The Book of Proverbs and a Winning Strategy for Candidate Trump

By Michael Brown Published on August 17, 2016

Dear Mr. Trump,

I’d like to offer you some free advice that will almost certainly guarantee your victory in the November elections. In fact, if you put into practice what I’m about to share with you, you could become a fine president as well. It will only take you about 15 minutes a day.

Do I have your ear?

We both know that, for the most part, a political campaign is a battle of words. Words spoken on the campaign trail. Words exchanged in a debate. Words sent out via social media. Words that run in a TV ad. Words that are printed in newspapers and online.

Wise words will win a campaign and foolish words will destroy a campaign — I’m not telling you anything you don’t know — and so it makes sense to see what God has to say about the words we speak. And since you’ve openly stated that the Bible is your favorite book, I want to point you to the book in the Bible that has the most to say about the power of words.

I’m talking about the Book of Proverbs, which actually states that, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits” (Prov. 18:21).

So, here’s my counsel: Start every day by reading one chapter from Proverbs out loud, together with your closest staff or family or advisers, if possible. Then note what Proverbs says about wise people and fools, examine your conduct and your words in light of what you read, and then ask God for wisdom.

There are 31 chapters in Proverbs, which means you’ll be reading it about once a month, and every day, as you read, ask yourself this question: “Am I acting like a wise man or a fool?”

Let me give you some examples of how beneficial it is to listen to the wisdom of Proverbs.

Proverbs 12:16 says, “Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult” (Prov. 12:16, NIV).

What if you had read this verse right after you were attacked on national TV by Khizr Khan at the DNC? Obviously what he said upset you, and you felt personally insulted.

What does a foolish person do? That person shows his annoyance at once. What does a wise person do? That person overlooks an insult.

And what would have been a good way to respond to Mr. and Mrs. Khan? Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

You could have tweeted out, “As a fellow-American, I mourn the loss of Mr. and Mrs. Khan, I celebrate their son’s sacrifice, & I call on them to stand with me in fighting radical Islam.”

And if you wanted to add (with a smile), “And thanks for the offer of a copy of the Constitution, but I have a few copies myself, and we agree it’s a great document.”

Had you done that, you would have saved yourself days of negative media frenzy, you would not have taken such a hit in the polls, and you would have stayed on message.

These proverbs are pretty wise after all! Here’s some more free counsel from this important book.

Proverbs 17:27 says, “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.”

There are times when silence is better than speech (the very next verse actually says, “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent”), and at all times, a cool head must prevail.

That’s why Proverbs repeatedly warns against being short-tempered, stating, “Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly” (Prov. 14:29).

Put another way, someone with a hasty temper is holding up a sign for the whole world to see, stating in big bold letters, “I AM A FOOL.”

You might think that your sharp responses show your toughness or display your Alpha male traits, and many in your audience might love your retorts, too. But for the general public, they degrade you more than they degrade your opponents.

You can be strong, decisive, forceful and persuasive without making a fool out of yourself in the process. Why give your opponents free ammunition?

Here’s some more wisdom from Proverbs: “Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning” (Prov. 9:8-9).

Often, when people come to us with constructive criticism, we reject it because of our pride. “How dare you tell me I’m wrong!” That’s what fools do.

But a truly wise man welcomes constructive correction and input. It only makes him wiser. And since you have surrounded yourself with many fine, godly Christian counselors, you do well listen to their words. As Proverbs also states, “For with guidance you wage your war, and with numerous advisers there is victory” (Prov. 24:6, NET).

So, here’s your winning strategy in a nutshell: Learn to live by the wisdom of Proverbs, and you’ll make a great president. Scorn it, and you’ll only have regret.

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  • Paul Mc Donald

    right on sir very wisely said

  • In other words, Trump should stop being Trump. Or at least pretend till he’s won the election. He’s good at pretence.

