The Good, the Bad, and the Ungodly - A Study of the Book of Proverbs (Chapter 10)

Contrasting and Comparing the Good, the Bad, and the Ungodly
Contrasting and Comparing the Good, the Bad, and the Ungodly | Source

Contrasting and Comparing the Good, the Bad, and the Ungodly

Years ago, my mother taught me about decision making. Her wise philosophy; that it is better to take time, think things through, and then make a smart decision. That way you won’t have to live forever with the consequences of a poor decision made in haste. She had a little exercise she shared with me that I’ve used for years.

Take a piece of lined paper and fold it in half lengthwise creating two columns. At the top of the first column, write the word good, or positive; at the top of the second column, write the word bad, or negative. Now list every possible favorable outcome of this decision you are facing in the “good” column, and list every possible unfavorable outcome in the “bad” column.

Everything has an opportunity cost, and that is what this exercise helps us to determine. What are you willing to pay for to acquire or achieve your goal? It doesn’t take long to tell whether the good outweighs the bad.

This is what the writer of Proverbs 10 has done for us; made a list of godly attributes and their outcomes; as well as, a list of ungodly attributes and their outcomes. It should make it easy for anyone to take a look and make an informed decision about what direction they want for their life.

Opportunity Cost of the Godly -vs- Ungodly Life

Verse
Godly Attribute
Outcome
Ungodly Attribute
Outcome
1
Wise Son
Glad Father
Foolish Son
Sad Mother
2 & 3
Honest living
A full life
Ill gotten gain
Empty life
4 & 5
Hard work
Wealth
Laziness
Poverty
6
Righteous living
Blessings
Wicked life
Calamity
7
Honest living
Well thought of
Wicked deeds
Forgotten
8
Teachable
Wise
Rebellious
Foolish
9 & 10
Integrity
Respect
Deceitfulness
Disrespect
11
Well spoken
Respect
Backbiting
Talked badly about
12
Loving towards others
Peaceful life
Hatred towards others
Strife
13 & 14
Seeker of wisdom
Insightful
Self Seeking
Trouble & Correction
15
Steadfast Faith
Security
Believes in nothing
Destruction
16
Honest work
Good living
Dishonest life
Paranoid living
17
Law abiding
Happy
Lawless
Troubled life
18 - 21
Truthful
Believed
Slanderous
Foolishness
22 - 24
Helping others
Abundant Blessings
Seeks only after evil pleasures
Fear & Violence
25 - 27
Righteousness
A long and good life
Wickedness
A short & meaningless life
28 & 29
Hopeful & Faithful
Expected blessings will be received
Interest in selfish wants & desires
Expectations unfulfilled
30
Righteous life
A firm foundation
A wicked life
Foundation destroyed
31 & 32
Speaks godly words
Blessings
Speaks wicked, ungodly words
Disappointment
Source
Wise people store up knowledge, but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.
Wise people store up knowledge, but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction. | Source

Looking a Little Closer

Verses 2 – 5 of Proverbs 10 are a powerful message for today. There are many “things” that compete for our attention and our decision as to what we value will have a direct impact on our lives. If we value those things that are godly and worthy of our time and attention, we will live a full and blessed life. However, if we value things that are ungodly and give us momentary pleasures, we will end up living a terribly empty and frustrating life. We go on to see that hard work and dedication will bring us everything in life we need to live a good life, while laziness leads to poverty.

I see this more and more in our society today. People find it easier to live off charity instead of working hard for what they need and want. The American work ethic has been overshadowed by an apathetic spirit that is leading its people into a form of slavery. If these people don’t wake up and take control of their own lives, they will always have someone else telling them what to do and how to live.

Verse 7, says “The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot.” It is said that a man’s life preaches his own funeral. I’ve seen this come to light at many funerals. Those who have lived a godly and righteous life, who have been loved by family, respected in their communities, and built their lives and businesses on a godly foundation, have so many attendees at their funerals that sometimes the church is overflowing with mourners, and the procession to the cemetery is miles long. I have also witnessed the funerals of those who were known to their families and in the community as wicked, foolish, and lazy. There are few in attendance and those that are, are usually there to support the family, not to show their respect to the departed.

