Proverbs 21:7-8

7 The violence of the wicked will drag them away,

   for they refuse to do what is right.

8 The way of the guilty is devious,

   but the conduct of the innocent is upright.

 Violence tends to escalate. While it is an easy thing to get into, it is very difficult to get out of.  Those who carry out violence are often carried away by it, as it quickly gets out of control. This vicious cycle can be avoided altogether by right behavior, which the wicked refuse to engage in. There is a proper place for violence: as the final enforcement of justice. This is the last resort of the righteous, and they are careful to keep it from going too far. The wicked do not realize that unjust violence creates more problems than it solves, when will the cycle of retaliation end?

 “The way of the guilty is devious, but the conduct of the innocent is upright.” The crooked path, in hopes of avoiding difficulty, often ends up being the most complicated. The guilty take great pains to hide their guilt, yet in doing so they only add to it. Guilt builds on itself as lies are covered with lies, corruption with injustice, betrayal with contempt. The innocent, by contrast, are free to conduct themselves honestly. They have nothing to hide, so they can pursue their goals directly. Though the innocent are considered naive and the guilty sophisticated, in truth they are the opposite. It is naive to believe that guilt can be hidden, that the devious path will take you where you want to go, that one wrong can be covered with another.

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