  • Neil Vitense

    Isn’t it amazing that Dr Brown suddenly realizes that the answer has been there all of the time and he has just discovered it…..now if we could only get Glenn Beck to do the same thing and suddenly realize that we only have two choices in November. (I sometimes wonder if these “self made icons” have any faith at all in God’s will)

    • Franklin Dzioba

      Neil, I understand your point but can you not understand why people are dubious of Trump? Im voting for him BUT he, on the surface, is not a great candidate. Is he God’s will? Will he win this election? I sure hope you are right.

      • Neil Vitense

        I hope that I am right Franklin….that said, who would have been a better candidate? They all have flaws and Ted Cruz was not the answer if you have any fear of his global and elitist connections. I have lost faith in many people in high places when they went back on their pledge to support the peoples choice. I put much more stock in a successful business person than a professional politician that has used their law knowledge to find their way around the LAW and live off my tax money as a career…..I believe that Saul (let’s use that name since once a sinner always a sinner)
        said something about “not working and not eating”. Again, I’m being sarcastic, but I figure that my opinion makes as much sense as anyone else’s. I’m open to any avenue that God chooses and trust that He is in control……that is why He is God and I never try to second guess his plan….I don’t have to hold my nose to vote this time because I’m trusting that Trump is a work in progress. Don’t you wonder why all the people who want to remain in power are against Him? Does that not throw a red flag….who is the real enemy?

  • John

    If Trump reads Proverbs daily that will be great, but at the same time he really cannot stop bashing political correctness as that is what got the not so silent majority interested in him in the first place.

  • VL

    That is what to do, but requires a regenerate spirit in agreement with the truth. We should be faithfully praying for that, which takes faith on our part. It will seem hopeless even as we pray the words, but believers should get past that. God is able.

    In the meantime, light can dawn on him that speaking up to HRC’s words with strength is not the same as lashing out or hitting back over petty stuff. He needs to see the difference for himself.

    I don’t see that pride that looks after self to make up “being Trump,” being the thing that defines his personality. He will still be distinct if he is able to overcome the retaliation pattern.

  • RoundRocker

    I find myself agreeing with Mr Brown on this one, which is rare. But to look at it from a different perspective, based on what Mr Brown says in this article, Mr Trump has repeatedly demonstrated by his words and behavior that he is not a wise man. Indeed he is a fool. When he gets negative publicity, he immediately takes to Twitter and attacks. What does Proverbs and Mr Brown say about that? “What does a foolish person do? That person shows his annoyance at once.” “Put another way, someone with a hasty temper is holding up a sign for
    the whole world to see, stating in big bold letters, “I AM A FOOL.” Thank you, Mr Brown, for your clear, Biblically based demonstration that Mr Trump is a fool. His foolish behavior shows no sign of abating. Why would followers of Christ vote for such a fool?

    • Chip Crawford

      Quick! Tell us your wise sage find for the clear christian vote this year!!

      • RoundRocker

        There isn’t one. Do you have a problem with me agreeing with Mr Brown? What did I say that he didn’t, except for my last 2 sentences?

        • Franklin Dzioba

          Im a Christian and Im voting for Trump. No different than Romney or McCain or Bush. Hold my nose and vote. Im unaware of the Christian option in this election, I see the enemy’s candidate very clearly. So my vote is not Pro Trump but Anti Hillary. I dont know where you stand but I cannot understand how any Christian could vote the party of Trail of Tears, KKK and Jim Crow. The Democratic platform is based on violating the 6th and 10th commandments and they violate every other one for sport.

        • Neil Vitense

          I have a problem with anyone who has to hide behind an alias and preaches down to me like they have arrived…..

          • RoundRocker

            Then you have a problem with Mr Brown. I was agreeing with him.

          • Neil Vitense

            I do…..only because he has altered his logic to make himself the smartest person in the room after the playing field has gone against his chosen candidate. My problem was not necessarily with Mr Brown, but with you not using a real name….I’m sure that you have your reasons.

