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Life Is Full of Contradictions

picture of contradictions

Do you ever feel conflicted about what people tell you? Good people with differing points of view both seem to make sense ... at least on the surface. Some would call it post modernism, I guess, but it definitely makes you scratch your head. I'm glad to have the Word of God to go to for answers. No one has differing points of view about what it says! (Tongue firmly planted in cheek....)

From the midst of all the noise of man's wisdom out there I bring you today a list of some commonly used bits of conflicting advice.

Birds of a feather flock together.
Opposites attract.

He who hesitates is lost.
Look before you leap.

You're never too old to learn.
You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

The early bird gets the worm.
Good things come to those who wait.

Look before you leap.
Strike while the iron is hot.

Two heads are better than one.
If you want something done right do it yourself.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Better safe than sorry.

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

What will be, will be. (Que sera sera....)
Life is what you make it.

Many hands make light work.
Too many cooks spoil the broth.

Too many cooks spoil the broth.
Two heads are better than one.

There's safety in numbers.
Too many cooks spoil the broth. (Wow, the jury must still be out on that proverb!)

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Out of sight, out of mind.

Don't change horses in midstream.
Variety is the spice of life.

The pen is mightier than the sword.
Actions speak louder than words.

Don't cross the bridge till you come to it.
Forewarned is forearmed.

Silence is golden.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Clothes make the man.
Never judge a book by its cover.

The best things come in small packages.
The bigger, the better.

If you lie down with dogs, you'll get up with fleas.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

A miss is as good as a mile.
Half a loaf is better than none.

A miss is as good as a mile.
Something is better than nothing.

An old fox is not easily snared.
There's no fool like an old fool.

The more, the merrier.
Two’s company; three’s a crowd.

The best things in life are free.
You get what you pay for.

A good beginning makes a good ending.
It's not over till it's over.

Blood is thicker than water.
Many kinfolk, few friends.

Practice makes perfect.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
A man's reach should exceed his grasp.

There's safety in numbers.
Better be alone than in bad company.

If at first you don't succeed, try try again.
Don't beat a dead horse.

Hold fast to the words of your ancestors.
Wise men make proverbs and fools repeat them.


Maybe some of you have some other examples to add to the mix, or some comments on any that I've posted today. I really am thankful to be able to turn to the objective truth found in the Bible since man's wisdom is majorly inferior to God's wisdom. Where there are differences of opinion concerning God's word, the problem lies with the reader, not the Writer.


"God does not reform our flesh. ... Without God's power, you will be defeated by your flesh." — John Dodd

=^..^= =^..^=

"Was it somebody's cruel idea to put an "S" in the word LISP?" — Steven Wright

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4 Comments on “Life Is Full of Contradictions”

  1. #1 Donna Lawrence
    on Jun 8th, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Once I was watching TV. A commercial ended with the grim warning, “Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” The very next one started with a breezy, “Who says the first impression is the most important?”

    I laughed all the way through the second commercial–can’t even remember what it was for!

  2. #2 Cecil Lynn
    on Jun 9th, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I don’t think the proverbs are contradictory. Proverbs aren’t intended to be universally applied. So, it is better to see the “contradictory” proverbs as intended for different situations. Applying proverbs takes wisdom and discernment. The Bible is literally full of such “contradictory” statements. In the OT, compare the perspective on wisdom given in Proverbs 1-3 (“her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace”) with the perspective given in Ecclesiastes 1 (“in much wisdom is much vexation”). In the NT, compare Gal 6:2 “bear one another’s burdens” with Gal 6:5 “for each one will have to bear his own load.” Or compare 1 Cor 10:31 “whether, therefore, you eat or drink…do all to the glory of God” with Romans 14:21 “it is good not to eat meat or to drink wine or to do anything that causes your brother to stumble.” One part of growing up is learning which principles apply to which situations. When is wisdom “pleasant”? When is it “vexation”? When is it good to eat and drink to the glory of God? When is it good to refrain from eating and drinking? When should we bear our own burdens? When should we bear one another’s burdens? etc.

  3. #3 Rob
    on Jun 9th, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    @Donna – That’s a funny example of real life contradictions. Thanks, Donna.

    @Cecil – The “proverbs” I posted are not proverbs from the Bible. They are all folk sayings, drawn from people’s experiences, which can, by their very nature, be different from each other. It’s like the common saying “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” What is a nice experience to one person might be distasteful to another.

    I’m not sure if you are a frequent reader to my blog because I don’t remember past comments from you. My long-time readers will attest that I never make fun of anything sacred. The list of “proverbs” in this post are, as I have stated, not from the Bible. I simply would not do that. In fact, the list I started with had several that were from the Bible or were similar to Biblical statements. I removed those, and if I missed any, please let me know so that I can remove them also.

    The proverbs in Scripture are divinely inspired and therefore true, even when they might appear to be in conflict. An example would be ones like Proverbs 26: 4 and 5: “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.” They would appear on the surface to be contradictory by saying to answer a fool according to his folly and not to answer a fool according to his folly. However upon closer inspection we see that they are not in conflict because of the explanation after each initial statement. The first verse is basically saying that we become fools ourselves by responding as fools do. But the second verse warns us against saying anything that would make a fool feel justified for his folly.

    Thanks for stopping by and for taking time to make a thoughtful comment. I hope you will not take my reply as a rebuke, but rather as an explanation of the nature of the humor on my blog and of the types of things you will not find satirized here.

  4. #4 Vikki
    on Jun 9th, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Anyone who knows you or has followed you blague for any time knows that you have to take everything tongue-in-cheek. That being said, once again you have brightened my day with a little humor. Thanx!