Verse 9 says, “He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known.” I live in a small, rural town, and it’s pretty widely known that everyone knows everyone else’s business. This is brought out when someone does something dishonest or corrupt. Word spreads like wild fire, and if it happens to be a business owner, that business will suffer. People in the community will avoid those considered dishonest or corrupt at all cost. Those who walk and live in integrity will be highly thought of and sought out for wise counsel and advice.

Verse 12, talks about hatred and strife, as well as love; there are always people who love nothing more than to stir up controversy and cause problems. Whether they practice this art at church, the town council, or on the school board, they will show up and stir up strife. These are the people we should avoid hanging around with; they will only poison others and cause division. Be what chapter 12 talks about as one who’s filled with love that covers all sins. This person is a peace keeper and unifier.

Verse 14 says, “Wise people store up knowledge, but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.” An old saying came to mind when I read this verse; “It is better to keep your mouth shut and thought a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt.” You know those people who can’t seem to keep their mouth shut; they talk constantly and, unfortunately, don’t have a clue what they are saying. Their chatter causes hurt feelings and strife, and people go out of their way to avoid folks like this.

But wise people do a lot more listening than talking; they listen, learn, and store up the knowledge of what is going on around them. These are the people who know how to deal wisely in many situations.

Looking a Little Closer

Verse 17 says, “He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses reproof goes astray.” I once knew a man who was a deacon in the church, he took his position seriously but had some personal issues that needed dealt with. The pastor took him aside and tried to correct him quietly one-on-one. The man became incensed and caused division in the church. In his angry state, he stepped down from his position as deacon and quit coming to church altogether; later on, he left his wife for another woman. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t need correction from time-to-time, it’s better to receive discipline in humility than end up outside of the will of God.

Verse 22 is one of my favorites, “The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” There are many rich people in the world who are miserable. They have money and possessions, can go anywhere, do anything and yet, they have nothing. They lack the one thing they spend their lives looking for, peace and contentment in knowing God. When we know God, and are walking and living in His wisdom, any riches we obtain will not leave an emptiness in our lives. We will know that we have everything we need in Him.

Verse 24 says, “The fear of the wicked will come upon him, and the desire of the righteous will be granted.” The wicked have a lot to be afraid of. They cheat, lie, steal and even kill; and all those things they fear will dominate their lives. But, the righteous will be blessed with the things desired most, because their main desire is to please God in all things.

Verse 27 tells us that those who fear God, and live a godly life will have a long, and happy life. Those who live a life filled with wickedness will have a short and troubled life.

And finally, Verse 32 says that godly and righteous people know what is acceptable to say, but the wicked are rebellious and only tell lies.

It is easy to see which path leads to a life of blessings and contentment, and which leads to a life of turmoil and pain. We must choose wisely which path to take, and make sure we walk in the way of wisdom.

Source

© 2012 miss_jkim

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Comments 6 comments

Jerry Hulse profile image

Jerry Hulse 4 years ago from Kingsport, Tennessee

I Like This especially this quote"Verse 22 is one of my favorites, “The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” There are many rich people in the world who are miserable. They have money and possessions, can go anywhere, do anything and yet, they have nothing. They lack the one thing they spend their lives looking for, peace and contentment in knowing God. When we know God, and are walking and living in His wisdom, any riches we obtain will not leave an emptiness in our lives. We will know that we have everything we need in Him".


miss_jkim profile image

miss_jkim 4 years ago Author

Thank you Jerry. God bless.


Ann1Az2 profile image

Ann1Az2 4 years ago from Orange, Texas

King David said that wisdom (in the Lord) is better than all the gold or silver. He had everything, but He loved the Lord better. I love this hub and I agree with Jerry.

Well done and voted up.


miss_jkim profile image

miss_jkim 4 years ago Author

I agree whole-heartily Ann! Thanks for the comment.


Jerry Hulse profile image

Jerry Hulse 4 years ago from Kingsport, Tennessee

I thank you but will also add that it makes one 10 times stronger than their enemy as described in the word of God. Lets face it, Satan has much knowledge but lacks wisdom to work the knowledge. Thank God he does not have wisdom for it is from above. My book on amazon goes in much more detail such as not being able to get it from some wise man on a mountain for God says in proverbs that no bird can fly high enough to attain it for it is not of this world. Be Blessed


miss_jkim profile image

miss_jkim 4 years ago Author

Indeed that is true Jerry.

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