb of verse 15 indicate that children are basically good or basically prone to sin? Does the meaning of the Hebrew phrase “rod of correction” allow for the inclusion of spanking in the disciplining of a child?


  1. The first phrase of the proverb in verse 6 is referring to the spiritual and moral characteristics of a child. The Apostle Paul’s reference to this proverb in Ephesians 6:4 helps to clarify this important point.
  2. It is important that believers consider the rich or riches from God’s perspective. He considers a good reputation and godly character much more important than wealth (v 1). He considers you and me regardless of our financial situation (v 2). God sees humility and an awesome respect for Him as a basis for the possession of honor, life and blessings of wealth (v 4). He recognizes that those who are wealthy often employ or have authority over the less affluent, and certainly emphasizes that a debtor is bound to the one from whom he has borrowed (v 7). And, we should be warned that any wealthy person who purposefully oppresses the poor in order to gain riches and he who tries to deceitfully gain influence with the rich, are at risk of ending up in poverty themselves (v 16).
  3. The wise saying of Solomon in verse 15 indicates that children are basically prone to sin (foolishness). This truth is made clear throughout the Bible. The meaning of the Hebrew phrase “rod of correction” can include the spanking of a child, and includes other means of correction or discipline as well. The main teaching here is that it is firm correction which is often necessary to “drive out the foolishness” from a misbehaving or disobedient child.


  1. Discuss those areas of debt that may be considered appropriate for a believer, such as a mortgage on a home. Consider guidelines for the amount of debt a person or family should have. Discuss inappropriate areas or amount of debt and the risks involved. Identify godly sources of personal and printed counsel available in this area.


  1. How are you doing as a parent? Are your children characteristically obedient and respectful, or are they full of sinful foolishness? Correction and discipline in the early years can minimize the potential for wayward youth and young adults. Have you searched out the teachings of Scripture and also reliable, trustworthy Christian counsel and guidance to improve your parenting methods? God has given you stewardship of your children. Take that responsibility very seriously!

Key Verses

  • “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7

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