READ: Proverbs 17:14-19,27-28
A man of understanding is of a calm spirit. —Proverbs
A spectacular air battle raged outside our window.
Skilled, speedy flyers swarmed through the air, diving down from above, zooming
in from left and right, climbing from underneath to knock the others out of the
fight. The air was alive with sound as they attacked, eluded, hovered, and struck
out at one another.
“Scrappy little things, aren’t they?” my wife, Shirley,
observed. Six hummingbirds filled the air with darting motion, hovering and
whirring as they fought for the three positions on our red hummingbird feeder.
“Why can’t they just be patient?” she wondered.
Like so many disputes and quarrels that plague the
church, these battles were totally unnecessary. The feeder held plenty of
nectared water. We refilled it every day. Yet, for hours at a time, no hummers
came near it—until they all wanted it. They seemed to prefer a good scrap.
Quarrels among believers in Jesus Christ bring dishonor
to Him. They create wounds in our brothers and sisters, leaving scars. “It is
honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel,” says
Proverbs 20:3. And “He who has knowledge spares his words” (17:27).
How much better it is when we speak gentle words of
peace, not angry words of strife!
— David C. Egner
Like bullets flying through the air,
Our words can shatter peace;
The Spirit helps control the tongue,
And then the quarrels cease. —Egner
Two cannot quarrel when one will not.