What your eyes see, 8 don’t be quick to quarrel over;
what will you do in the future when your neighbor shames you?
9 Argue it out with your neighbor,
and don’t give away someone’s secret.
10 Otherwise, the one who hears it will vilify you;
the slander against you will never stop.
This reminds me of what Jesus said in Matthew 18 about conflict.
15 “If your brother or sister sins against you, go and correct them when you are alone together. If they listen to you, then you’ve won over your brother or sister.
It is better to talk directly to someone that you disagree with than talking to everyone else about it. It can cause others to think differently of someone. It can publicly disgrace someone. Or you can be disgraced in return.
How do we handle conflict?
Is it hard to confront people we are upset with?
Does it help to have an example from the Bible to guide you in these situations?
Have you ever talked directly to someone and had good results?
Lord, remind me to keep my anger in control and talk directly to people that I am upset with. Amen.
Do not rejoice when your enemies fall,
and do not let your heart be glad when they stumble,
18 or else the Lord will see it and be displeased,
and turn away his anger from them.
What? Why? Oh no. I’ve definitely done this before. So if I can’t be happy when something bad happens to someone I hate, what do I do? Feel sorry for them? Pray for them? Help them?
It feels a little confusing, but as God is always concerned with our hearts, we need to keep them pure and honest before God. Laughing at another’s downfall is not pure. As you see things like this in your life, remember that loving your neighbor means everyone. It’s not up to you to decide who deserves God’s love.
Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
What does that even mean? Can we sell truth?
John Wesley, founder of Methodism, explains it this way, “Buy – Purchase it upon any terms, spare no pains or cost. Truth – The true and saving knowledge of God’s will. Sell it not – Do not forsake it for any worldly advantage.”
Solomon is sharing with the people that truth is the most valuable thing in the current culture. Many other shiny things look attractive, but Truth, Wisdom, Instruction, and Understanding are worth more than any material item.
He is also telling them that it is not worth it to sell Truth. Many people can benefit from knowing things that they shouldn’t and he is reminding the people that just because they can sell truth doesn’t mean they should.
Watch for the value of Truth in your life this week.