As the country moves from chaotic scandal to chaotic scandal and from furor to furor, it's become increasingly evident that people on all sides of the political aisle are allowing anger and frustration to get the best of them.
Calls for civility are often met with chiding and critique, as people spout off and defend their incivility, hatred and vile attacks as appropriate responses to what they see as hatred and bad behavior on behalf of politicians and ideological opponents, alike.
It's as though the "two wrongs don't make a right" lesson was either never taught or has simply been thrown out the window in exchange for free-flowing emotions fueled by a social media era that encourages unrestraint and dehumanization.
While anger is understandable and frustration is a normal human response, Proverbs 10 has plenty to say about the power of the tongue (i.e. how that anger and frustration manifests) — and, arguably, the text speaks to the need for every person, regardless of his or her perspective, to rationally and calmly discuss things.
We are called to be better. We are instructed to love one another — and there's no world in which expletive-laden attacks are going to progress any conversation. Beyond that, when we allow ourselves to go unrestrained, we hurt ourselves and our witness.
Here are eight verses from Proverbs 10 that should force us to pause, reflect and totally rethink how we're engaging on current events and politics (NIV):
"Blessings crown the head of the righteous, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked." -Proverbs 10:6
"The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence." Proverbs 10:11
"Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs." -Proverbs 10:12
"Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense." -Proverbs 10:13
"The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin." -Proverbs 10:1
"Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips, and spreads slander is a fool." Proverbs 10:18
"Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues." -Proverbs 10:19
"The lips of the righteous know what finds favor, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse." -Proverbs 10:32
No matter the issue, treat one another with grace, peace and truth. How are you interacting today? Clearly, we're called to be better. So, let's do it.
Be sure to also check out my quick devotions and reflections on Proverbs 1, Proverbs 2, Proverbs 3, Proverbs 4, Proverbs 5, Proverbs 6, Proverbs 7, Proverbs 8, and Proverbs 9. And...curious about what all this means? Looking to better understand who God is? Take the next step.
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