What’s in your can?
Proverbs 17:4,5 say, 4 A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue. 5 Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished. KJV
The Contemporary English Version says, 4 Troublemakers listen to troublemakers, and liars listen to liars. 5 By insulting the poor, you insult your Creator. You will be punished if you make fun of someone in trouble.
I suppose there have been times when all of have come upon a person or a group of people who were criticizing other people. Maybe they were even suggesting that the fact might be worse than their criticism. As the conversation continued anger, mistrust, disgust and maybe even the determination to ostracize the person criticized was the result. How did you react? What was your response? Did you join the group picking up stones from the ground so that you would have something to throw at the person that someone said they heard someone thought that the person was guilty?
Let me tell you a story. A family lived on a farm outside of town. They had one little boy. One day the father was burning some brush and it started to get out of hand. He ran over and grabbed a pail of water and threw it on the fire. The boy watched as his dad continued to throw water on the fire until the fire died.
Sometime later Dad was out in the field working, and mom was in the house cooking. Their son was playing with his magnifying glass. He was looking at insects and grass. To his interest he noticed that the grass under his magnifying glass began to smoke. He was enthralled as he watched this marvelous thing that was taking place. And then it suddenly sprang into fire. It quickly caught strength as a gentle breeze began to blow. The dry grass immediately burst into flames.
The boy remembering what his dad had done to put out a fire earlier ran to the shed and grabbed a can by the lawnmower. When he got to the fire he dumped the liquid from the can on the fire and it burst even higher and spread more quickly. What he didn’t realize was that he had just thrown gasoline on the fire.
Fires of trouble, discontent, and criticism continually spring up here and there. We have a choice. Are we going to throw our can of – agreement, encouragement, anger, more degrading stories, and criticism on the fire?
Or are we going to throw our can of – consideration, prayer, love, trust in our fellow man on the fire?
By Dr. Gayle Woods