Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

31 December 2021

Proverbs 26:17

Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears
    is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.

As a dog will turn on and snap at whoever tries such a move, so will the quarrelers turn on whoever tries to “help.” Helping is what we think we are doing when we involve ourselves. Isn’t that what Christians are to do, especially when other Christians are quarrelling? Are we not to be peacemakers?

To be peacemakers, we must exercise wisdom. And the first step in wisdom is to discern when and when not to get involved. We need to discern when our involvement is true help or being meddlesome. Often our involvement only stirs the pot for a number of reasons. For one thing, we step into the middle without understanding. We don’t understand the real cause of the argument, mistaking what they are fighting about as being the real issue, when it is much deeper. We get involved often when we have heard only one side of the story, not knowing that it is distorted. We get involved without being asked and thus earning resentment from both parties. Until they are ready for intercession, any attempt – especially any blundering attempt – will only aggravate them more.

We get involve for the wrong reasons. We overestimate our own ability, meddling in a matter that is beyond our skill. We tell ourselves we want to help, when we really want to be acknowledged for our help. Then we get offended when our help is not welcomed or acknowledged. We get involved with arrogance, believing that we know better than the quarrelers, that they are foolish or at least know less than we. Such arrogance and naivety is quickly seen and rejected.

When then do we get involved? Pray for wisdom and for the right opportunity. The Lord will lead. We can ask if our help is wanted, and do not be offended if it is turned down. The key is to pray and to observe well, biding our time.

 

Psalm 140

Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers;
    protect me from the violent,
who devise evil plans in their hearts
    and stir up war every day.
They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s;
    the poison of vipers is on their lips.[b]

Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
    protect me from the violent,
    who devise ways to trip my feet.
The arrogant have hidden a snare for me;
    they have spread out the cords of their net
    and have set traps for me along my path.

I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”
    Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy.
Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer,
    you shield my head in the day of battle.
Do not grant the wicked their desires, Lord;
    do not let their plans succeed.

Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;
    may the mischief of their lips engulf them.
10 May burning coals fall on them;
    may they be thrown into the fire,
    into miry pits, never to rise.
11 May slanderers not be established in the land;
    may disaster hunt down the violent.

12 I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor
    and upholds the cause of the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will praise your name,
    and the upright will live in your presence.