          • RoundRocker

            Yes, I have my reasons. There have been times that people using their real names on forums like this have been stalked and harassed, even lost their jobs based on what they’ve said on websites. I prefer to avoid complications like that, since the internet makes it easy to find out where people live and work.

          • Neil Vitense

            I appreciate your honesty and will respect your reasoning. As for me (since the original issue was Proverbs), I have lived long enough not to want to be deceptive about my identity, I only fear God and pleasing Him is my goal, even though I fail Him daily I’m sure. It seems like we can always justify our reasoning because we always have a tendency to judge others “by their actions” and ourselves “by our intentions”. May you have a “blessed day”.

          • RoundRocker

            Thank you, Neil. Bless you, too.

  • phist

    Excellent advice. I remember this from my younger days attending Catholic private boarding schools but have since forgotten about it.

    Much of what Trump is up against is not what he says or does not say, but what other people says he says. Mostly taking his words out of context with the aim of distorting his message into something he did not say or mean. The 9th commandment states that You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. This particular sin occurs very often in so many ways and there is nothing one can say or not say that can stop people from committing it; or, more importantly, from preventing others from believing and acting on the falseness derived from this sin.

    Today, the act of this sin is described as “S/he is lying on me!” So how does what or how you say or don’t say make a big enough difference on what others lie about you? If everyone were logical, rational thinkers, then sure, they could see the lies for what they are, and the bearers of wisdom for whom they are. But, in general, people are less rational and more emotional so one gets the audience to feel a certain way and then associate the targeted person as the source of that feeling and the situation becomes out of the control of the targeted person. Example, you get a large number of people believing that Trump said some nasty, insulting things in response to Khizr Khan’s attack. Trump may be wise and secure in knowing that he is innocent, but that doesn’t stop every fool out there from attacking him and undermining what he is trying to accomplish.

    Reading and reflecting on passages from the book of Proverbs is a great way to improve one’s self and better handle challenges. But what is really needed is a lot less violation of the 9th commandment perpetrated by media news groups and other widely trusted individuals.

  • Chip Crawford

    We are not hiring a pastor, folks. There is wisdom for the task of turning the country around. Someone has arisen with the strength and resolve for the task. Open your eyes. Jimmy Carter was a super nice Christian Sunday School teacher, and about the worst president on record – double digit inflation, naive and ineffective in foreign policy – just all around bad. Really nice Christian guy the whole time. If God raises up a man for the task, just pray for him and allow God to do his business.

    I guess you don’t know how seriously bad off we are in this country on multiple levels, and how much we need someone who will honestly take hold. Trump draws stalwart and proficient aides, advisors, people who love their country, as he does himself. I don’t like his manners either. His father neglected an important element of his training. But, we’re run by crooks right now, folks, who are selling us down the river as fast as they can. People will always find fault with the instrument of deliverance – foolish people that is. WAKE UP !

    • Wesley

      i hate to tell you, but God’s word the Bible tells us that we are electing a Pastor or Shepherd in the book of Ezekiel. Paul in Romans 13 declares that civil or government leaders of ministers of God. that means if outside of theological doctrine if we would not select that person to be a leader in our church than we have absolutely no reason to elect them to be for president, senators, congressmen, mayors, sheriffs, town council members, school board members, governors, or justices.

      • Chip Crawford

        So how does that work with King Cyrus of Babylon and countless other secular leaders? Are you working on Hillary as well, or does she get a pass on this along with seemingly everything else? And who is your designated paragon? Is this why we have been getting the default candidate in this country since Christian purists cannot find their paragon? How does the Lord weigh that sort of stewardship, or do you imagine that he champions your holdout interpretation? Is this the kind of thinking that kept Christians from voting for Romney because he was Mormon? Christians did stay away from that vote. So, we got Obama again. Is that what the Lord intended?

    • Sheryl Chandler

      Proverbs and Scripture are not only for pastors. They are for everyone, including Presidential candidates. #wisdomofferedhere

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