The Hardest Truths for Teenagers in Proverbs

A while ago I introduced the teens in our student ministry to this list of 20 truths that I felt hit home with teenage life. We read through the list first in its entirety. Then I asked each student to rank the top three “hardest to keep” truths for them personally. We then broke into groups based on their number one pick to discuss those topics and why they are hard to keep. We prayed for each other and strategized about how to encourage each other on a regular basis in these areas.

So which of these truths do you think ranked in the top three of teenagers most often? Read through for yourself and see what you would choose.  My poll results are at the very bottom of the article. The list is surprising and insightful.

20 Truths for Teenagers in Proverbs:

  1. Take responsibility for your life. If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, and if you scoff, you alone will bear it.” (Prov. 9:12)
  2. Integrity is your guidance. The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.” (Prov. 11:3)
  3. Shun evil. The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, but the naive go on, and are punished for it.” (Prov. 22:3)
  4. Speak the truth.Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause, and do not deceive with your lips.” (Prov. 24:28)
  5. Be humble.When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom.”(Prov. 11:2)
  6. Work for your dream. He who tills his land will have plenty of food, but he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.” (Prov. 28:19)
  7. Diligence is a key to success.A lazy man does not roast his prey, but the precious possession of a man is diligence.” (Prov. 12:27)
  8. Never give up when facing adversity. “If you are slack in the day of distress, your strength is limited.“(Prov. 24:10)
  9. Learn to control yourself. Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.” (Prov. 25:28)
  10. Control your anger. He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” (Prov. 14:29)
  11. Be prudent about your choice.Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established.” (Prov. 4:26)
  12. Train your patience. By forbearance a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue breaks the bone.” (Prov. 25:15)
  13. Listen before you speak.He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him.“(Prov. 18:13)
  14. Talk Less, do more. In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” (Prov. 14:23)
  15. Stop gossiping. The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts of the body.” (Prov. 18:8)
  16. Don’t flatter others.A man who flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his steps.” (Prov. 29:5)
  17. Pay evil with good.If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.” (Prov. 25:21)
  18. Honor your parents.Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her rejoice who gave birth to you.” (Prov. 23:25)
  19. Choose your companion.He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Prov. 13:20)
  20. Do not envy evil men.Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them.” (Proverb 24:1)

proverbs

These five answers were most commonly given as “hardest to keep” truths according to my student group.

  1. Shun evil. The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, but the naive go on, and are punished for it.” (Prov. 22:3)
  2. Honor your parents. “Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her rejoice who gave birth to you.” (Prov. 23:25)
  3. Speak the truth. “Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause, and do not deceive with your lips.” (Prov. 24:28)
  4. Control your anger. He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” (Prov. 14:29)
  5. Talk Less, do more. In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” (Prov. 14:23)

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