November 12

Proverbs 12:16 16A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.

17:9-10 9He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. 10A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool.

Julio Ruibal was one of the instrumental men in the revival of Cali, Columbia. He was a man of prayer and fasting. After coming to Cali to minister, he joined the association of pastors and met with them regularly. At one meeting someone said something that offended him. He decided to quit going. After separating himself for some time, the Lord spoke to his heart and told him to refuse to be offended. He returned to the group with his apologies, a humbler man.

When we let the words that others speak to us repeat in our minds again and again we build up a hatred for that person. Bitterness poisons our heart. It affects our efforts to serve God and even to be at peace with others. The more we allow those words to hurt us, the more we seem to play them over in our minds. But what right do we have to be offended? If Jesus was not offended by those who crucified Him, who are we to hang onto offenses?

We actually put ourselves in a place of torment. The one who offended us is probably not losing any sleep over the matter. In many cases he or she did not even know that those words cut so deeply. Who, then, is fanning the flames of those words into a fire that is consuming you?

The proverbs for today show us that we are prudent to overlook insults. To cover over an offense promotes love. Didn't our Lord command us to love one another? A rebuke gives us a chance to make sure that we are in sync with the Holy Spirit.

Consider: The rebuke of a friend is often a sincere expression of love, whereas flattery may be meant to destroy us.