Eventually You’ll Get Bit – Proverbs 26:17

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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Before coming to a better understanding of grace and liberty, my wife and I both came from a legalistic background. During our first few weeks of marriage, a woman I had only met once came up to us and abruptly said to me, “Oh, you’re the one who won’t let his wife wear pants.” She then told my wife that she didn’t need a husband to tell her what to do. We didn’t respond sharply, but her statements were offensive and her opinion simply unwanted. I later learned this was common conduct for this woman. She didn’t seem to care that she was interfering or creating a negative reputation for herself.

God gives us some wise counsel about needlessly involving ourselves in the affairs of others. Proverbs 26:17 says, “He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.” Picture yourself walking by a Pit Bull and then abruptly lifting the dog into the air by its ears. In nearly every instance, the dog would turn its head and bite you hard. This is what we can expect when we meddle in someone else’s affairs. It will usually come back to bite us, and we’ll deserve it. When heated emotions between others are involved and we insert ourselves, the reaction toward us will almost surely reap a harvest of undesirable consequences. We will seldom be appreciated, and we may justifiably receive a very angry response. Christians aren’t immune from meddling in the lives of others. Paul told the saints at Thessalonica: “For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies” (II Thessalonians 3:11). A common thread among those who have this habit is too much idle time. In I Timothy 5:11-13, Paul described the danger of “younger widows” who “learn to be idle…and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.” One who constantly gives their opinion when it is not asked for needs to learn several lessons: advice not asked for is advice not wanted; some things are better left unsaid; and when we stick our nose into someone else’s business, we are just asking for trouble.

The next time you are tempted to “put your two cents in” to someone else’s business remember, God simply doesn’t want you to do so. Instead, busy yourself doing something truly productive in the cause of Christ.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."