As I’ve been reading through Proverbs recently, I’ve been struck by how often our world operates in the exact opposite way from what the Proverbs say. Take these verses from Proverbs 15 for instance:
5- A fool spurns a parents discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.
What? In our culture that first statement would read, “A fool heeds a parents discipline.” It is completely acceptable among teens to trash your parents when you don’t agree with them. (I would guess that if I changed teens to 30-40 year olds, it would still be a true statement.) But, the kingdom of God works differently than the kingdom of man.
10- Stern discipline awaits those who leave the path; those who hate correction will die.
Our world encourages “finding your own way” and “doing whatever makes you happy”. Neither of these statements lead one to be open to correction. Our culture rebels against correction: “Who are you to tell me what to do/say/think/how to act?” And this is encouraged! Be independent, follow your heart, and make your dreams come true. But. God’s kingdom works differently than the kingdom of man.
18- The hot-tempered stir up dissension, but those who are patient calm a quarrel.
Most often, the loudest, angriest voice wins in our culture. If you have been wronged, be as loud and angry as possible, and “they” will have to deal with you and make things right. Case in point: A plane full of United passengers are recently stranded in China for 3 days. They begin yelling in the airport and attacking United personnel across the counter. They receive refunds and vouchers almost before they have landed in the US. Another group is stranded in Peru (A country they weren’t supposed to see) for 1.5 days. They stay mostly calm and never cause a scene. It takes 7 weeks and LOTS of phone calls, emails, and faxes to hear from United. (Side note: Full refund request okay’d on Wednesday morning. Woohoo!) But, God’s kingdom works differently than the kingdom of man.
33- Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.
In our world, humility is usually a trait of weakness. It’s ok to fake it when people are publicly making much of you, but it is not something that will lead you to great honor. Case in point: Usain Bolt. The cockiest, least humble athlete I’ve ever heard interviewed. He takes great honor for himself. But, God’s kingdom works differently than the kingdom of man.
Go after the kingdom of God!
Where do you see a difference in the way of our culture and the way of God’s kingdom?