READ: Proverbs 26

THINK: In the spring of 1894, the Baltimore Orioles came to Boston to play the Red Sox in what was expected to be a routine baseball game. But what happened was anything but routine. The Orioles’ John McGraw got into a fight with Boston’s third baseman. Within minutes all the players from both teams had joined in the brawl.
Soon the conflict spread to the grandstands and quickly went from bad to worse. Someone set fire to the stands and the entire ballpark burned to the ground. The fire then spread to 107 other Boston buildings.

Proverbs 26:21 reminds us that “as charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife.” How difficult it is to take back angry words! A raised gun, a clenched fist, and an angry voice all have one thing in common—they are easier to lift up than to put down. Because God loves us and knows the awful danger of strife, He pleads with us not to play with it. We may think that a little conflict makes life (including sports) more interesting, but the Lord wants us to think of its devastating consequences.

The best time to stop a fight is before it starts!
By: Mart De Haan in Our Daily Bread

ASK: When have I spoken or acted in anger? What are the advantages of holding my tongue, stopping my hand, or giving a “soft answer”?

PRAY: Ask God to help you never forget the terrible destructive power of strife. When a desire to lash out at someone wells up within you, ask God to help you stop it before it starts a fire.

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