He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him. – Proverbs 11:27
I looked up this proverb in an online Strong’s KJV concordance because I thought something might be missing or difficult to understand from this translation, and I did get a slightly different impression.
I read this to say, “He that diligently pursues agreeableness obtains goodwill, but he who takes an adversarial stance will receive an adversary.”
In simpler terms, if we try to be agreeable, people will get along with us more readily. If we look for things to fight over, then we will have a fight.
This seems like an obvious statement, but it is worth considering because sometimes we need to have obvious things pointed out to us. I know that I often do.
So, let’s consider.
It seems like agreeableness is in short supply in our culture today, and in its place, we see a strange thing that sounds like agreeableness, but it isn’t. This strange thing that I refer to is tolerance.
Tolerance is probably the least tolerable moral standard that is trending in our society today, because “tolerance” really means, “you must accept my sinful desires as righteous and praise-worthy or else I will not tolerate your existence.”
Tolerance should convey a live-and-let-live mentality, which is good. This is agreeable, and when we are agreeable, people will generally be agreeable with us.
However, when tolerance becomes the opposite of this proverb, which is not tolerance but contentious, then a fight is what’s coming, and we can see this happening.
Those who want to be tolerated for their sins are facing more vehement opposition than ever in some regards. In some ways, they seem to be gaining ground, so it’s unclear how far this will go. Will the tolerant-so-called carry us away into a time that is like Sodom? Or will those who fight against them prevail?
I think it depends on how they are fought.
The hard truth is that many who would naturally take a stand against these “tolerant” do not have a good track record of making effective stands because the matter is not dealt with at the heart level, but instead attempted to put under control through law, bullying, and through casting some out as “abominable” sinners above all other sinners.
We got a fight. Maybe we deserve it.
Can we reverse it? Can we learn from our mistakes?
If we keep ramping up our adversarial stance against sinners, then we will just keep making adversaries.
The adversary becomes angrier and more emboldened, we become angrier and more emboldened, then before long no one treats the other as human beings but as some beast that needs to be destroyed—and then we become beast-like in our nature. Beasts fighting and devouring other beasts. Never ending. Never satisfied. Like a bottomless pit.
We need to take a stand against the “tolerant-so-called” who want to infiltrate out society with all manner of sexual sin and destruction of children and traditional families. We need to because when a society overthrows the natural order of God for man, which is largely centered around the nuclear family, then that society cannot sustain itself. We need to make a stand because we know that sin that is not repented of and covered by the blood of Jesus will be judged worthy of death.
Therefore, we should never back down from calling sin out for what it is, but we should not do so in a manner that encourages the formation of adversaries. This is going to be difficult, and maybe impossible at this point. Only God knows. However, we should do what is right because it is right, even if it does not seem to make sense to us.
We can begin by agreeing on what we can agree on, and it is the fact that all people should be treated like people and not beasts. If we cannot agree on this, then there is no hope. Only destruction.
We are all sinners who need Jesus, so He should be our focus. We cannot let ourselves be consumed by resentment, hatred, fear, despair, and a desire for vengeance. We are not better than anyone else. If we dissolve our own pride as those who have taken up their cross, then we might be able to address the pain behind the “pride” of some and turn them to Jesus.
They have no other hope.
Imagine that you had a debilitating and deadly disease, and your media, schools, friends, family, and government celebrated it. Imagine that they outlawed calling your disease a disease because this was “hate speech.” Imagine that any who tried to cure you were considered outlaws. Where is the help for you?
Do not abandon them.
Jesus will repay all that needs to be repaid. Fight with the truth, but with as much kindness and gentleness as you can muster, knowing that many believe that they are doing what is good. Sure, there are “groomers” and the like too, but this is not as common as some right-wing commentators want to make it out to be. They profit from all of this too. Remember that. Most individuals are moderate, even if those in power take drastic, adversarial measures.
Choose your battles wisely, knowing that adversaries are everywhere, and some fights are not worth having because if you are silenced then those who you could have reached will never hear from you. “Be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove.”
Jesus, I thank you that when we call on you, we are saved. You save us from death. You save us from deception of the wicked. You save us from our pride and selfish desires for self-preservation, ease, and vengeance. Not as we will, but as you will!
PREVIOUS STUDY: Considering Proverbs 11:26 – “He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it“
The purpose of this bible study in The Proverbs is to consider present-day events in terms of the teachings and wisdom of Jesus Christ. Follow in WordPress or subscribe by email (red button at the bottom of each page below the comments) if you would like to join this discussion and receive updates of future posts. Visit the link above for easy access to all posts within this series.