An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Shame vs. Guilt

(Proverbs 24:2 KJV)  For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.

Evil is found in “hearts" (minds NASB) (3820).  The most common translation of this word is “heart”.  That is what the KJV uses here.  This would imply more of a built in action as opposed to a thought out action.  This is a part of original sin.

Evil minds “studieth" (devise NASB) (1897) “destruction" (violence NASB) (7701).  In the verse the emphasis is not on violence itself but on the mind that deliberately looks for ways to cause violence.  Compare this to verse 6.  One reason that Americans have such a hard time understanding much of the world is that Americans have been raised in a culture molded by the Bible.  Up until our day Americans might fornicate or commit adultery but they would admit that it was wrong.  People would lie but know that is was bad.  That is changing in our culture and has never been that way in much of the world.

I don’t know where I heard it first, but I have read it other places.  Some countries have a shame culture, others are guilt cultures.  What is the difference?  A shame culture is a value system that only feels bad when a person is caught.  As long as you get away with deceit or out of line sexual behavior, it is okay.  You can live with yourself.  This is most of the world.  A guilt culture knows they are wrong even if they are not caught.  This has been the traditional American view of things but it is changing.

No longer is evil automatically rejected by our courts or our leaders.  The law becomes a matter of technicality rather than real justice.  Just the use of the term “social justice” is a mockery of God.  The God of the Bible is not seen as all knowing.  This is the mindset of most the people we deal with.

So?  Accept the existence of sin and evil.  Be the exception.  Allow the grace of God to make you the salt of the earth and the light on a hill.  Remember that is Lot had been able to find 10 worthy people, Sodom would not have been destroyed.

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