Peace, Patience, Tolerance

Proverbs 19:11

A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression.

I am studying “glory” which is how I found this verse. I wrote it down and came back to it today. Apparently, it is to our glory to overlook offense. That’s not something I have heard often. You will be very blessed by reading this verse in several other translations but let me share one more with you. This is the God’s Word version, “A person with good sense is patient, and it is to his credit that he overlooks an offense.” Did Solomon, the author of the proverbs, just accuse me of not having good sense? I believe he did! I wish I could argue with him, but I must admit that I sometimes lack patience.

This version reminded me of an expression I used to hear people use to describe someone they find lacking in some way. They would say, “He hasn’t got any sense,” or the country version, for those of you speak it, “He ain’t got good sense.” Often this described a person with no common sense. It could be used to describe someone with intelligence but who lacks common life skills. At first, thinking of that old country expression made me giggle but you know what, this proverb, and that old saying, describe me and a couple of million other folks.

If there is any generality you can confidently express about modern society it is that we are easily offended, easily angered. Slow to anger? What a joke! Accidentally cut in on someone on the road or worst still, let someone cut you off. I can’t say I am slow to anger. Just this morning I was getting aggravated trying to blow dry my hair. The blow dryer cord was getting tangled up and snagged on the bottom of the cabinet and I dropped one of my hairbrushes and couldn’t get the other one out of the drawer. How can such a simple thing cause me to begin to lose my peace? Societal norms have shifted so that it is okay to act like an idiot if someone intentional or even unintentionally offended you. Watch a reality show and tell me if this is a society that honors gentility and patience.

Around the world there is increasing pressure to restrict gun purchases because people are so angry and don’t have sufficient coping skills to deal with their frustrations. As an aside, that is another reason to exercise. It helps to alleviate stress. A good game of racquetball can certainly help.

Of course, if you read yesterday’s Word of the Day, you know the best treatment for anger issues, Psalm 85: 8, listen to what the Lord will say to you for He will speak peace to your heart. Isn’t that right? We need better coping skills and we are not going to get them from the world. It is not okay to lash out in anger. It is not acceptable to cuss and fuss and create a disturbance. And it is certainly not the sign of mature Christianity. I know for myself, when I show lack of patience and tolerance it is a clear sign that I have not been spending enough time with my Father. He gives me peace when I hang out with Him and I am sure He has the same effect on you.