Proverbs 18 – July 18

CC Image courtesy of Andy on Flickr.

CC Image courtesy of Andy on Flickr.

Proverbs 18
Author: Ralph Beistle

I love to watch children play together. The most immature ones can predictably have a hard time developing the concept that they must be willing to share. You will likely here them shout, “That’s mine!” The other child either yields reluctantly, or whines loudly enough to get Grandma to make his playmate share.

As they get a bit older and into competitive play, listen and soon you will hear, “That isn’t fair!” Same motivation – seeking self-satisfaction – and if he doesn’t get it, it may sound a little different, but it amounts to a youthful way of whining because he didn’t get his way.

Surely we’re not too surprised when they reach adulthood and still insist on getting their own way. What our culture calls “protests” are often just grown-up whining. The most immature among us still shout out, “It isn’t fair!”

Isn’t it radically different when we consider Job? People nowadays who just think they are cheated, abused, unfairly treated, failing to get the respect of others, have no idea how insignificant their problems are compared to what Job suffered. But Job was no whiner! Puzzled, questioning, seeking an understanding of why such things happened, but not shouting out, “It isn’t fair!” His response, ““Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”

The wise man in Proverbs 18 said, “An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels. Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. When wickedness comes, so does contempt, and with shame comes reproach. The words of the mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream.  It is not good to be partial to the wicked and so deprive the innocent of justice. The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating.”

Life isn’t always “fair.” Events beyond our comprehension will occur in everyone’s experience. Sometimes we don’t get what we hoped for. But there is one constant truth on which we may rely – God is near. God cares. And God is in control and He doesn’t need our input to determine what is fair.

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