Pro 17:5 Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.
The title today is a saying by one of our sage, colonial men-about-town, Benjamin Franklin. He was noting, as so many have, that a "double" or deceitful tongue can cause a world of trouble. Lies and innuendos and mockery and taunts . . . none of those are positives!
I thought we'd focus today on "mocking the poor" and on being "glad at calamities." Oh, my goodness, none of us are guilty of those, are we? Or are we?
We've discussed this once before: when we see a poor person, do we think, "well, he should get cleaned up and get some nicer clothes and get a job...then he wouldn't have to panhandle." Or, "the mission is just down the street - why doesn't she go there and get some help?" Or even, "well, I know she is a Christian, but we have a committee that handles that - she can get help there."
I think we can all agree that compassion is not complete until there is action --- one example would be the parable of the good Samaritan; another would be the work of Mother Teresa.
1 Jo 3:17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
If y'all will give me just a minute or two, I want to massage my toes kinda gently for just a bit . . .
"Glad at calamities" surely doesn't apply to us, right? . . . We don't laugh at people who lose their homes in disasters, or act smug, or anything like that. But how 'bout, "Well, I knew that would happen. That boy is always running around with the wrong crowd." Or, "She is just getting what she deserves, I just know it." Or even, "See, I TOLD her she shouldn't (insert sage advice here)."
Hmmm, I think I know a verse that would suggest an alternative attitude:
2Pe 1:5 . . . giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;I believe I have found some very wise advice that I am going to try to follow after I bandage up my toes:
2Pe 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (Emphasis is mine.)
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
I figure if I keep busy that way, I can't get in trouble with my tongue!