CYNICS may ask, how many have profited by the innumerable proverbs and maxims of prudence that have been current in the world for centuries? They will say their only used to repeat after some unhappy right has “gone wrong.” When, for instance, a person gambles and loses all they have, including their house, that leads to remembering the old Scottish proverb which declares that “willful waste leads to woeful want.” But did not the gambler know this well-worn saying from early years on down to the present? But, what good, then, did it do? Are the maxims of morality useless, then because people disregard them? For Christians and Jews, the Book of Proverbs is a great example. But what about other religions?
Here’s one that comes to mind from Persian poet Saadi Shirazi (1213-1291), “Do you desire that your heart should not suffer, redeem yourself, the sufferer, from the bonds of misery.”
The Apostle Paul seemed to be saying the same thing when he wrote, “you must continue to live in a way that gives meaning to your salvation. Do this with reverence and respect for God.” (Philippians 2:12)