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Lessons From the Book of Proverbs for Seniors

The writer of Proverbs has a lot to say about wisdom, and he prefaces his book with saying these lessons are for everyone, young and old alike. Even if you have gained wisdom through the years, says the book of Proverbs, it's valuable to revisit these lessons and learn from them anew. Here are several lessons from Proverbs that may be valuable to seniors in assisted living communities. We've taken the verses from the International Children's Bible, so the wording might be slightly different from what you're used to — embrace that difference to see what new thing you can learn from these potentially familiar verses.

Don't Follow People Who Lead You to Sin

My child, sinners will try to lead you into sin. But do not follow them. They might say, "Come with us. Let's ambush and kill someone. Let's attack some harmless person just for fun." Proverbs 1:10-11

This one might seem simple to older adults who have spent a lifetime seeking the will of God and trying to avoid being led into temptation. And probably you're not going to be tempted to physically ambush another resident of your senior living community "just for fun."

But these verses do call us all to re-examine our associations and actions. Attacking some harmless person doesn't have to come in the form of a physical threat. It can be tempting to gossip about others, especially if they are different or even annoying. But could this be a type of attack on someone who has done nothing wrong? The book of Proverbs repeatedly cautions us to use wisdom in all of our interactions with others to avoid sin.

Wisdom Comes From God

Only the Lord gives wisdom. Knowledge and understanding come from him. Proverbs 2:6

While our own stores of wisdom might grow over time, the source of that knowledge and understanding is God. And that means that older adults who have amassed knowledge over the years may not always be right about everything, so humbleness and a willingness to learn from God and his people is still important. The flip side is that God is always teaching us, and no matter how old we are or what our life situation is, we can continue to experience the blessing of spiritual learning.

Wisdom From God Is Valuable

Always remember what you have been taught. Don't let go of it. Keep safe all that you have learned. It is the most important thing in your life. Proverbs 4:13

At first, this verse might seem frustrating. No one can remember everything they've ever learned, and as we grow older, certain things may slip away. Luckily, the writer of Proverbs isn't talking about every fact you learned in history class or how to do algebra equations in this verse. Sure, knowledge is a good thing, but "the most important thing in your life" isn't the quadratic equation. It's the spiritual wisdom that comes from God, and the knowledge that He passes on is so powerful and mysterious, it works in ways we can't always understand.

And that means it works in ways that defy time, age and the struggles of life, letting you rejoice in it throughout your life and during your time in an assisted living community.