1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.

. A tiny leaven of momentary folly can destroy a long and constructive labour of wisdom. A foolish word can demolish the power of many words of wisdom. We should never allow ourselves to lapse into folly. Some slips are never forgotten and their damage never ends.

Bro Growcott - Fear God and keep his commandments

1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.

2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

3 Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.

4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.

5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:

6 Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.

7 I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.

8 He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.

9 Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby.

[Kohelet 10 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)]

10 If the iron [barzel (iron of the axe)] be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength [more strength be marshalled]: but wisdom [chochmah] is profitable to direct [ brings success].

The lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life: the desire to HAVE something, to ENJOY something, to BE something: possession, gratification, accomplishment. We all have these lusts. 

Adam and Eve had them in their innocency.

In themselves, they are not wrong: they are "very good": they are the creation and blessing of God. It is their MISDIRECTION that is evil. "Thou shalt not covet" (Rom. 7:7) is exactly the same word in the original as

 "with desire I have desired to eat this passover with you" (Lk. 22:15).

Desire and affection are of themselves neutral, and potentially good, as the gifts of God. It is where we set them that makes the difference between sin and sainthood, between sorrow and salvation, tragedy and triumph. 

Wisdom perceives this, and directs all its desires in the way of wholesomeness, godliness, spiritual productiveness, eternal worthwhileness.

Folly does not. Folly lets desire run its natural blind animal course which -- since Adam's transgression and sentence -- has been downward and corrupt and abominably perverted.

Bro Growcott

It is the carnal mind that mis-directs the desires and affections into evil -

''Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, NEITHER INDEED CAN BE''. (Rom 8:7)

The mind of Messiah (the logos made flesh - FILLED with wisdom and grace) 'perceives this, and directs all its desires in the way of wholesomeness...',

11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better. 

12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.

In extolling the life and writings of Dr. Thomas we are not men-worshippers.

Those who raise this cry talk foolishly. To extol the Doctor is no more wrong than it is to extol Moses or Paul. The Doctor was a faithful instrument in God's hands to perform for us, as our late brother Roberts has expressed it, the work of an apostle. He has unveiled to us the only true life-giving faith. No one claims that the Doctor was inspired.

In our generation it was not an inspired man that was required, but a competent, bold, truth-loving man to make clear and enforce what inspiration has already said. Such was the Doctor.

How interestingly-how naturally-did God manipulate this wonderful man. God did not cause him to disclose the truth all at once, but by degrees, and to a large extent by allowing enemies to oppose and revile. How many are the benefits that accrue to us through the painful and stormy experience through which the Doctor passed. His sterling counsel is largely the result of that experience, as for instance in his weighty exhortation to the late editor of the Christadelphian in the Ambassador for 1886, pp. 26-34.

So also are the expositions and explanations contained in his writings. What question is there of any moment that came not under his notice? In our simplicity we sometimes think that we have hit on something unknown to him, but only to find eventually that he had already considered it.

Sometimes also we have thought the Doctor wrong in his conclusions, only to find later on that the mistake was on our part. If brethren are wise, they will pause long before pronouncing as erroneous the well-threshed conclusions of the Doctor. The most instructed of us are but children in comparison with him.

Bro AT Jannaway

The Christadelphian, Sept 1904

Harsh words call for special mention -- not necessarily angry words, but just habitually, often thoughtlessly harsh words. The flesh is a harsh, coarse, irritable thing. Graciousness and gentleness do not come naturally. They are spiritual qualities.

Let us not make the sad mistake of thinking that contending for the Truth or raising children call for harsh words at any time. Gentle words can do the job much better, much more impressively, much more lastingly, and with much deeper and sweeter results in the recipient.

In both fields discipline is often required to maintain faithfulness, but harsh words are no fitting part of it. Harsh words are ALWAYS an ugly manifestation of our own innerflesh: we must face this fact if we hope for healthy results.

It is particularly on occasions requiring discipline that solemn, gentle, well-weighed, impressive, Spirit-guided words are so essential. Harshness can only shrivel and blight, and breed harshness in return.

The true meekness and gentleness of Christ must be consistent on all occasions if it is to be part of our real character and not a cloak of convenience.

"The words of a wise man's mouth are grace" (Ecc. 10:12).

True, Christ, as the mouthpiece of God, spoke scathing words of judgment that were Spirit-inspired, but we are not called to be so used and so inspired, and the pattern laid down for us is clear:

"Meekness toward all". . . "Speak evil of none."

Expose the whole, dark, worldwide fabric of sin and error in clear and unreserved terms, by the searching light of the Spirit Word -- keep carefully separate from it all in faithfulness to divine command -- but always in gentleness and mercy and hope, for who are we to pronounce another's judgment?

Bro Growcott - BYT 1.4.

13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.

14 A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?

15 The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.

16 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!

17 Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!

18 By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.

19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.

20 Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.