Similitudes on Relationships

Similitudes on Relationships

Text: Proverbs 25:11-26:2


This section is written with proverbs that compare two things and then leads you to realize another pair of items are similar. Each gives insight into our relationship with other people.

Well-Spoken Words

(Proverbs 25:11-13)

A well-timed message is a beautiful thing (Proverbs 15:23; Isaiah 50:4-5; Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 4:6).

Wise reproof given to a person willing to listen makes the listener look better (Psalms 141:5; Proverbs 15:31).

Harvest season is typically hot and dry. Thus, thoughts of the cold snow of the mountains is refreshing. A reliable messenger is also refreshing to those who trust him with a message. But there is also a hint that just as snow in the summer is rare, so is it rare to find a trustworthy messenger.

Restraint

(Proverbs 25:14-17)

When the ground is dry and rain is needed, thunder clouds and wind that seem to signal a shower coming but produces nothing are annoying and disappointing. It is the same when a person boasts of abilities that he doesn’t have (Jude 12).

Patience (restrained anger) can persuade even a ruler and soft answers (mild and without provocative emotions) answers are strong (Proverbs 15:1; Ecclesiastes 10:4). A good example is Abigail’s confrontation with David.

Too much of a good thing can make it become a bad thing. Visits are fun, but don’t overstay your welcome. Leave your neighbors wishing they could see more of you than less of you.

Troublemakers

(Proverbs 25:18-24)

A person who lies about his neighbor can be deadly (Psalms 120:2). This is what God accused the Israelites of doing (Jeremiah 9:8).

Trusting a unfaithful man in a critical time will hurt you. We have to be aware of the character of people around us and not wait until it is important to find out that someone is not trustworthy (Isaiah 36:6).

Someone acting cheerful when you are gloomy is irritating and the opposite of what you need. An example of this were the Babylonians who want to hear songs about Jerusalem while the Jews were in captivity (Psalms 137:3). What we should do is match our own emotions to those of others (Romans 12:15). This stands in contrast to Proverbs 15:23.

Not all irritation is bad. Treating enemies well is an irritant to them. The illustration of heaping burning coals on an enemy’s head can be seen as softening an iron disposition that is set against you. The idea of loving your enemy is found in both the Old and New Laws (Exodus 23:4-5).

How you behave affects the behavior of others. Backbiting is talking negatively about someone behind his back (Psalms 101:5). Backbiting will naturally and predictably bring about anger.

This is yet another warning to be careful who you marry. A person who is never happy and constantly finds fault is someone impossible to live with (Proverbs 19:13; 21:9, 19).

Good News

(Proverbs 25:25)

Good news from someone you don’t hear from often is refreshing. An example of this is when Jacob learned that his son, Joseph, was still alive after thinking he was dead for many years (Genesis 45:27; Proverbs 12:25).

Focusing on Self

(Proverbs 25:26-28)

A righteous person who does not stand against evil is like polluted water. He ruins his example, he makes the wicked think that sin is acceptable or that there is no meaning to the righteous man’s words. Shadrack, Meshack and Abed-nego serve as a counterexample. They stood solidly against a bad law and in the end were honored for it (Daniel 3:16-18). You cannot change evil by compromising with it.

Seeking out fame is wanting too much of a good thing. It is nice to be recognized for what you do, but you should not seek it out. Fishing for compliments isn’t a true compliment.

If you don’t have self-control, you don’t have any defenses (I Corinthians 9:24-27).

Misplaced Wishes

(Proverbs 26:1-2)

Honor doesn’t fit a foolish person. Some may think they are encouraging someone by giving an honor that is not deserved. By they end up harming their own reputation by giving credence to a foolish person.

Wishing someone harm for no reason will not change matters (Deuteronomy 23:5; I Peter 2:18-20; Hebrews 6:7-8).