Reading: Proverbs 10-12
Summary: We will continue today’s readings from the book of Proverbs, a collection of proverbs uttered primarily by Solomon. Those found in the first nine chapters are longer. Starting in chapter 10 they take a form that is more typical, that is two statements, the second contrasting or completing or somehow elaborating on the first.
The proverbs are in no particular arrangement, more or less just a continuous list. Upon reading them, several themes do emerge and certain topics are frequently addressed. For instance, many proverbs deal with our words, honesty and fairness, diligence and hard work, a good wife, friendships and associations, and so on.
The idea of a proverb is to provide instruction and advice that would help lead to living life wisely and well.
Again, today’s reading will be just a sampling of proverbs, all attributed to Solomon.
Who Did You Wrong?
Don’t you hate it when someone does you wrong? It’s irritating to say the least and without question it incites many negative emotions. Think about the last time this happened to you and notice how easily and quickly those feelings can begin to well-up inside us. Can you feel it? Anger, resentment, bitterness? Be careful, though, and don’t allow those sentiments free reign; keep them in check—and I hope it’s not too late for that.
Now, I wonder what the person who did you wrong is feeling about that same incident? Chances are, it’s nothing. Even if what they did was intentional, the greatest likelihood is that they’ve moved on and haven’t thought of it again. And if was accidental, it’s guaranteed their minds haven’t dwelt on it, even for the first time.
“Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses” (Prov. 10:12).
Likely, more than one application can be made from this Proverb, but consider this: the strife stirred up isn’t necessarily between the two parties among whom the offense occurred, but it’s within you yourself.
That rancor and irritation and animosity is eating away at your soul. Notice this Proverb in no way denies the reality of the offense. It is real. But that’s not the issue. It isn’t what is right or fair or just. It isn’t about the real hurt they may have been inflicted; and not that those are without merit. But, the issue is your response. Is it hatred or love?
Whether it is discontent, animosity, and strife that rule your heart and mind or it is peace does not depend on what others do—which you cannot control—but your response to it, which you can control.
That choice is yours.