Image courtesy of Robert Anderson.
Author: Jana Anderson
Wisdom, righteousness, diligence, kindness, knowledge, discipline, strength, understanding, and joy—in Proverbs 10, these contrast foolishness, wickedness, laziness, ignorance, violence, indiscretion, deceit, dissension, hatred, and evil. The clear winner is the way of the Lord. Choosing the way of wisdom seems so obvious—“blessings crown the head of the righteous . . . the man of integrity walks securely” (10: 6, 9).
Who would ever choose foolishness over wisdom? Unforgiveness over love?
Let me raise my hand.
In Proverbs 10, the distinction between these two ways of living is so starkly clear. One way leads to death; the other way leads to joy and safety and the blessings of the Lord.
On Wednesday, June 10 in Lubbock, Tx., the consequences don’t seem so immediate or clear. It’s probably ok for me to “stir up dissension” about the person who wronged me—right? If I talk about my spouse or friend disrespectfully (and I make sure these parties don’t get wind of it—and after all, they WERE wrong), no one is harmed—right? If I tell that white lie, or don’t work very hard, or am unwilling to think about something deeply, or if I share that private information (it was a prayer request, after all!), or just don’t care about someone’s feelings, or if I spend most of my time mindlessly ambling through each day—no one’s that worse off.
I couldn’t be more dangerously wrong.
Proverbs 10 reminds us that there are only two choices, and the consequences ARE starkly clear. Choose the way of wisdom—be alert, be discerning, be kind, be diligent, be truthful, be loving, and yes–be quiet; choose words carefully; spend time wisely; work hard. Choose the way that leads to life—because when “the storm has swept by, the wicked [will be] gone, but the righteous [will] stand firm forever” (10:25).