There are certain formulas that stand the test of time in any context, every relationship, and for all times. Given this fact it probably shouldn’t surprise anyone that these are the hardest formulas to actually integrate into one’s life as a guide. I find myself rebelling again the very things that my head knows to be true. I catch myself in the mirror and watch in horror as I try to redefine axioms that have proven themselves true again and again and yet again. Wisdom points out one of the more obvious.
“If you’re dumb enough to call attention to yourself by offending people and making rude gestures, don’t be surprised if someone bloodies your nose. Churned milk turns into butter; riled emotions turn into fist fights.” (Proverbs 30.32, 33)
Strange, I read this fresh and I wonder; I break this saying all the time and my nose hasn’t been broken in several years. Physically this may be true but when I look at the metaphor I find my body bruised, battered and weak because of the abuse that I have invited my way by my words and actions!
Have you ever realized how far this extends? Look at any conflict; emotional, relationship, work, wars between ethnic groups, or global wars and you can find an element of making rude jesters nestled in the offending acts. They may not be the drivers to the conflict however these “small” acts of disrespect help either side from breaking the cycle of violence and hatred.
When I see how my words and acts play out the linkage is clear. The opposite is equally true. When you are smart enough to call attention to the potential in others by giving acts of kindness, compassion, and mercy to them freely, don’t be surprised if someone gives you a hug, at least metaphorically! Acts of kindness and mercy may take time to sink in but they will in any situation and relationship. They work miracles!
A + B equals C; now comes the opportunity to understand and follow.