Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 19
Verse 3: “It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel.”
Many misunderstand what mercy is. Often mistaken as soft or possibly even weakness, mercy is actually strength or power withheld. When a king or judge has mercy on someone, they have all power or strength to sentence or punish them, but choose to lessen or pardon an offence. This demonstrates more power and strength than actually passing sentence or judgment. As today’s “gold nugget” says, “It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel.” A person that withholds from a quarrel (even when he has grounds) demonstrates more power and strength than to continue a valiant fight. As this verse states, he is worthy of honor. After all, any old fool can start a fight. You don’t have to be intelligent, wise or talented to start a quarrel. In this journey we are on, we will at one time or another, be attacked by a fool. Since any fool can start a quarrel, everyone has the qualifications to initiate a conflict. The difference between someone with spiritual depth and someone spiritually shallow is he who engages in the quarrel and he who handles it with wisdom. I haven’t always had the mercy (strength to restrain or refrain) that I should have, but I am learning every day and choose to learn this day. You can’t make everyone happy all the time. Sometimes you have to accept that people may not understand or want to accept you for who you are. You must learn to live with that and focus instead on what God says about us and expects from us. If you truly do this, you will not be liked or approved by everyone, but you will find peace between you and your Father. Isn't that what really counts anyway? Just let it go. It truly is honorable for a man to stop striving. We don’t have to win an argument. We have someone to fight those battles for us.
Lord, I know I have to pass on defending myself sometimes. Not every attack is worthy of a rebuttal. You have shown mercy towards me and my folly; help me to show mercy on others and theirs.” Amen
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