There are 3 areas that we can see and learn in today’s chapter.
1) What it takes to be a wise leader,
2) How do we relate to our neighbors, or people around us, and
3) How should we treat our enemies?
Let me share briefly.
Bible Passage: Proverbs 25
What it takes to be a wise leader
A wise leader is alert and clear about what is going on around him.
God has the sovereignty and the right to reveal or to conceal matters from man (ref. Deuteronomy 29:29), but as a wise leader, he has the duty to search and investigate matters that he encounters.
A wise leader knows how to discern between the good and the bad; and most importantly he must know how to get rid of evil associates and does what is right.
Verses 6 – 7, is not directly talking about a leader, but it is a good reminder for leaders to exercise humility, which will lead to honor, but self-promotion leads to shame. For this, our Lord has also spoken a parable to remind us of the importance to be humble. (see Luke 14: 7 – 11)
How do we relate to our neighbors?
Wherever there are people, there are bound to be frictions. And when heated frictions arise between our neighbor and us, it would not be wise to be so quick to drag each other to court, but to try to settle the disputes out of court because when this disputes reaches the ears of more people, more often than not, our reputation as a Christian would be ruined.
So we have to always bear in mind the admonishment from our Lord,
Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves,
and have peace with one another.
We have to watch our tongue (v. 11-12), always speak appropriately, so that we can be of comfort to others who may be in distress (v.13). Empty boasts are never pleasing to anyone but detestable in the sight of all (v.14).
It is good to visit our neighbors once in awhile, or whenever necessary with the sincere intention to know them better, but if we go into their houses too often, we would become a nuisance or a pest to them (v.17), we need to know our limits with regards to this.
How should we treat our enemies?
Actually, as Christians, we must not have any enemy. But we are still in our flesh and we are not perfect, so inevitably we may dislike certain people due to the way they treat others, or the way they carry themselves.
But this is not an excuse for us to make enemies or to dislike others, for we are all fellow humans and tend to make mistakes. Therefore the Bible admonishes us,
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Living peaceably with all men takes understanding and constant spiritual nurturing on our part. But this is necessary, because we are Christians who have the responsibility to proclaim the Gospel of Salvation to all men.
Again in today’s chapter of Proverbs, we are being reminded to exercise the wisdom that we can learn from our God in our dealings with the people around us.
May God bless us to be able to humble ourselves, be the salt of the world, and be at peace with all men.