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(#132) The Proverbs of Solomon 18:6-7-I Dare You

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 18:6-7: “A fool’s lips enter into contention, And his mouth calls for blows. 7 A fool’s mouth is his destruction, And his lips are the snare of his soul.”

Reckless challenges are foolish enough (“I dare you to…”), but to dare someone to increase punishment is also senseless! A “fool’s” words: [1] start with “contention;” [2] escalate to “blows;” [3] brings self-“destruction;” [4] jeopardizes his/her own “soul.”

[1] Whether overcome by drugs or liquor, the heat of the moment, arrogance or ignorance, it is a “fool” who starts “contention.” Contentions are the aggravations that light the fires of fury, NOT honest investigations resulting in understanding truth. Christians must “avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife” (2 Timothy 2:23). Scoffers deny truth and cause meaningless contentions. “Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; Yes, strife and reproach will cease” (Proverbs 22:3). “It is honorable for a man to stop striving, Since any fool can start a quarrel” (Proverbs 20:3).

[2] The challenge to fight is usually accepted, and to what purpose? Violence never proved the truth of an argument! It is true that “the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20). Elders in the churches of Christ must not “be quarrelsome,” i.e. not quick to fight (1 Timothy 3:2-3)! Wisdom should rule in such situations: “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

[3] The “fool” is just asking for more pain, heartache, and deprivation, and will probably get it!

[4] Eternal damnation hangs in the balance, for Jesus Christ taught: “that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37).

The rest of us need to back away from every fool whose mouth is asking to be stopped!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #contention, #fight, #fool, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #quarrel, #scoffer, #wisdom

What Evils Lurk Near Me?

The main evil that lurks near me (as well as many other folks), is the evil found in Juarez, Mexico:

1) http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2010/oct/05/greg-abbott/attorney-general-greg-abbott-says-more-people-have/

2) http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2010/08/bullets-from-ciudad-juarez-reaching-el.html

Many innocent people have died because of the various drug cartels constant fighting over their territorial domains, and will continue unabated, until something is done about it. A sad commentary on Mexico.

#cartel, #commentary, #domain, #drug, #evil, #fight, #innocent, #juarez, #lurk, #mexico, #people, #territory

Your Arms Are Too Short To Box With God – JAM

In the late 70’s there was a religious musical that was a smashing success on Broadway entitled “Your Arms Are Too Short To Box With God” written by Vincent Carroll. Though I’ve never seen the play, its title caught my imagination. It’s a dangerous thing to fight against God. You may be a heavyweight; your name may be Joe Louis or Muhammed Ali; you may have a left jab and knock-out right; but your arms are too short to box with God. When the Jewish Sanhedrin forbade Peter and John to preach Christ, they replied “We must obey God rather than men.” Old Dr. Gamaliel got the point because he told the others, we’d better watch out what we do to these men “lest haply we be found even to fight against God.” This is Just-a-Minute with Ed Boggess

#fight, #just-a-minute

Did you ever get into a fight you later regretted?

I think I’ve regretted every fight I’ve gotten into. I don’t like conflict. I like peace, but sadly sin and wickedness prevent peace in many situations. Even if the fight was for some good cause, I always look back and think I could have handled this or that better. Be slow to speak. It’s hard to do that in the heat of a battle.

#fight

A fight I didn’t know I was in

Several years back some disagreements arose locally regarding our website. I discussed/debated the issues with one brother in particular (primarily via email–that was a mistake). The matters in question pertained to expediencies (but he believed they were black & white matters of right/wrong). My approach was that I wanted to discuss the matter thoroughly and if he couldn’t be persuaded, then we would take no action (per Rom. 14). I had no intention of forcing my position into action, but I’ve always enjoyed discussing things and challenging inconsistencies. As the tone started to slip a bit in the email exchange, I should have had the insight to know that this brother was getting very upset. What was an intellectual discussion to me was a fight for him. We had a good relationship (I thought) but he suddenly left the church here for an non-institutional group nearby and branded me a liberal all over central IL.

There’s a lot more to this situation (as you might imagine), but the main lesson I learned is this: Don’t have serious discussions/debates via email if you can do so in person instead! It’s too easy to be misunderstood and there are no non-verbal clues to pick up on.

#fight, #nudge