October 17

Peace is Honorable

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense…It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.” (Proverbs 19:11; 20:3)

There are two different ways to honor someone or something. One is to show a person special recognition for an accomplishment. The other way is to fulfill a promise, as in honoring the terms of a contract or agreement. In light of the way glory and honor are used in the Proverbs verses above, I can’t help but think that we are honoring or glorifying God by doing what is expected of those who love him and belong to him. Abraham and Lot were journeying together, and the land was becoming overcrowded with their animals. Abraham honored God and himself when he kept the peace with his nephew by giving Lot his choice of property. (Genesis 13:2-9) He used his good sense, did not become angry, and trusted God to give him what he needed for the promised covenant.

In many cultures, citizens expect a disrespected man to defend his honor by fighting his accuser. However, Christianity calls for us to overlook indignities and insults, doing whatever is in our power to keep the peace with our neighbors. “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.” (Romans 12:17)

Our passage mentions three ways that we do not keep the peace: anger, which is strong opposition; strife, conflict and often a challenge for superiority; and quarrels—disputes or complaints. Which of these is the most difficult for you to manage, either outwardly or internally—in your mind or heart? “Men reflect the character of God when they show patience and overlook an offense. Such magnanimity is prudent (wisdom) but also morally elevating (one’s glory)” * Will you consider giving in, rather than fighting, for honorable peace? Consider Jesus who did so in order to secure our salvation.

* Zondervan Bible Commentary, F. F. Bruce General Editor, Proverbs 19:11, One-Volume Illustrated Digital Edition

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