Tough and Tender

Feb 01, 2017
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“Any fool can start a quarrel” (Prov. 20:3). “The name of the wicked will rot” (10:7). “He who hates correction is stupid” (12:1).
Is it right for God’s Word to call people fools, wicked, and stupid? Isn’t God all about love and kindness?
Indeed, God is love. God is kindness. He created a world with great possibilities for joy and contentment.
Yet God reminds us that in His love He does not overlook the foolishness of our hearts and actions. Those verses from Proverbs can remind us that while God is love, He has great expectations for us. Life is tougher than it needs to be for those who bring self-imposed trouble upon themselves.
Each negative word in those proverbs has a counterpart—an alternative that gives God’s preferred way to live. A fool quarrels, but the honorable man avoids strife (20:3). The name of the wicked rots, but the memory of the righteous is blessed (10:7). The stupid reject correction, but those who love instruction also love knowledge (12:1).
There’s always a choice in this life. Live God’s way and enjoy His smile of approval—or live as a fool and find destruction. That’s the tough and tender truth about living in God’s world. Which do you choose?

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