This web site is focused on gleaning a "gold nugget" from the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds to the current day of the month. The idea was first proposed to me years ago. After trying it, I found myself seeing the scenarios described in proverbs in my daily living. The option for making wiser decisions was becoming more apparent. The Book of Wisdom has lived up to its billing. Proverbs should not be the entirety of your bible reading, but it can be a valuable part of your daily discipline.
Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 17
Gold Nugget Verse 13:“Whoever rewards evil for good, evil will not depart from his house.”
Raising children, I’ve found that rewarding evil can be done without intent or effort. When my children were small, I tried to make sure that the cost of bad behavior was more than they wanted to pay. Children will naturally weigh the cost of misbehaving. I’ve advised young parents to take care in avoiding inconsistent correction of poor actions by their children. If you only discipline a child 1 out of every 4 times that they try to touch the “untouchables”, they will naturally play the odds and continue touching. Odds are, they won’t pay a price for their actions and will conclude that it’s worth it. I will go even further, knowing with experience, that they will even continue this behavior if the parent disciplines 3 out of 4 times. Just the presence of “chance” will keep the child in bad behavior knowing that this may be the time they aren’t disciplined. Only 4 out of 4 times will teach the child that there isn’t any hope of getting away with this and they know with confidence that their attempts are futile. Children do not have time to waist on these fruitless efforts. They will move on to other options and hopefully other lessons learned. The reality is, the times that they successfully touched the untouchables without discipline, they were rewarded. Their reward was a free pass on bad behavior. This actually encourages more bad behavior. So as a summary thus far, we conclude that overlooking sin/evil is equivalent to rewarding evil. That is to say, in those that we have influence over, anyway. Today’s “gold nugget” tells us that, “Whoever rewards evil for good, evil will not depart from his house.” Not only do we overlook sin in people’s lives that we can or should have influence in, we will actually encourage them to continue in it. We then become “enablers”. Consider the friend that lives in your home with you and goes off to spend the weekend with their boyfriend/girlfriend while you go off to church on Sundays. You give them a free pass on immoral behavior by not confronting them (1st reward) and give them a place to stay (2nd reward). It’s not easy, but a Christian sometimes must “boycott” sinful or evil people. We must refuse to enable, permit or encourage sinful practices. It isn’t popular today, but if we got back to the foundational teachings of the bible, we would find that we are accountable to God for instructing and proclaiming the truth of His Word and what He expects of us to the entire world. Failing to do so and remaining ‘friends” with the world is, “rewarding evil for good”, and will ensure “evil will not depart from your house”.
Lord, in today’s age where people are not to speak out against others actions, it’s difficult to take a stand against immoral deeds. We are being programmed that we should be tolerant and refrain from judging. All this really means is we are overlooking evil and neglecting sound judgment. Help us to be bold enough to stand for your Word and your expectations regardless of its popularity and the persecution it may bring against us . Amen