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verses 16, 18: “A gracious woman attains honor, And violent men attain riches.” “The wicked earns deceptive wages, But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.”

As with some of the Proverbs, I’ll come across a verse that doesn’t seem to make immediate sense. The pairing of a gracious woman and violent men doesn’t seem to naturally fit to me. My Holman concordance and my Bible footnotes point to this gracious woman as a “quiet” woman; that reminded me of one of the facets of my wife’s personality.

In my workplace, I’m often involved with meetings with aggressive personalities. Though the meetings are orderly, they can sometimes get boisterous and loud, with several folks vying to be heard. Unfortunately, I tend to bring work habits home sometimes; thus my wife pointed out that I was “running over” her side of conversations, whether within the family or whether we had guests. She was right; her nature is more of a quiet, humble spirit (one of the many things I admire about her!). I apologized, and I strive today to always make sure her voice is heard in conversations.

Since we’re talking about aggressiveness here, Solomon is referring to the “brute force” methods (Ryrie footnote) of those who want to “get all they can now”…those who strive to gain material possessions with all the drive they can muster. However, such a material-driven reason will only yield material wealth…it can never attain the true reward that sowing righteousness can. Remember, one of the things that paper money, stock certificates, and chaff have in common: they all go “poof” when tested by fire.

Something to think about.

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