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  • Writer's pictureSt. John's Lutheran

Using Restraint

Proverbs 26:15-28 New International Version (NIV)

15 A sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth. 16 A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven people who answer discreetly. 17 Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own. 18 Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death 19 is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!” 20 Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. 21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife. 22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.

23 Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware are fervent[a] lips with an evil heart. 24 Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. 25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, 26 Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. 27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them. 28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin. Thursday - July 16 - Proverbs 26:15-28 Verses 15 through 19 describe a fool who does not take anything seriously. He eats whatever and however much he wants (15), thinks he is smarter than he actually is (16), jumps into conflict that he has no business in (17), and acts like everything is a big joke (18-19). While having fun is good, do we sometimes act foolishly disgracing

ourselves and others? Do you have a little too much to drink at a wedding reception

or at the lake? Or get carried away thinking you are smarter than the coach of your

child’s sports team? 20 through 28 deal specifically with deceptive and malicious

words. Verses 20 and 21 give a vivid word picture of how our words can act like dry

wood on a fire. Holding back our words might actually help cool a heated situation

while jumping into that situation might not actually help but only make things

hotter. Have you ever seen someone posting on social media about a heated

political or social debate? Have you wanted to jump in and give your two cents? I

have and afterwards I usually regret it. Oftentimes life would be better if we closed

our mouths and let things cool down.

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