Quote of the Day: The Opposite of Wisdom Might Still be Wise

 

There are people who insist the Bible is full of contradictions. Which I find absurd. 

I’m always astounded at the consistency of tone and message about a God of justice and love held in a book written by dozens of people over a span of hundreds of years.

But the Bible is certainly not contradiction-free. This is particularly true in the Book of Proverbs. Not surprising, because proverbs in general are not supposed to be categorically true or false, but rather supply wisdom that can be applied to different situations. Many of us spout contradictory proverbs in different situations, such as “He who hesitates is lost” on one day and “Look before you leap” on another. In some situations, one of these will prove very true, in others, the reverse.

I don’t think the writers and compilers of the Book of Proverbs would be taken aback by any of this. In fact, when you come upon this couplet of verses in Chapter 26 of the book, the writer is very clearly providing a contrast of views for different situations:


Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
    or you yourself will be just like him.


Answer a fool according to his folly,
    or he will be wise in his own eyes.

Okay, which is it, buddy? Answer a fool according to his wisdom or not, give us a straight answer here.

“Answering a fool according to his folly” seems like the epitome of conversation on social media these days. One could make a reasonable argument that verse four makes a case for never setting foot on Facebook, Twitter, Truth Social, etc. And really, if your goal is to come out looking like a boss, nothing is worse than diving in the pig pin of social media.

But if we want to change the world and not let, for instance, Social Justice Warriors rule public opinion, we might have to go forth and make verbal battle with folks.

It is a wonderful thing to have Ricochet as a place for intelligent and polite conversation. Sometimes, this is the place to be. But I believe the writers of Proverbs wouldn’t have us only conversing here.

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There are 5 comments.

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  1. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Life has competing priorities.  Wisdom has to navigate them. Don’t blame the Bible for noticing.

    • #1
  2. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Proverbs 10:8
    The wise of heart receiveth precepts: a fool is beaten with lips.

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Beautifully said, Eustace. We must gain the wisdom to know what is called for.

    • #3
  4. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    God asked Solomon if he could have anything at all, what would it be and he answered wisdom.  God granted it to him and he wrote proverbs. God blessed him with success and riches too.

    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3: 5-6    This was our group study in my book club for Christian women in our neighborhood last week. It is a group of about 50 and all are praying very hard for Israel.  

    I think this is the only real answer…….

    • #4
  5. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Eustace C. Scrubb: I’m always astounded at the consistency of tone and message about a God of justice and love held in a book written by dozens of people over a span of hundreds of years.

    Right there with you, 40ish writers and 1600 years.

    • #5
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