Compare-Contrast is my favorite type of essay to write. It is also the easiest. Now I know who originated this type of essay. Chapters 10 and 11 of Proverbs is God’s compare-contrast essay. He compares the wise and righteous to the foolish and wicked in this world. As I read through these two chapters I knew which side I want to be on. I picked some verses that basically sum it up and will be using the Amplified to help look at them.
Starting with Proverbs 10:12;
Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers and overwhelms all transgressions [forgiving and overlooking another’s faults].
We all have things that just set us off and when that happens everyone around us knows trouble is brewing. We also know people that love to stir up strife. I was a little taken by surprise when I looked up the synonyms for strife: conflict, disaccord, discordance, discordancy, disharmony, dissension (also dissension), dissent, dissidence, dissonance, disunion, disunity, division, friction, infighting, inharmony, schism, discord, variance, war, and warfare. WARFARE???? Love talking to my 17-year-old about this stuff. He was kind of blown away to but the said it makes it a little more personal. “If we didn’t strife we wouldn’t have war. To look at strife as warfare, then you are looking at planning the of causing strife.” In Romans 16:17, we are told to avoid such people. My dad was such a person. He would fight with the Sun for coming up late if he could.
Love is the opposite of strife. Love bring harmony, unison, forgiveness… Love looks past the hurt to bring healing. This is the love that God has for us when He has forgiven our sins. We see that in Psalms 103:11-12.
Next, let’s look at Proverbs 10:17,
He who learns from instruction and correction is on the [right] path of life [and for others his example is a path toward wisdom and blessing],
But he who ignores and refuses correction goes off course [and for others his example is a path toward sin and ruin].
There are times when dealing with teenagers, it seems that they just ignore what you are trying to tell them. Then you have they come back and say thanks for what you said really helped.
In Proverbs 11:14, we find that is is good to surround yourself with godly people that you can get advice from.
Where there is no [wise, intelligent] guidance, the people fall [and go off course like a ship without a helm],
But in the abundance of [wise and godly] counselors there is victory.
Had I given heed to this verse, before I set out on a trip across the country by myself in my Blazer, I might not have gotten into the accident I did an hour away from home. I did learn from it though and have surrounded myself with a bunch of godly ladies and men, I go to when I need help.
Lastly is one of the verses I seek to model my life after, Proverbs 11:16;
A gracious and good woman attains honor,
And ruthless men attain riches [but not respect].
When I think of ruthless, I think of someone that is out for themselves and will do whatever it takes to get what they want, no matter what happens to anyone around them. The book of Esther covers both of this verse perfectly. Hamman was ruthless lied and schemed his way into leadership and tricking the king into getting rid of the Jews. Esther is the perfect picture of a gracious woman and by being so she received honor and glory. While Hamman lost everything. I so want to be a woman like Esther.