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AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT_01

Unintended or Unexpected Consequences

Proverbs 11:17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
17 A kind man rewards his soul,[1]
    but a cruel man harms his own flesh.

A kind man rewards his soul: Man is used in line one and two of this verse and has been stated before, this information is applicable to both men and women. A kind (Heb. chesed) man or woman is one, who exudes loyal love, devotion, affection, and is merciful toward others. The Hebrew word (gamal) rendered rewards refers to one who receives benefits for their good actions or behaviors. Soul (Heb. nephesh) means life, person, self.

but a cruel man harms his own flesh: A cruel (Heb. akzari) man is one who is ruthless and enjoys inflicting undue pain and suffering on another. Harm (Heb. akar) is being contrasted with benefits in line one and, it means to hurt, injure, or cause trouble for another. Flesh (Heb. sheer) is figurative and is referring to harming himself, the cruel man, here in this context.

The point of the good advice from this proverb is how we act toward others, be it good or bad, there will be consequences whether our actions were intended or not or we expected a consequence or not. We may have a habit of being mildly unkind to others in what we say or do, simply but abrasive words or actions. We may think nothing of it; however, in time, those we mistreat harshly will not seek out our company and loved ones may fall out of love, for there is a limit to the hurt that they can endure. These are unintended or unexpected consequences.

[1] Or himself

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