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Pardon me but your log is showing. Have you ever noticed that the person who is the most critical of everything and everyone is often angry? There is an old saying that goes “unhappy people make people unhappy” and there is truth in that old adage. The psalmist writes “search me and know me.” Those are wise words for they invite divine and personal introspection. When we see ourselves as God sees us it is hard to be arrogant and critical because we realize the depth of our own depravity. The arrogant have no filters. They scream out all the faults of others with complete disregard for their own faults. The humble speak truth in love realizing that only Christ can change the hearts of those who attack us. Arrogance attacks; humility builds up through love.

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One of the hardest things for any of us to do is to be people of honor in an argument. This is especially true when we know the truth or are being personally attacked or wrongfully accused. It is during these times that honor is difficult if not impossible to hold on to. For the believer in Jesus Christ it is imperative that we remain people of honor; that we are salt and light not purveyors of darkness adding fuel to the fire. To the unbelieving pagan Jesus simply spoke the truth and by his actions showed love and acceptance. To the arrogant religious people, who were bent on attack, he lashed out at their shallow actions but in the end said “Father forgive them”. It’s no wonder that James writes, “Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.” (James‬ ‭3:2‬) Knowing when to hold our tongue is a sign of spiritual maturity and honor. It is a process accomplished over time and with reliance on the Holy Spirit.


It’s easier to blame others than to accept responsibility for our actions; to dwell on the mistakes made in the past than to build towards the future. Some look on the social, political and physical problems of today and blame God or others. Yet the evil of today isn’t because of divine action but due to the natural consequences of greed, lust, hatred and anger. Fire can’t be fought with fire. More darkness won’t defeat darkness. The smallest amount of light will penetrate the deepest darkness


Some never experience the joy of forgiveness because they never admit their sin. Some never experience the joy of forgiveness because they refuse to forgive those who have wronged them. Some never experience the joy of forgiveness because they mistake confession and repentance. The joy of forgiveness comes when we learn to see ourselves solely as God sees us without comparing ourselves to others or blaming our plight on other people or circumstances. I am a hopeless sinner saved by the blood of Jesus and empowered through his resurrection by the Holy Spirit. This is my joy!


Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool. Ecclesiastes 7:9

When I was in high school many years ago, I remember a game our school played against one of our rivals. We knew each other well. Perhaps too well as a matter of fact. The opposing team had a player who was one of the best, if not the best, player in our area. He had one flaw though and that flaw evened the playing field considerably.

Even though he had the skills to beat any of us, he also had a temper. The coaches never told us to take advantage of that of course, but we all knew that an occasional push under the basket or a derogatory comment made under our breath would rile him up. If we could get him angry he would likely foul out or his anger would force him to make mistakes.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

Those words reflect nicely the wisdom of Proverbs 7:9. Once we allow others to influence our attitudes it can affect how we function in our workplace, families or any other relationships.  Once that happens, it’s often ‘Game Over’.

The Bible is full of constant reminders and examples of people and situations that can attack our attitude. Once that happens we have a decision to make. Are we going to respond to the situation or react to the situation. Responding has the idea of taking the time to plan and wise and timely action. Reacting is more about quick (and often inappropriate) action.

Responding may require you to take time to think about next steps. The silence when you are pondering next steps may cause others to think you are a fool for not acting quickly. But it’s better to take your time and think things through than to prove to others that you are a fool by acting too quickly!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I have to confess to you that there are times I’ve hurt others, my reputation and most importantly, you, but rash actions. Forgive me for not taking the time to think wisely. Help me, by your Spirit, to show patience, mercy and grace in situations where wisdom is needed. Amen.

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