Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Four Ways to Recognize a Scoundrel

            If you have never met a scoundrel consider yourself blessed.  A scoundrel will back-stab you without thinking twice and for no good reason.  This kind of person will leave you speechless as to the logic of their actions.  They are selfish, hateful, rude, foolish, and shortsighted in life’s race.  Do you know somebody like this?  Hopefully it’s not the guy in the mirror!  Solomon’s wisdom discerns some more in depth characteristics of the scoundrel.  We can certainly use these qualities to know when to avoid someone like this, or maybe work on our own self if need be.

            Solomon wrote, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.   Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it’—when you have it with you.  Do not plan evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you.  Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm” (Proverbs 3:27-30, ESV).  One thing great about the Proverbs in the Bible is they are to the point.  Many of the principles laid out by Solomon are common sense, but everyone needs an extra dose especially coming from the breath of God.  These four simple sentences lay out a quick guide to how we ought to treat one another.  If your Facebook friend list is huge, but your actual friend list is lagging, consider carefully the wise man’s direction.

            Bob Beaudine in his book, The Power of Who, gives a suggestion about the number of friends we ought to have.  He calls it the 12:3:1 principle.  In other words, have 12 friends whom you can trust, 3 friends that you share nearly everything with and where there is mutual understanding of each other, and have 1 best friend whom you can share everything about yourself with.  Jesus even had 12 friends that formed his inner circle of apostles and it seems he was closer to a few of those than the others.  None of this talk of friendship even matters if you are a scoundrel though.  The challenge for you is to step back and honestly survey yourself using the scoundrel test Solomon gives.  If your results look ugly, consider what Jesus said, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them” (Matthew 7:12a).

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