Caution Before Action

by George McFarland April 18, 2014

Proverbs 25:7b-10

What your eyes have seen
do not hastily bring into court,
for what will you do in the end,
when your neighbor puts you to shame?
Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
and do not reveal another's secret, lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
and your ill repute have no end.

Honestly, how clearly do you see yourself when you are arguing with another person? In most cases, if you are like me, not very well.

Proverbs 25:7b-10 continues to remind us that we live under civil authority. This includes the positive aspect that the ruler can be used to seek protection in areas of personal disputes. The wisdom of Solomon is that we should not seek legal action against another too quickly. This needs to be thought through very seriously before entering into. We are not to go to court too “speedily.” Often times in dispute with another our emotions cannot be trusted and, if we are truly honest with ourselves, we often act impatiently. When differences arise with another, we are to seek restoration amicably, first by consulting with others (vs. 9a) who can honestly assess the situation, and then certainly should not to do so out of revenge.

Consider the possible long term consequences if we do pursue taking someone to court. The whole matter could come back to embarrass us, especially if we lose (vs. 10). Likewise, do we want to be viewed by others as failing to resolve matters and instead seen as one taking another to public courts?

In such instances, our Savior turned the other cheek. And so should we.