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Ah, those buts
​​​©Linda Wegner

In returning to my thoughts on the Book of Proverbs, warnings that I'd read about for decades suddenly jumped out at me. Although I'd been reading the chapter corresponding to each day of the month, all those "buts" took on a new significance.

First and just for the fun of it, however, I looked up various combinations of the three letters and came up with an assortment of interesting acronyms and their definitions: BTU – air conditioning output; TBU – to be updated or, true but useless; UBT – urea breath test; UTB – universal tractors, built in Romania beginning 1946; TUB – a refreshing soak (my personal definition) and finally, BUT – a conjunction introducing a contrasting phrase or clause.

As simplistic as it may seem, those Proverbs "but" contrasts spoke volumes; I finally stopped counting them as I realized that they permeated the entire book. It's hard to believe that I'd never noticed how starkly the writer presented the negative effect of choosing the bad over the good by the use of a single word.

For example: "Anxiety in the heart of man [or woman] causes depression but a good word makes it glad." Let's be quick to encourage someone, they may be in dire need of those words. Here's another: "A soft answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger." Sadly, I'm acquainted with both.

We live in a world where black and white has mainly been merged into murky grey. Too often those who stand for what they believe are branded as intolerant or even worse. It's always important that we respect other people and I never want to be guilty of rudely dismissing another's opinion but the primary goal of my life is to please God and to walk uprightly with Him. Lord, help me always stay on the positive side of "but".
April 16, 2018