Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.
Thoughts on Today’s Verse…
Our worst tendencies want to repay evil with evil, spite for spite, pettiness with pettiness, and hatefulness with hatefulness. God has always wanted his people to be the redemptive influence in their world, society, and relationships. Paul reminded the Christians in Rome to “not repay evil with evil” (Romans 12:17). Jesus said, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44–45). Here, God’s wise man teaches us a similar truth. Love removes the teeth out of difficult situations, while hatefulness only turns up the flames of bitterness and spite. We’re called to be a different kind of people; Jesus-shaped people that leave the world a different and better place than we found it. It isn’t always easy, but it is always powerful.
Father, I confess that when I’m wronged it makes me angry and I’m tempted to strike back in kind. Please, remove the baser side of my character through the cleansing and redeeming influence of your Holy Spirit and the love your Spirit inspires. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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