Wise people seek to make peace with others and to protect people’s privacy. Christians should not love to argue and start drama. Today’s reading from Proverbs describes the wise way to solve conflicts with others. First, we should not rush into fights and disputes with others (Proverbs 25:8). Some offenses against us are small enough that they can just be ignored, especially if they are not going to become ongoing problems and the only real injury has been to our pride. It is your glory to overlook an offense and turn the other cheek as Jesus taught. You will be the better person.
If an issue is serious enough that we must bring it before an authority for help in resolving it (which in your case, might mean a parent, teacher, or camp or church leader), we should be careful that we are really the ones who are in the right. Also, we should only involve the necessary parties, not other friends who have nothing to do with the problem (25:9). Usually, this might mean just you and the offender. It could mean witnesses, but be sure that they are only involved to share what they know and not to try to take your side in the argument. Beyond that, don’t talk about the conflict with other people who have nothing to do with it. They can’t help you with the problem and you will hurt your own reputation as much as that of the offender. You do not want to be known as someone who spreads drama and reveals people’s secrets to the world; that is a bad reputation that you will not easily get rid of (25:10).
Wouldn’t you rather be known as a peacemaker and trustworthy friend than a fighter and gossip? Then hear and do what God’s Word advises today. Seek peace and protect people’s privacy.
The Text (Proverbs 25:8-10)
8 Do not go hastily to court; For what will you do in the end, When your neighbor has put you to shame?
9 Debate your case with your neighbor, And do not disclose the secret to another;
10 Lest he who hears it expose your shame, And your reputation be ruined.
Questions to Think About
- Are you someone who likes to fight and argue? Do you think that God wants you to change how you approach conflict? Why or why not?
- Are you known as a trustworthy friend or someone who spreads secrets and gossip? How can you do better at protecting other people’s privacy?