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BIBLE VERSES EXPLAINED

Proverbs 3:5, 6​—“Lean Not on Your Own Understanding”

 “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he will make your paths straight.”—Proverbs 3:5, 6, New World Translation.

 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”—Proverbs 3:5, 6, New International Version.

Meaning of Proverbs 3:5, 6

 We should look to Jehovah * God for direction rather than making important decisions all on our own.

 “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart.” We show that we trust God when we do things his way. We must trust God completely, with our whole heart. In the Bible, the heart usually refers to the inner self, which includes a person’s emotions, motivations, thinking, and attitude. Therefore, to trust God with all our heart involves more than our feelings. It is a choice we make because we are fully convinced that our Creator knows what is best for us.—Romans 12:1.

 “Do not rely on your own understanding.” We need to trust God because we cannot depend on our own imperfect reasoning. If we rely solely on ourselves or let feelings alone determine our course, we might make choices that initially appear good but ultimately bring bad results. (Proverbs 14:12; Jeremiah 17:9) God’s wisdom is far superior to ours. (Isaiah 55:8, 9) When we are guided by his thinking, our lives will be successful.—Psalm 1:1-3; Proverbs 2:6-9; 16:20.

 “In all your ways take notice of him.” We should get God’s viewpoint in every significant aspect of our life and in every important decision we make. We do this by praying to him for guidance and by following what he says in his Word, the Bible.—Psalm 25:4; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.

 “He will make your paths straight.” God makes our path straight by helping us to live by his righteous standards. (Proverbs 11:5) We thus avoid needless pitfalls and enjoy a much happier life.—Psalm 19:7, 8; Isaiah 48:17, 18.

Context of Proverbs 3:5, 6

 The Bible book of Proverbs contains basic principles for a life that is happy and successful in God’s eyes. The first nine chapters are written as fatherly advice to a beloved son. Chapter 3 highlights the benefits that come to those who value and apply our Creator’s wisdom.—Proverbs 3:13-26.

^ par. 3 Jehovah is the personal name of God.—Psalm 83:18.