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Write your own Proverb

If you’re too open minded, your brains will fall out.
Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again. We try many ways to make sense of life through a blend of knowledge, wisdom and experience. Proverbs are concise, witty and even stinging sayings that reflect on life. In faith terms they help to bring out wisdom based upon belief in God. Proverbs will frequently highlight people who are good and bad examples – e.g. the wise person and the fool. Sometimes they will focus on the good alone, sometimes on the bad and sometimes a proverbs will contrast behaviour.

Proverbs 1 v 1 – 7 is a great introduction to what proverbs are all about.

Proverbs are not like poems in that they are not meant to rhyme or to fit to music.

Most of the proverbs in the bible have two lines. The first line sets out the person and behaviour and the second line emphasises it.

The two lines work in three different ways (three types of proverbs):

1. The second line agrees or compares with the first lines. You will often see the words “like”, “better/than” or “and/so” used in this type of proverbs

Examples of these are: Proverbs 10 v 26; 15 v 16, 17 and 25 v 25

2. The second line contrasts with the first. So the proverb is trying to show a difference or opposite. You will often see a “but” in these proverbs.

Examples of these are Proverbs 10 v 12; 14 v 4; 17 v 22

3. The second line complements the first. So it takes the first line further maybe to apply it. You will often see an “and” or a simple comma used in this type of proverbs.

Examples of these are: Proverbs 3 v 5 – 6; 16 v 18

How to write your own Proverb in your own words:

1. Read some Proverbs in at least two versions of the bible
2. Think of proverbs we know in our culture.
3. Think of the value or way of behaving that you want to illustrate e.g. honesty, integrity, hard work, creativity …
4. Think of the consequence that this value of behaviour has. (Now you may have thought of a negative behaviour or a positive one) e.g. honest people are trusted
5. Think of the opposite value or behaviour to the one you have chosen and its opposite consequence.
6. Think of how this connects to God’s ways and your own experience. The best proverbs will link with God and be based on our own experience.
7. Decide which of the three types of proverbs you are going to write.

And remember: Don’t mention names of individuals: I hate XXX because is not a good proverb!

What to do with your Proverb:

Please e-mail it to – graham.brownlee.mbc@btconnect.com

We could use them in one of our services.

We could publish them on the web.