Proverb for the Day 17:13 — Sad…Sadder…Saddest…Hope!

Evil will never leave the house of one who pays back evil for good

This wise saying discusses “evil,” its consequences and long-term impact. The Hebrew term here for “evil” is the general word found throughout the Old Testament — encompassing everything wicked, bad and harmful.

The initial action in the scenario of this verse is at the end — “one who pays back evil for good.” A man or woman, to whom someone else has done something good, “pays back” to them “evil” in some form. That’s sad!

Such an action has been described as violating the universal concept known as the “ethic of reciprocity.” I learned it as the Golden Rule many years ago in elementary school — a take-off from something Jesus said (Matthew 7:12).

But even sadder than paying back evil for good is the conclusion of our proverb — “evil will never leave the house” of the one who does this. The bad thing this person did to another, he or she will have to live with at home for the rest of their lives.

And, maybe saddest of all — this verse doesn’t say it was an evil person who did this! It could have been anyone — including a nice person who just got caught up in some very inappropriate emotions.

Since “evil will never leave the house,” this person — and their loved ones(!) — will carry the consequences of such a choice around with them everywhere they go.

We all know something about lasting consequences and we do have to live the rest of our lives with certain consequences of past decisions. BUT I can decide I don’t want to continue being that person anymore.

I can be different! And my new choices will help mitigate the impact of some really bad old ones!