Monday, September 28, 2009

Proverbs 11: 17 Mercifulness vs. Cruelty

Today’s verse shows the contrast in the lives and happiness between people who are merciful to others and those who are cruel.

Proverbs 11: 17 (NKJV)

17 The merciful man does good for his own soul,
But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.

Here are the definitions of the main words in this verse:

merciful: 1. giving relief from pain or suffering: 2. showing or giving mercy; compassionate

good: 1. Being positive or desirable in nature 3. Of high quality 4. Worthy of respect; honorable 5. Beneficial to health 6. Reliable; sure, valid or true, genuine; real 7. Pleasant; enjoyable, propitious; favorable
8. Of moral excellence; upright, benevolent; kind, loyal; staunch 9. Well-behaved; obedient

soul : 1. The animating and vital principle in humans, credited with the faculties of thought, action, and emotion and often conceived as an immaterial entity. 2. The spiritual nature of humans, regarded as immortal, separable from the body at death, and susceptible to happiness or misery in a future state.
3. A person's emotional or moral nature

cruel: 1. Disposed to inflict pain or suffering. 2. Causing suffering; painful
1. A state of distress, affliction, difficulty, or need 2. A distressing or difficult circumstance or situation 3. A cause or source of distress, disturbance, or difficulty 4. A condition of pain, disease, or malfunction

Using these definitions, we can see that those that are compassionate toward others and do things like finding ways to help relieve pain or suffering, will cause their inner most beings – their thoughts, actions, and emotions- their very “natures” to become positive or desirable according to God's Word. They will also be blessed by God.

These people will be considered to be of high quality, worthy of respect, and honorable by others. These characteristics tend to be very beneficial to people’s health because those that are reliable, genuine, pleasant, enjoyable, favorable, morally excellent, benevolent, kind, loyal, well-behaved, and obedient are well liked and often, will be treated in kind, thereby having less stress in their lives.

In contrast, a person who tends to inflict pain or cause suffering, will find themselves in a "state of distress," affliction, difficulty or need. Distressing and difficult circumstances or situations will tend to follow them because God’s principles of “You reap what you sow…” will come into play in their lives.

A cruel person, will constantly be “stressed out,” and will end up suffering pain and disease in their own bodies as the malfunction of their souls extend into their bodies. So many recent studies have shown that the more stress a person is under, and the longer the period of time that person is under a lot of stress, the more their bodies malfunction, causing lowered immunities and more disease.

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