Daily D – Proverbs 12:16
A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted. PROVERBS 12:16 (NLT)
Our son and I drove from Virginia to Texas a couple of days ago. We spent the night in Knoxville, Tennessee in a nearly-empty hotel. I flew to Washington D. C. beforehand on a nearly-empty plane. I arrived at a nearly-empty Washington Reagan airport. The roads were busier. The eighteen-wheelers were keeping the supply chain in operation.
We arrived home night before last around 10:30 PM. We had journeyed 1,278 miles on the road. We were tired. I awoke yesterday morning later than normal and groggy. Two cups of coffee later, I was still not fully alert. When someone says, “It’s not the years, it’s the miles,” believe them. Age has something to do with it, too, however.
Then the phone rang. The homeowner’s association president was calling to ask me if we had been disturbed by possible burglars in our part of the neighborhood overnight. Reportedly, around three o’clock in the morning, someone had attempted to break into the trailer attached to our son’s pickup. The police came and noted nothing out of the ordinary. Upon investigation, they were right.
The HOA president is a good man, a retired minister, and we had a pleasant discussion. Of course, what came next is no surprise. Our neighbor complained about us parking the truck and trailer along the curb at the back of their house. However, we would block our driveway or our neighbor’s if we parked in front of our house. The HOA president alerted me that she was walking toward our house. He hung up to intercept her.
After thirteen years, the woman who has alienated, irritated, and aggravated everyone in the whole neighborhood finally turned on us. We stood in our front yard, two ministers, a preacher’s wife, a preacher’s son, his wife, and their baby, and listened for forty-five minutes while she unburdened herself over all the completely criminal things we as a neighborhood have done to her.
Her husband joined in for a while and attempted to say something until she shushed him rather impolitely and continued talking without allowing apology, remedy, solution, or conversation. It was truly amazing to hear all she said. She named every offense made by every neighbor in our part of the neighborhood, including our new next-door neighbor who loves everybody and actually said something nice about our highly-offended friend when we had dinner together last week.
I finally shook hands with the HOA president and said, “I’ve got to go to work.” Our family went inside our house and licked our wounds.
The hardest thing in the world sometimes is keeping your cool when someone else is losing theirs. A person can bite his or her tongue only so long before drawing blood. Sometimes it is wiser to walk away. We do not have to attend every argument to which we are invited.
Today’s verse made me chuckle. At least by this standard, I am a wise man. Better a wise man than a wise guy. If I had attempted to rebut everything, or anything, we heard yesterday morning, the police might have returned on a different errand.
I will keep praying for my neighbor and treat her the way I want to be treated.
Our Father, as far as it depends on me, empower me to live at peace with my neighbor. Make our family a blessing to her. Relieve her of her many hurts. Comfort her tormented soul. Deliver her from evil. Amen.
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Genesis 26:26-31 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
Genesis 22:13, 14 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.
Genesis 21:1-3 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.