Thursday, September 6, 2012

Proverbs 25: 23 -24 Sly and quarrelsome - twin problems

23 Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain
    is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.
24 Better to live on a corner of the roof
    than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. 

Solomon addresses two issues here, but they are related. They are both problems of the tongue. 

In verse 23, a sly tongue is compared to a cold wind that is bringing an unexpected storm --- and indeed, a conniving tongue can definitely result in some stormy weather for the person who is being spoken or gossiped about. We must remove gossip, backbiting, and sly words from our vocabularies; they can destroy families, friendships and even congregations! 

In verse 24, we are reminded of Solomon's words in the 21st chapter of Proverbs, which tells us essentially the same thing. I was able to find a drawing that represents a home of Biblical times, showing the ingenious use of the rooftops for more space, and more ventilation. Solomon is telling us that it would be better to live in one tiny corner of one of those rooftops, than to share a house with a quarrelsome spouse.
The thesaurus notes a great many synonyms for "quarrelsome" --- argumentative, cross, peevish, bad-tempered, thin-skinned, petulant . . . hmmm, thin-skinned, eh? How many times have I jumped at someone's comment, to find that they didn't mean it in a negative way?  Petulant? How many times have I agreed with my spouse, but made certain that my tone showed my disappointment? You mean, I've been a quarrelsome wife? Ouch!

1 Peter 3:9-11
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 19:14
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Let's be determined to guard our tongues!


Belinda said...

Well, I hate to admit it, but I definitely need Ps 19:14 tattooed on my forehead. Better yet, my hand so I can see it easier and more often.

The tongue is so hard to tame...

CATachresis said...

Yes, the tongue is an unruly member! The thin-skinned bit resonates with me as only yesterday I was jumping up and down in anger at something someone said! I then very quickly apologised for being so idiotic. I hope I’ve learnt! Thanks for this!