Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

22 December 2021

Proverbs 26:10

Like an archer who wounds at random
    is one who hires a fool or any passer-by.

When we take risks we must first count the cost, not only for ourselves but others. It may seem humorous at the time to give a fool or drunkard a job to do; it may seem compassionate. But we must consider how others will be affected.

There are those better equipped for the work who lose jobs because of an impulse to hire a fool. There are the fellow workers whose work is now made more difficult because the fool not only cannot carry his load but interferes with them. There are the recipients of the fool’s work – customers, passersby who are endangered, and others whose welfare is endangered.

The circumstances here are far different from those in Jesus’ parable about the man who hires laborers at different times of the day and pays them all the same wage. Some might call that owner a fool to part with his money so easily, but he alone incurs a risk. It is his money to do with as he pleases. But one ought not to use his money to place risks in the lives of others.

The bottom line is that we are to carefully consider the consequences of our actions, especially those actions that seem like a compassionate thing to do. Misguided compassion produces the opposite of its intent. The fool is not made wiser, the drunkard is not reformed, and those who are innocent and well-deserving are harmed. Do good works, but count the cost for others and act with discernment.

 

Psalm 133

How good and pleasant it is
    when God’s people live together in unity!

It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down on the collar of his robe.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore