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Proverb: He Who Sups With The Devil Should Have A Long Spoon – What does it mean

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Idioms are figurative phrases that stimulate our thinking faculty (mind) and cerebral cortex by encouraging us to think deeply. Every society has it’s own collection of proverbs, which offers advise on how to live in it’s environments, it’s realities and how to tackle it.

I was going through people’s comments on a story on Twitter, when I came across the proverb “He who sups with the devil, should have a long spoon”. I got to thinking – what does it mean, how does it apply to life (remember what I said about idoms making us think deep). Well, this one got me thinking real deep.

With thinking and research, I was able to understand the meaning of the proverb, “He who sups with the devil, should have a long spoon”. In simple terms, it means if you get tangled up with dangerous people, you should be very cautious not to be influenced by them. A warning to be on your guard when dealing with evil people. The reference “a long spoon” clearly stresses the need for distance to avoid being coerced by the devil.

The same proverb can be seen in Proverbs 23:6-8, “Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.” In this verse, Solomon warns about the motive and intention of the person offering the meal. He tells us to reject invitations for dinner by an evil person, who has wicked ambitions other than our pleasure and prosperity motivating his offer. He warns us about the disgust we would feel when we eat the food of an evil person.

There are a lot of evil eyed people in the world. They deceive and manipulate people with bogus generosity and deceitful hospitality. They devour the lives of the unprepared and unsuspecting. They take advantage of the people who need their help. They offer help with the guarantee that you owe them and expect you to answer when they call. But the wise man sees the motive of a man and determines if the meal should be accepted.

So, my dear readers, If you ever find yourself having to dine with the devil, make sure to have a long spoon.

Alexandra Ejiofor
Writer, PapercodePost
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