Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Proverbs 26:20 -- On Letting the Fire Go Out

"Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth."
Proverbs 26:20

What this reminds me of is having something happen to us, and then immediately going to our friends and talking about it, saying something like "You'll never believe what happened to me" ... and in that moment we're upset and we want to get it out and for other people to tell us that we're right.

The problem with this is that, often, we're not right at all, and it would be easier to admit that and to get over it if we didn't talk about it, because then we have that additional hurdle of not wanting to look bad to our friends, and we don't want to admit that it was in any part our fault even if we realize that, so then if they ask about it we start making stuff up.  And even if we were wholly in the right, now someone else is angry for our sakes, and an offense that we could have forgiven, they won't, and it escalates rather than dissipates. 

I'm not saying that we can't talk to our friends. :)  I'm just saying maybe this verse is good advice, and we should pick other things to talk about than spreading the tales of strife.  Even when we aren't involved, telling the story of a wrong over and over escalates it beyond the immediate truth of the situation, and we start getting angry about things that we can't control or even adequately understand, because we weren't there. 

I'm not saying that we shouldn't strive to correct the injustices of our society either, but a lot of what we talk about probably isn't about that at all.  Maybe it's a good idea to let some tales die, rather than staying angry all the time.

Today, let's consider the wisdom of not passing strife along, and letting the fire of our anger go out.  It might be a way to find more peace.

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