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Word to the Wise: June 23

by Tom Gilbert, Care Pastor

“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.”  – Proverbs 10:12

There is so much in this short Proverb! Sometimes when I want to get the most out of a passage like this, I look up the definitions of each of the major words.  In this instance, I looked up the definitions on Webster’s Online Dictionary.  Piecing the definitions together the scripture reads something like this:

Extreme dislike or disgust evokes strong feelings of antagonism and struggle, while unselfish and benevolent concern affords protection and compensation beyond what is normal, in fact, it compensates for the totality of principles and practices that are contrary to justice, goodness, equity, and the law.

We hear this same sentiment from Peter when he says, “Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).  Our current series is on wisdom. What do these two scriptures have to do with wisdom?  For one we are wise to take heed to all that scripture tells us, to be reminded that hatred and conflict only lead to more of the same, that our God is Love (1 John 4:8), and that it is He who covers over all wrongs, He that has the power and ability to forgive sins, administer justice, make things right, heal and protect!  God’s word tells us that we can do many wonderful and miraculous things, but without love, these acts are without merit and meaningless (1 Corinthians 13).

Wisdom then is seeking the Lord, inviting Him (Love), into each and every situation we encounter in order to cover over ours and others' wrongs.  It is wise to forgive, wise to let go, wise to love.  This can be difficult because “our ways are not God’s ways” (Isaiah 55:8-9). Often defense and attack, not love, are our impulses.  This is why we must always rely on Him, for with Him all things are possible (Matthew 19:26)!

Reflection Questions

  • How do you respond when you perceive you have been wronged?
  • How might your reactions change if you were to invite Jesus into the situation?
  • What is something practical that you can do to start applying this wisdom to your life?
  • Is there someone you trust that you can invite to help hold you accountable in this regard? A spouse, parent, friend, mentor, etc.?
  • How do you avoid being overly critical of yourself and feeling defeated when you don’t do this perfectly?  Will you allow Jesus to help?

Heavenly Father, we thank you that you are Love, that you are our wisdom, that you always succeed, and that you are faithful. We ask, Lord, for more of you in our lives. We ask that you permeate our every moment. We ask that we might meet those that wrong us with love and not hatred. Lord, we ask that you do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.  We are grateful for you, Lord, grateful to be counted among your children.  In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.