Proverbs 11:27

ESV Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it.
NIV Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it.
NASB One who diligently seeks good seeks favor, But one who seeks evil, evil will come to him.
CSB The one who searches for what is good seeks favor, but if someone looks for trouble, it will come to him.
NLT If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil, it will find you!
KJV He that diligently seeketh good procureth favor: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.
NKJV He who earnestly seeks good finds favor, But trouble will come to him who seeks evil.

What does Proverbs 11:27 mean?

It has been said that those who seek trouble are sure to find it. It is equally true that those who truly seek good will find it (Matthew 7:7–8). In the eternal sense, this is always true. Those who truly want to know and understand God will respond to Him in faith (Matthew 6:33). Those who reject Him will, eventually, be in a state of eternal destruction (Matthew 25:41, 46).

If we look for good in others' lives or seek ways to enrich their lives, we will receive favor from both God and man. However, trouble seekers will receive distress or tragedy. The farmer who withholds his grain to sell it at obscene prices when the public's need is critical will fall into the public's disfavor. Those same people will hold him in high regard if he sells with no thought of waiting until he can exact a higher price (Proverbs 11:26).

Because Jesus always did what pleased His Father, we read in Luke 2:52: "Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man." His pursuit of godly things brought Him into goodness. Caleb was 85 when he requested the hill country of Hebron as his inheritance, and Joshua granted Caleb's request because he "wholly followed the LORD" (see Joshua 14:6–14). Psalm 84:11 affirms: "No good thing does [the Lord] withhold from those who walk uprightly." Troublemakers can expect nothing but trouble as the natural consequence of their evil attitude and actions.
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