CYNICS may ask, why don’t people follow the advice found in the numerous proverbs and maxims of forethought available for centuries? Instead, they conclude that they are used only after some hopeful venture has gone “horribly wrong.” When, for instance, a person gambles and loses all they have, including their house, they should have remembered the old Scottish proverb which declares that “willful waste leads to woeful want.” But didn’t the gambler know this well-worn saying from earlier years? But, what good, then, did it do? Are the maxims of morality useless because people disregard them? For Christians and Jews, the Book of Proverbs is a great example. But what about other religions?

Here is one to consider by a 14h century Sanskrit poet called Hitopadeśa (Beneficial Advice) by Naryana of India. He wrote:

LIKE an earthen pot, a bad man is easily broken, and cannot readily be restored to his former situation; but a virtuous man, like a vase of gold, is broken with difficulty, and easily repaired.”

It sounds very familiar to what the prophet Isaiah had to say:

O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay and you are the Potter. We are all formed by Your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)[1]

[1] Also see Isaiah 29:16; 45:9; Jeremiah 18:1-3; Romans 9:21

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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