life: mess included

One of my favourite Proverbs is 14:4

Where there are no oxen, the stall is clean, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest. 

In order to have a harvest, you’ll have to put up with a fair whack of crap!  I was thinking of this in relation to the problem of evil.  In order to have an existence where relationship and meaning are real, you’ll have to have genuine freedom and thus put up with evil and suffering.  I might put it in proverb form like this:

“Where there is no genuine freedom, the cosmos is void of evil and suffering;but from the genuine freedom given to creation, comes the possibility of love, meaning and relationship.”

reading

Proverbs 22:7 – “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”

A friend recently (and wisely) observed that this is unfortunately ‘heard’/’taken’ as a command rather than as a lamentation.  Which made me think about how much interpretation we can do even with simple sentences.  The above verse could be (mis)understood in the following senses:

  • That this is the way things are intended to be: ‘God wants the rich to rule over the poor and delights in the borrower being a slave to the lender.’
  • A cold, apathetic, uncaring, indifferent (‘scientific’), and descriptive observation: ‘The rich have more power than (and often power ‘over’) the poor, and the borrower is indebted to the lender.’
  • An implicit command: ‘Don’t be poor!  Don’t be ruled by the rich!  Don’t borrow money! Ever!  It’s is wrong!’
  • A lament with an appeal to listen and live life accordingly: “Money quickly becomes a thing that is used to control and enslave people.  Large gaps between the rich and poor and large debts are all too real.  Please listen to this, and avoid doing that to others or yourself!’