Read Proverbs 23 – 26
The 'thirty sayings of the wise' continue from 23:1 - 24:21. The woes of too much wine are vividly outlined (23:29-35). We see more sayings of the wise (24:23-34). The advisers of King Hezekiah compiled more proverbs of King Solomon as read here from 25:2-26:28.
Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another: Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away (Prov. 25:9-10).
There's a problem in the world today that has been going on for a very long time. This problem has destroyed the character of many innocent people and has allowed many guilty to thrive. This problem has destroyed marriages, friendships, churches and business partnerships. This problem is gossip.
This problem is as rampant in the church as it is in the world. It may even be worse because of the familiarity of a group of people who are together on a regular basis. The workplace may be the only place that rivals the level of gossip that is found in the church.
This probably comes as no surprise to many, however it should be a huge shock to those of us who are believers and read God's Word. The Bible provides details as to how we are to handle conflict resolution. Our words should be directed by the Word of God. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile (1 Pet. 3:10).
The Scripture that we are focusing on today gives us some of the best instruction possible. If there is a problem with someone, we should talk it over with them. We should not be speaking of this problem to individuals who are not involved in the matter. This is not to say we cannot seek godly advice on dealing with a situation. The first one we should seek counsel from should be God. Pray to God for help. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him (James 1:5).
There are some commentators who believe that this Scripture is referring to seeking legal recourse on a matter. If this is the case, the decision making process should be taken all the more seriously. Things are always better settled between the individuals that are involved. This is especially true if one or both parties are followers of Christ. There is no reason to expect a secular court to look at a problem through spiritual eyes.
As believers, the Bible gives us a process to handle situations where there is disagreement or where one person has wronged another. As Christians, we answer to a higher power that has the final authority. Therefore, we should use His Word as our means for settling our disputes.
Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican (Matt. 18:15-17).
Thought for Today:
Discipline given to a child provides nourishment to his spirit.
As the One who rewards those who repay evil with good (Prov. 25: 21-22). If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink (Rom. 12:20). Jesus commanded: Love your enemies (Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:27,35).
23:20 riotous, gluttonous; 24:26 Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer, A fair answer is as pleasant as a kiss on the lips; 25:9 discover not a secret to another, do not betray another man’s confidence; 26:24 dissembleth, harbors deceit.
Prayer Suggestion: Pray and the Lord will free you from your fears (Ps. 34:4).
Optional Reading: Hebrews 3
Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 6:9