Monday, January 19, 2015

Is Wealth Worth Your Inner Peace? Proverbs 17:1

We may want to have nice things and enjoy the good life. Is it worth it if it takes your inner peace away and troubles you with guilt?

"Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting and conflict." Proverbs 17:1.

When something is better is it preferred, it is superior, and it is the wiser choice.

The dry crust may be the morsel eaten by the pheasant or the homeless. This is like a dinner of salting crackers, or a meal made out the hardened ends of a loaf of bread. It is flavorless and unappetizing. The dryness makes it hard to swallow and hard to chew. This is not a meal you would look forward to.

There is more than one kind of peace. The first that comes to mind is social peace where agreement and cooperation is in effect. In short there is no one fighting with you or shouting in the background.

There is a peace that can be more desirable and that is the peace of heart- free from worry. If you have guilt nagging at the back of your mind it can rob even the best meal of its blessing.

Sitting down to a humble meager meal with people who get along and with peace of heart could be a wonderful experience.

One would think a nice full house would be the better situation- but the house, or our lives, may be falsely filled with things that do not give pleasure. In our efforts to fill up our lives we may find ourselves in conflict with truer values and have conflict with our consciences.

Both metaphors in the verse are about consumption. You consume a dry morsel or you may go to a feast to eat a sumptuous meal. We may be led by our desires to have the biggest, best, and most enjoyable possessions and experiences, but we must control our desires and recognize the dangers of possessions over inner peace.

Having the nice house full of feasting is not wrong by itself; many people have wealth and have not sacrificed their inner peace. They have found balance and resolved not to cross the line of morals and compromise values.

A nice house and the good things in life are not wrong by themselves but if it cost you your peace it is not worth it.


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