We were blessed last night to receive a call from one of David's sons. That in itself isn't surprising or uncommon. But the love and support that he poured out was such an incredible example of how the spirit of God works in a man to bless the lives of others. He is a young man full of wisdom and with a heart that is always turned to God. He advised us to just end the conversation with the family member(s) who had attacked us- which, thankfully, we had already done. It just showed to us the wisdom he has and the example he is of really living the word of God, not just preaching it. I was thankful for his advice and for the gentle reminder that in all things we need to represent Christ, especially to those who may not be feeling His spirit otherwise right now.
As I was reading in Proverbs this morning the spirit verified his words of advice to me. In our recent experience of being attacked by a family member I lost sight of the need to hold my tongue. I tried very hard not to strike back and attempted to be patient while defending myself and my family. Now I see that it would have been far more productive to have just let it go far sooner. "The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with." (Proverbs 17:14). Once words are said, they can't be taken back. And even if those words had no ill intent, if someone else perceives it that way, then they are still a cause of strife. "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed as a man of understanding." (Proverbs 17:28) Far better to hold my tongue than to open my mouth and chance being seen as someone who doesn't understand God's word.
Next time I'm tempted to argue, defend myself against someone adversarial, or lash out in anger, I hope that I can remember this son's example and turn instead to the word of God for guidance and the strength to restrain myself. This was grace in action and another lesson learned.