Proverbs 26: King James Bible
The Meddler – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter twenty six, Verse 17
17 He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.
Daily Inspiration from This Verse – The Meddler
The Meddler… Sounds more like a villain in a comic book, doesn’t it? Well this is the type of villainous behavior that you don’t need any special talent for, and we’re all equipped with a suit of flesh more than capable to be this character.
In this verse, we’re taking a look at a type of person, or better, a specific type of behavior. This is much different than other verses we’ve tackled in this chapter. Let’s take a second and see who we’re not talking about when referring to the meddler.
This isn’t the same as getting caught up with a fool and his folly, and it certainly isn’t talking about someone trying to lend a helping hand. We’re also not talking about an innocent bystander that happens across someone with stuff going on.
With a quick glance, one may see the verse above as a way of saying to stay out of other people’s business. To a degree, it does. But we’re given a picture here, of a person who meddles not with the stuff of someone else, but with their strife. This is specific, and in order to gain from what’s being said, we need to take a moment to realize what this means.
We’ve got the word “meddle” which means to interfere or busy oneself with something that has little or nothing to do with them. It isn’t always a bad thing for someone to meddle with something, it just depends on what it is.
If my lawnmower was broken, and someone came over to meddle in my situation, and fixed it, well, that would be great. I guess this example could be looked at as many other things rather than meddling, such as helping, being a good neighbor, what have you. But at the root (in my opinion) it is still meddling, as the person is getting himself involved in a situation that has nothing to do with him, and wasn’t asked for any help or opinions.
However, if I was having a serious private discussion with my wife, and someone walked up and began to meddle with the conversation, how do you think that would work out for them? This is the kind of behavior that most people don’t like. This is the more typical slant we place on meddling as it relates to people to people interaction, rather than meddling with stuff.
But what about someone who chooses to meddle with strife belonging not to him? How would we classify this kind of thing? The Lord does so by giving us an example of taking a dog by the ears. Have you ever done that? Probably not, neither have I despite the fact I’ve had dogs for decades.
That should be the first thing we take from the Lord’s example. It is something that most sane people would never do. The second thing, should be the repercussion. I would say that for many breeds, trying to hoist up a dog by the ears would cause great pain for the dog, with said pain translating from the dog to the person by way of teeth. Even a friendly dog, when placed in a situation that a nip would stop the pain, it’ll do it.
As I said, after all of the years of dogs, I’ve never been compelled to grab them by the ears to maneuver them or to do anything at all for that matter. Not even to break up a dog fight (which isn’t all that much fun). Someone who would try to take a dog by the ears would be doing so with wicked intent.
What I believe this verse is telling us about the meddler who involves themselves in strife that doesn’t belong to them, is that their intentions are not to end the strife, but to become an antagonist. I’ve actually known people like this, maybe you have too?
We call them busybodies, nosy; running to a gossip like moth to a flame. The intent of this behavior is rarely ever to offer any real kind of help, and most often causes more harm than any good. Which brings us to the first question we should ever come to when reading a verse from the Word.
We have an idea of what the Lord is saying in the verse above, so what? What are we supposed to do with this information? Two things I believe…
First and most obvious, is to try and avoid people that exhibit the behavior above, because when they catch the scent of strife, they’ll be getting their noses involved as fast as they can and will only make your life all that much more filled with strife.
Secondly, don’t be that person. Learn when you’re meddling and gain an honest approach as to why you’re doing it. Being the meddler causes just as much harm to yourself as it does to others (hence the dog reference).
The Lord wants us to help out those who are in need however possible. However, being obedient to the Lord should never ever be used as a vessel to sneak in fleshly iniquities. If you’re helping someone, the strife should cease because of your involvement. Otherwise, you’re just poking at the hornet’s nest which won’t be a help to anyone.
Stirring the pot isn’t service to the Lord, actually he doesn’t appreciate it at all. Blessed are the peacemakers, not the meddlers.
Related New Testament Scripture
1 Thessalonians 4: King James Bible
10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; 11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; 12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
2 Thessalonians 3: King James Bible
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
1 Timothy 5: King James Bible
13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
1 Peter 4: King James Bible
14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. 16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
Thank you for your involvement in our lives, and that you are the one who can remove all strife from our lives, and also give us the strength to be led straight through it. Deliver us Lord, from those who’s intent is to meddle in our lives, only making things worse. And if you study us Lord, and find any of us to actually be one of those types of people, remove that behavior from our lives, and open our eyes to this as a problem. Give us answers to be peacemakers when called and invited by you to do so, and to otherwise not meddle in the affairs of others. In all things, let your will be done here on earth by your children, as it is done in Heaven. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
Have you ever noticed that turmoil is always transpiring at the hands of the meddler?