"Wisdom Cries Out"

"Wisdom Cries Out"

Good Sense Overlooks An Offense

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19.11)

When offended by others, many choose to be hurt, bite back, and plot revenge. When someone hurts you, it is natural to react first, then think about it later. This is a mark of immaturity and foolishness.  

God expects his people to not only be considerate of others, but to do what is right and to treat others fairly. We see this in God’s covenant with Israel. He dedicates large sections of his covenant expectations to explaining and depicting how to display love, mercy, and compassion to others (see Deuteronomy 22-25). This makes some things abundantly clear: God cares about justice. God cares about equity. He wants there to be peace and harmony in all stratum and cultures of the human race, but especially among his people. These commands profoundly represent God’s commitment to help the helpless and develop a people for his own possession who reflect the same care and concern he feels for humanity. 

In the heat of a moment, we naturally cast discretion to the side and fixate on the offense. Especially in recent events we have seen the folly of this impetus and the division caused by offended human passions. In wisdom we must be slow to react to offenses. 

If you claim to be a Christian but speak in such a way that is negligent of justice, or that is simply reactionary and divisive towards establishments and cultures, you are improperly representing God. He is merciful to the ungodly and sinners (Romans 5.6-8). To those who were his enemies, he sacrificed his best. He is longsuffering to those who are ignorant and even divisive; but he also will not allow evil to go unattended. 

There are battle lines drawn in our culture with platforms that use Christian buzz words such as mercy and justice — virtues we must possess as followers of Christ. But when driven by the earthly passions of men, they are used to promote agendas, and tend to sway towards the extreme until they are out of control. As people of God we must be balanced in our approach to these issues. As we engage the challenge of injustice and inequality, we must above all display humility and grace with the ultimate goal of reconciliation of sinners to God.

The truth is, our culture will never find a solution to the problem of inequality and injustice. But among the people of God there should be a perfect example of unity, service and justice. These times of social and cultural divide should awaken the hearts of God’s people to the futility of this world and the need for God’s wisdom to be on display in our lives as we seek peace, reconciliation and justice in our own lives and collectively in the body of Christ. Let us rise up to God’s standard of longsuffering and love. 

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant…” (Philippians 2.3-7a)