An Unpleasant Feature of Human Nature

King Solomon did not write all of the wise sayings we find in the Book of Proverbs. Chapter 30 was written by a fellow named Agur. We do not know who he was but he certainly was a smart man. Here is a sample of his wisdom. “Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up; a servant who becomes king, a fool who is full of food, an unloved woman who is married, and a maidservant who displaces her mistress.”

Perhaps a fifth could be added to the list. It seems the world cannot long endure someone who is always happy. From conversations overheard, to daily newscasts, and tabloids that attack us while checking out of the supermarket, it does appear we are bothered by other’s well being. When we hear that someone is rich we often ask, “But is he or she happy?” Inwardly, there is something that wants to hear “no” as the answer. After all why should someone have both happiness and wealth? This seems to be an unpleasant part of our human nature.

When Jesus tells us to love one another He uses a word that means “wishing another the best.” He is not asking us to desire that everyone be our best friend. But He is instructing us to want the very best for others. He wants us to pray for each other to be both happy and rich.

Written on November 20, 2000