Proverbs 22: 10 – 11 (NLT)
“Throw out the mocker, and fighting goes, too.
Quarrels and insults will disappear.
11 Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech
will have the king as a friend.”
In this pandemic time, there is so much said about how dangerous the virus is, where it has spread and how many people are infected, how to stay safe, etc. There are various theories on social media such as it’s a ploy by governments to control us, to know exactly where we are, and what we’re doing. Governments want us to stop using cash, so they can control us through our banking cards. It was a bioweapon developed in China to harm the West and put China in control. Bill Gates advocated the spread of Covid 19 to develop a vaccine with a microchip to track people. And there are theories about medication that cures Covid such as hydroxychloroquine.
Personally, I prefer the statements made by science and health professionals around the world. It is a virus that can kill vulnerable people, and can also leave survivors with difficult health issues. We should distance ourselves as much as possible, wear masks in public to help prevent the spread, and wash our hands frequently.
When I read the advice from Solomon today, I see my role as someone who will avoid arguments and concentrate on being gracious. There are differences of opinion on how we should conduct our lives right now. Some think officials are being overly cautious. Some think they are not cautious enough. As school begins this fall, some parents will send their children back to school; others will decide to keep them at home with online classes, or homeschooling plans.
Our job as Christ followers is to love everyone no matter what their opinion is. God loves every single one of us whether we are like Nicodemus who followed the letter of the law as much as possible, or whether we are like the Samaritan woman who had separated from 5 husbands and was working on #6, or whether we are like several of the disciples – just ordinary folks doing the best we can.
Just to reinforce Solomon’s advice on being gracious, here are some verses from other places in the Bible that encourage us to be kind. God has been so kind to us, how can we not be gracious to others.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
The Lord is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness.
“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another.
2 Corinthians 6:6
We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Our song for today is The Goodness of God by Bethel Music