Which Is Better?

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Life consists of constantly making decisions about which way is better. We are constantly having to make choices and it can be hard if we have not decided about what is important in life. There’s really a plethora of help when you have the Bible as your guide through the decisions of life. Consider the following from the book of Proverbs:

Proverbs 15:16–17 (ESV) — 16 Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it. 17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.

Proverbs 16:8 (ESV) — 8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice.

Proverbs 17:1 (ESV) — 1 Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.

Proverbs 16:19 (ESV) — 19 It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud.

Proverbs 28:6 (ESV) — 6 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.

Which is better? From the list above you can see that life is better, when found “with the fear of the LORD,” “where love is,” “with righteousness.”  It is better when one is “of a humble or lowly spirit,” who “walks in his uprightness.”

Which is better? To be free from any and all guidance from God and try to make your choices on how you feel or have in mind the wisdom that is from above, from the Creator of heaven and earth?

James 1:5–8 (ESV) — 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Which is better? Wisdom from the world or wisdom from above?

James 3:13–18 (ESV) — 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

As you consider this evaluation of wisdom from above verses wisdom from the world, consider the following in how we are influenced by people around us so we in our pursuit of the “better” we should also be conscientious of taking heed to what we are listening.

1 Timothy 6:3–5 (ESV) — 3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.

Notice the importance of recognizing being aware of people that hold to things contrary to what the Bible teaches.

1 Timothy 6:6–10 (ESV) — 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

The warning is there and in case we miss what is said above, look at this verse:

1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV) — 33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

Which is better? To follow after popularity and be corrupted in our thinking or hold to the standard of the word of God in all aspects of life? If you want to enjoy a better life, making better decisions then it’s a choice of choosing what is better as a guide – the word of God.

Psalm 1 (ESV) — 1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.


Bob Brubaker

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