Are you rolling around in the mud?
TODAY’S PROVERB: A fool shows his irritation immediately, but a prudent person overlooks an insult. Proverbs 12:16
This proverb is great! It reminds me of two other sayings:
- Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.
- Choose your battles wisely.
Both essentially speak of not making a disagreement or offense or mistake or insult into a battle-worthy event. Taking our irritation and energizing our emotions into a ball of anger generally reaps a poor harvest.
As I was researching for this blog, I came across an old American folk saying. It made me smile because it gave me a vivid picture of the foolishness of turning an insult into a battle:
Never wrestle with a hog. The hog gets dirty. You get dirty. But the hog enjoys it.
The hog reminded me of the enemy of our soul. He wants to rob, steal, and destroy us (John 10:1). He wants to distract us from unity and our purpose in this life. He enjoys it. The dirtier we get, the happier he is.
Can you feel that? What that might look like? Have you ever been in a defensive argument? Defending our position, actions, and reputation? At some point did you feel like you were acting like the very thing you were accused of? Sometimes, when I’m in a no-win battle, I feel slimy. Even when I think I’ve “won” I don’t feel good about it.
Overlooking these insults and irritations takes practice. Exercising our discernment muscle. Being aware how our body reacts to the ensuing argument. Assessing the fruits of the battle.
Not every offense against us is worthy of our time or energy. This means we need to pause and pray. Use self-control. Just because we’ve been invited, it doesn’t mean we have to attend a battle.
And even if we feel we need to engage in a discussion or argument, we still have to use self-control and grace. Or we’ll get just as “muddy” rolling around as we would in a useless argument.
May we be prayerfully discerning when offenses and insults come, my friends.
[WATCH Tree of Life Bible Society’s CEO, Daniah Greenberg and me, Terri Gillespie, Author dig a little deeper with this proverb. Check us out at Tree of Life Bible Society, Monday through Friday, LIVE at 8:30am EST. Watch previous episodes there as well. Stay wise, my friends!]