Save It for Those Who Listen

“I am used to better things,” said the Beetle. “Do you call this place pretty? Why there is not even a dung heap.” 

The beetle, in Hans Christian Andersen’s story by that name, may be an example of what Scripture calls an arrogant cynic (Proverbs 9:7-12, The Message version). Not only did the beetle believe his way was better, he was thoughtless of the caterpillar’s feelings or would hear what the caterpillar said. 

In contrast, the caterpillar explained, “Oh, how lovely the world is!” The caterpillar gratefully admired the beauty around him. He continued, “The sun is so nice and warm! Everything is so enjoyable!” However, the caterpillar’s enthusiasm could not convince the beetle. 

Scripture says if you reason with an arrogant cynic, you’ll get slapped in the face. No matter how hard we try, there will be people who will not open themselves to God’s word or the gift of creation. We need not waste our time on those who don’t want or will not listen.

Rather, we are told to save our breath for the wise and they’ll profit from it. “Live wisely and wisdom will permeate your life; mock life and life will mock you” (Proverbs 9:12).


(For an innovative prayer starter, see more contrasts between Hans Christian Andersen’s writings and Scripture in Hans Christian Andersen Illuminated by The Message.)

(Do you follow my other blog, Midwest Mary?)

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