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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Better


(To those of you who have left comments over the last week or two: I made some kind of a mistake and wiped out all the comments. I did read them, post them, and answer each one. But . . . due to my own technical disabilities, they disappeared, and I haven’t yet figured out how to retrieve them. I love it when you comment, and hopefully, this won’t happen again. Sorry!)

I’m reading the book of Proverbs, striving to read it thoughtfully. There is so much meat in Proverbs. Almost every sentence is a new theme, and sometimes I get caught up in all the changes and don’t make the connections.

Today, I read Proverbs 16 and 17. Verse 17:1 caused me to stop and think: Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife. I don’t know about you, but there are very few “dry morsels” that I like to eat. I enjoy savory, juicy foods. I love sauces, fruit, crispy salads, and gooey desserts. I don’t prefer dust-like breads, cookies, or crackers.

But looking again at this verse, it’s a comparison. It’s better to eat dusty bread and live in a quiet, peaceful house than in a house full of religious offerings with strife. It’s so true! (Of course, it is; it’s the Bible.)

I decided to search Proverbs to find more comparisons. What things are better? What are they better than?

Here’s what I found:

  • Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith (15:16).
  • Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith (15:17).
  • Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right (16:8).
  • How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver! (16:16)
  • Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool (19:1).
  • Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off (27:10).
  • Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich (28:6).
Did you see a common thread?

There are two:
  1. It is better to have less and be peaceful than to be wealthy and live in strife.
  2. It is better to live for God, doing right, than to do wrong, whatever the financial gain.

(The only contrast outside of these themes is verse 27:10, about a friend who is near being better than a brother who is far away. Practical!)

The instruction of Scripture is always clear. In these “better” verses, the Bible urges Christians to value the spiritual over wealth and peace over wealth.
Do we do that? 
  • Are we quiet and peaceful in our homes? Or do we shout and chide? Is their tension in our home?
  • Do we bend standards of righteousness in order to profit monetarily? Are we willing to be dishonest in our business dealings? Or on our tax returns? Or even “apple polishing” for our own gains?

 So, much food for thought. Let’s choose what’s better!

4 comments:

  1. Siempre es mejor pensar las cosas antes de hacerlas, que hacerlas sin pensar y aunque es algo sencillo, muchas veces lo pasamos por alto. Hay que hacer las cosas con calma para obtener la calma que necesitamos. Una cosa cada vez es una cosa bien hecha y muchas cosa hechas a la vez son muchos errores juntos.
    Pidamos al Señor que nos guíe cada día en todo lo que hagamos y seguro que todo nos sale bien.
    Bendiciones

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Barbara. God bless you!

      Delete

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