Which Would You Choose?
Proverbs 17:1 sets up a very interesting contrast. Let’s read it:
Better is a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting with strife.
What do you think? Do you agree with Solomon (the writer of Proverbs) and with God on this one? I think I agree with this proverb. What we really have here is a contrast between two different “things”. The first part of the contrast relates to “stuff”. The dry morsel is contrasted with feasting. I think that all of us would choose feasting over dry morsel. Restaurants advertising “all you can eat” tend to do a little better than those advertising “not much to eat”. But, the second part of the contrast deals with relationships. The idea here is that the lack of conflict, represented by quietness, is to be preferred over strife. Again, most of us would choose quietness over strife. Unless you are a candidate for your own reality TV show or unless you aspire to be like “Snookie”, you would agree with this.
However, what if you can’t have both of the “best” options available to you? What if you have to have poverty or abundance, quietness or strife? What proverbs is teaching us here is that if you have to make this choice, choose the relationship over the stuff. Choose a lack of strife even if it means going a little hungry over strife that might be caused by acquiring the stuff for feasting. This applies in many ways. First, what is most important in your life? God’s word seeks to have us strive for relationships over stuff. Relationships will always prove more beneficial than stuff.
By the way, men, I’m not giving you license to skip the annual Thanksgiving Day dinner with your in-laws that you despise…you can put up with it for one day!