Words from the Heart for Friday September 29th, 2017
A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth. Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.
Proverbs 11:16-17 (NLT)
Kindness and Cruelty
The Book of Proverbs is a book about contrasts. The way of the Lord that is life-giving is stated alongside the opposite way. This Book is a gift to us that we can clearly understand how to order our lives. It is like an operating manual to show us how life really works.
In the fall of 2015, police and OSPCA agents raided a compound in Tilbury, Ontario, and seized 31 dogs — all pit bulls. The raid led to charges against four people and later a fifth, much of them weapons and animal cruelty charges. During that raid, officials came across a grim scene in a building at the back of the property, behind a sign reading “Dirty White Boy Kennels,” where dogs which were tethered to stakes in the ground were used in dogfighting events.
There is truth in the saying that those who live by the sword will die by the sword. In other words, violence begets violence. How often do we read in the daily news that those who have been violent have died far too young in the midst of some violent confrontation. This has always been a part of the violent world in which we live and millennia back King Solomon said this, in Proverbs 11:16-17: “A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth. Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.” On a regular basis we have choices to make about how we are going to respond to those around us who do things or say things that might hurt us. We can respond with kindness or cruelty. And how we respond will affect not only our relationship with that person but how we are regarded by others. Followers of Christ are called to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit which includes kindness and gentleness. There is no place in the kingdom of God for cruelty and unkindness. Ask the Lord for grace to respond with grace and respect.
These have been words from the heart.