5 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

1 Chronicles 4:5–5:17
Acts 25:1-27
Psalm 5:1-12
Proverbs 18:19

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Proverbs 18:19 (CSB): “An offended brother is harder to reach than a fortified city, and quarrels are like the bars of a fortress.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

The older I get, the more I realize that life is about relationships. In fact, the Word of God makes this abundantly clear.

When Jesus was asked what the most important command in Scripture was, He replied that it was to think and behave in such a way that relationships with God and others could thrive.

Matthew 22:35-40 (CSB): “And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test him: ‘Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.'”

If only we could consistently and passionately abide by these rules! If we all did, this earth would be Heaven!

But, this earth certainly isn’t Heaven.

There are times when we are hurt by what others say or do. There are also times when we hurt others by what we say or do.

And when that happens, relationships suffer.

God has made us so that we don’t like pain. In fact, if we discover that something is painful, we are apt never to put ourselves in a position to be hurt like that again.

For instance, if we accidentally put our hand on a hot burner as a child, we learn a very powerful lesson and will probably never, ever put our hand near a hot burner for the rest of our lives.

Sometimes, we treat emotional pain in the same way. If someone hurts us, we may find the pain to be so devastating that we never want to put ourselves in a position to be hurt like that again. So, relationships that were once enjoyable and vibrant die.

If we hurt someone and they pull away from us, we might try to apologize and make things right but the relationship might not be salvageable. Even if forgiveness happens, the expectations of the relationship might change so that the one who was hurt doesn’t place themselves in a vulnerable position again.

That is what our Bible Verse for Today addresses It calls us to guard our speech and our actions. Because if we hurt someone who is dear to us, it may be hard to win them back.

Proverbs 18:19 (CSB): “An offended brother is harder to reach than a fortified city, and quarrels are like the bars of a fortress.”

So, my friend, be careful how you treat others. Be careful what you say and what you do. And certainly, refuse to engage in any form of gossip or slander behind the scenes. That is the language of cowards.

Simply put, if you truly love others and see them as people created in God’s image, then you will develop a love for everyone that will keep you from doing anything hurtful. That love will also motivate you to quickly repent when you have done something that brings harm to others.

In closing, while we are commanded to love every single person (not necessarily have a relationship with them), we should certainly make sure that love characterizes how we relate to other Jesus-followers. Our loving communities of Jesus-followers is a powerful testimony to the world that Jesus makes a huge difference in the lives of those who follow Him.

John 13:34-35 (CSB): “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

So, love others. Don’t hurt them.

Once again, we are reminded that God’s commands are for our good. They are for the purpose of our ultimate happiness and are intended for human flourishing.

Proverbs 18:19 (CSB): “An offended brother is harder to reach than a fortified city, and quarrels are like the bars of a fortress.”

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Photo by Luis Galvez on Unsplash