An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Non-Martial Arts

(Proverbs 20:3 KJV)  It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.

“To cease" (Keeping away NASB) (7674) conflict should become habit.  It is not cowardice, it is maturity.  This message is brought up repeatedly in different ways because it goes against our natures and our cultural training.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”  Evidently it is not just a matter of wisdom, avoiding “strife” (7379) is also an “honor” (3519b).  Is honor a factor of wisdom?  Avoiding the fight is honorable and wise because most fights are childish responses to pricks to our pride.  I work with teens.  Almost all fights involve the most immature in the student population, you know, the ones who have those great responses of, “Oh, yeah?”  Adults that get into fights have frequently been drinking too much.

A “fool” (191) is disagreeable.  A fool lacks wisdom.  Honorable men do not “meddle" (quarrel NASB) (1566).  This would go in the face of many cultures from the street gangs to the hidalgo of Spain.  What does this say about the macho man?

There is also the element of choice and attitude.  Although it is not used here, at other places there is a qualifier:

ROM 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.(NASB)
It is honorable to avoid strife.  We are to turn the other cheek and go the extra mile.  Sometimes, after our best repeated efforts, it is not possible.  Romans 13 says the state bears the sword to punish evil.  Everybody quotes Jesus talking about non-violence but they ignore it when he tells the disciples to buy one (Luke 22:36). 

So?  Should we avoid strife and conflict, yes.  It that always possible, no.  But you can plan for it.  Are there always certain subjects that start an argument between you and your wife?  Do you always start screaming during rush hour traffic?  Do you start mumbling when you have to wait in a long line?  Start planning ahead and asking the Holy Spirit to give you the wisdom you need to be more that a conqueror.

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