Yesterday, I could barely keep my eyes open to write that post, so I did not share the true value of the wisdom lesson number one gives. It was a busy weekend, and busy in the right way. Making a trip to celebrate a beautiful soul, sandwiched between a busy work weekend. I was even able to spend Saturday evening with my entire immediate family where my sister threw an impromptu party for my niece’s fourth birthday. But enough about me, these devotions are about Jesus and living.
So yesterday I shared the first lesson I learned over the weekend: If you want friends, you have to be friendly. Sounds like common sense right? Well, the point of this is to be friendly ALL THE TIME! Not just when you are around your chosen friends. This is the way to build a kingdom of friends. This is what Jesus taught. This is just great advice that our culture of being hostile and petty needs to reassess.
Today’s nugget of wisdom ties into our devotion.
The beautiful life we were celebrating on Saturday was the mother of one of my best friends growing up. He had a sister that was a year younger than him, and as most siblings, when they are close in age, they tended to fight every so often. Their mother’s remedy for any time they fought: they were made to slow dance together to end their differences. Despite me being good friends with the son for years, I had never witnessed this in action, but I looked at my wife when we heard that and we both had the same look in our eyes. We were going to steal that lesson and use it on our kids.
My daughter and son are much further apart in age (5-years) so keeping them close, like friends, may be a challenge through our life. But now they seem to love each other’s company, but at times they do fight like cats and dogs. So I put the slow dance to test yesterday, and while the dance itself needs some work (my daughter hijacked the dance and broke her and her brother into some random dance routine), the process immediately showed the miracle of the result: my kids stopped fighting and were laughing and dancing together.
You do not have to use this on just your kids. This is a great remedy for any conflict in the home, definitely between spouses. Any time an argument breaks out, calm the tension with a slow dance. I’m keeping a running list of our Words of Wisdom:
- If you want friends, you have to be friendly.
- End a fight with a slow dance (great practice for two squabbling siblings).
17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink,
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his heads.”
21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21)
This was the reminder America needed when riots broke out across the country in response to the monstrous murder of George Floyd. As Paul so wisely instructs: “do not repay anyone evil for evil.” And “do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” While many did overcome the evil of this one abusive police officer during the peaceful protests, many still fed the evil from the murder of Mr. Floyd by committing even more evil by rioting, looting, attacking police officers, attacking innocent people. It’s right here people, in black and white. For some reason our country can only see two colors, black or white, and we have completely missed the most important color for the last two-hundred and forty-four years, and that is the color red: the words of Jesus. The verses above were not spoken from Jesus, but they were written by the man chosen directly by Jesus to be the one to birth Jesus’ church.
Stop seeing each other, labeling each other, and calling each other by the color of our skin. Let’s look back through those first Gospels and focus on the color red, the words of Christ, the words that really matter. That’s where Paul drew his truth from, and he lays it out clearly here. Overcome evil with good. Stop letting the devil win. Let love win. Let Jesus in. Let Jesus be the King of your life.
Reading plan: 1 Corinthians 1, 2
Deeper reading plan: Psalms 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133
Prayer and meditation: Pray for our country. Pray for love to conquer all. Pray that Christ infects our hearts and ignites a final fire of revival to sweep this land.
Fitness challenge: Sprint work. The dreaded 400 meter. If you can access a track, it’s the perfect place to work on this sprint ladder. The 400 is the longest “sprint.” The goal is to try to run the entire lap as fast as you can. But it’s so long, you will have to pace yourself. Break it up into four 100 meters, building up speed so your last 100 is the fastest. Here’s the workout:
½ mile warm-up
200, 400, 400, 400, 400, 200
½ mile cool-down