Pr. 11:12: “He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his peace.”
Understanding comes from knowledge of the Holy One. If Christ rules in our hearts, we have an understanding that those without Him do not possess. That understanding gives us the power, courage, strength, and direction to not only hold our peace, but to love one another.
Jesus did not come into this world to condemn the world, but to save it. Why then, do we condemn and despise one another?
Often, we probably find ourselves despising or nit-picking those closest to us. We must stop that, and offering grace, hold our peace. Of those who are truly against us, Jesus says, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” Mt. 5:44. This charge from Jesus goes directly against what our culture tells us to do. Our culture tells us to fight back at all times, stand up for ourselves, fight for justice, and never back down.
What else does Jesus say? “Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.” Mt. 5:39-21. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Mt. 5:9. “Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them.” Mt. 7:12. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27.
I could go on and on. Jesus had a lot to say about this subject. We are taught to let our light shine before men, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. Unlike our culture’s ideas, which encourage us to glorify ourselves, backing down, making peace, and loving our neighbor glorifies the Lord. Trusting in God means we take Him at His word when He says “Do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Ro. 13:19-21
There are battles that should be fought. We are taught to defend the defenseless, the orphaned, the widows. We are taught to stand up for the Lord and for our salvation. We are entrusted by God to care for our and protect our families. However, if we watch the life of Jesus, we can see the example of One who truly gave place to love, compassion, forgiveness, and mercy. Even though He had many opportunities and reason enough, He did not avenge Himself. He understands all we go through, and can offer help in our time of need.
Ro. 13:10 says, “Love does no harm to a neighbor.” Let’s offer our neighbors a harmless environment today, whether that be the ones living within the walls of our home, the ones down the street, the ones at work, or the ones across the map. Don’t be devoid of wisdom, but with understanding of the Holy One, trust that He will do what He said.