Proverbs 25: King James Bible
Debate a Cause – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter twenty five, Verses 8-10
8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame. 9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another: 10 Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.
Daily Inspiration from These Verses – Debate a Cause
In never ceases to amaze me while going through these proverbs one by one, how I can relate to them either having been there or done that. I remember a time as a younger man where that wouldn’t have been the case. I guess age and years will do that to you.
The mistake being made above is no exception. I’ve been there and done that, and have put myself in situations where anytime I opened my mouth was to exchange feet. Anyone else ever have that problem, or was it just me?
Above, we’re given an example as well as instructions, as to how to settle something that we may hold against our neighbor. I suppose that it really doesn’t matter who we are talking about when we refer a neighbor. It could be anyone from the people next door, to well, anybody.
When we take a look at the instructions the Lord lays out, it is clear that he is placing responsibilities on the shoulders of the reader. That would mean our shoulders, rather than being the responsibility of our neighbor.
Your neighbor could be a low down, dirty, lying, wicked hearted, heathen from hell, but that does not excuse us from being obedient to the Lord, and following his Word. That doesn’t excuse us from taking a matter to him personally, asking honest questions, giving honest answers, for just reasons.
All that being done with a level head, regardless of how enraged you may have been, prior to approaching him. I’d also inject maybe going through our own memory banks, to make sure we’re not the ones in the wrong, and getting all upset at our neighbor for nothing.
We’ve spoken before, that more often than not, wisdom, understanding, and knowledge is thrown out the window once anger and rage sets in. Woven through the Lord’s instructions above, are some fruits of the Spirit, to prevent us from making fools out of ourselves, or worse. It all starts off with not running over there in the heat of the moment like a bull in a china shop.
In order to avoid hastily striving against our neighbor, we first need to be reminded that we are to love our neighbor. That’s the hardest step in the heat of the moment. A good heart check for some of us. After that, reclaim your joy and peace that have been taken from you, before you even begin to respond.
Be longsuffering in weighing out whether or not you are justified in the matter (whether you’re right or wrong). When you’ve reached a point of gentleness and goodness, with faith that the Lord is with you on this decision to approach your neighbor with the matter, You’ll be better equipped to debate your cause through meekness and temperance.
Love, joy peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance, are all fruits of the Spirit of the Lord, and he is a huge promoter of us using these fruits. If any of us happen to be a person given to anger, particularly against others, maybe it would be a good idea to write these down.
Either these as line items or the scripture itself that lists them (see below). This may derail you from acting out in rage or anger, and making a fool out of yourself, or inflicting harm. All things are possible with the Lord God Almighty!
Related New Testament Scripture
Matthew 5: King James Bible
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Mark 12: King James Bible
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Galatians 5: King James Bible
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Ephesians 5: King James Bible
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Thank you for your instruction, and for the continuity of your written Word. Please teach us to be reminded through every circumstance, the way you have created things to be, and how you intend your children to respond relating to anger or being wronged by our neighbor. May we always be reminded to use the fruits of the Spirit before, during, and after, times such as these, and in the end, be better examples and ambassadors in your service. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
Have you ever gone out to debate a cause against your neighbor, just to be put to shame in the end?