Proverbs 10:16-17, I’d kill for 50%

In Uncategorized on May 8, 2011 by mstevensrev

16 The wage of the righteous leads to life,
the gain of the wicked to sin.
17 Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life,
but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.

You get what you put into it, generally.  This is one of those passages that is difficult for someone like me that sees every breath we have as an act of grace of God in our lives.  Also I know that there is nothing I can do to earn God’s favor, that is why grace is central to all existence.  But here we have a different look at life.  This passage is not talking about earning salvation, rather that when you live well generally it leads to life.

In our hearts we know this is true.  I’ve grown up in a spiritual tradition that does a great job of reminding folks what horrible sinful worms there are and that we are in need of a Savior.  Though that is not the full story, the world has been created in such a way that righteousness pays out…at least it should be that way.  When I do good for another person they should not spit in my eye.  When I go out and work hard for my living, I should not be told I’m not going to get paid.  It is a basic tenant of farming, you reap what you sow.  Other traditions call it karma…whatever you are comfortable it is reality.

A teachable heart is what puts you on this path.  This perhaps is a growing challenging for everyone, as we grow older it is expected that we will have answers, we get hired because we have acquired knowledge and skill.  Often these become a hindrance to our receiving instruction.  A good friend of mine who is older than dirt often says, “Only 50% of what I say is correct, the problem is I don’t know which 50%.”  That is the humble attitude that will prevent us from leading other astray.

So I see these teachings related in this way.  I have been called to live in righteousness that leads to life, a part of this is leading.  Now because I am not complete in all that God has intended for me, even with the best of intentions…which I generally do have…I can be wrong.  Therefore when I am wrong it is okay, take instruction and reproof.  Let these not be discouragement in your life but know it they will help put you on the right path so that the best of intentions (the changed heart that God has given you for His things) will line up with wise actions (knowledge of how the world works and how to best act in it).


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