Calm in the Storm, and a Baseball, and Proverbs 29

Posted by jon on April 29, 2009 in but seriously... |

For the past week I’ve been Tweeting on a chapter of Proverbs everyday as the students at LDBC and I read a chapter a day. Today I had a little more than a Tweets worth to say so stick with me. In Proverbs 29 the author draws sharp lines between the wise and the fool, the righteous and the wicked. I want to highlight one area in particular.

Fools give full vent to their anger, but the wise bring calm in the end. Prov 29.11 (TNIV)

It has brought to my attention again earlier this week, but Christians are caught in a precarious balancing act between how we are to act and how we are expected to act. We live in an aggressive “stick-up-for-yourself” culture, but where do we turn the other cheek? The example I heard this week was of a father and son at a Braves game. They went early for batting practice and the son was hoping to get a ball frfoul-ball2om one of the players. His waiting was reward with a ball tossed to him by one of the pitchers near the bullpen.  Sadly the ten year old wasn’t able to enjoy his prize as a twenty-something young man grabbed the ball out of his glove and took off. Witnessing this act the father did what most of you are thinking right now, he ran down the steps and got right in the face of the young man that stole from his son.

Now the story has a happy ending, the pitcher saw what had happened and got the kid another ball and the situation was defused, but what was the father to do. I challenge any parent to say they would allow the child to be abused by some stranger and I know most of would want to pound the moron who could be so despicable. But, this is where we enter a disharmony with our world. There is nothing Christ-like in pounding the loser.

Verse 11 gives us our tightrope. The foolish action would be to act in anger, to go down and scream or even beat to mess out of the offending party. Instead, we are urged to be wise. It is entirely appropriate to confront the man that stole from your son, and to attempt to get the ball back in a peaceful manner. The wise bring clam to the storm. And in the end you either get the ball or you don’t, but either way you haven’t lost yourself to anger or to this world.

Proverbs 29 ends by saying, “The righteous detest the dishonest; the wicked detest the upright.” That is where we live, a world that is fundamentally different than us. But we are called to be light in that world and to be different. It is that light that shows the world that God is everywhere.

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