"Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; Yes, strife and reproach will cease." Proverbs 22:10
Living with relatives in an overcrowded situation can make it VERY easy to spot the scoffers. You know the ones I am talking about - every word or situation has a negative slant, nothing good ever happens and their normal tone is screaming defensively or pointing blame. We have one of those in the house with us.
I sighed heavily when I read the Proverbs that morning. The situation we live in right now makes it difficult to "cast out the scoffer." I had one more reason in my growing list of why we needed to get the work done on our house so that we could move back in.
The more I sat there and pouted over the dilemma, the more my spirit stirred. Was the scoffer really someone? Did I need to hunt down the scoffers in my life and toss them overboard so that peace could be the captain of the ship? All I have to do is find the scoffer and contention will leave - strife and reproach will hit the road. Even in the current situation, I can have that peace.
Another sigh made me aware of the reality of the Proverb. The words spoken through the entire book are directed to me. It made no sense that this Proverb would be directed at another. I did not want to admit it - because, after all, I am the optimist in the family - but it looked like the scoffer was me in this situation.
Contenting, strife and reproach had all tap danced freely around my life the day before. I woke up that morning determined to hold tight to peace and joy and allow those traits to overflow to all that I encountered. The practical Proverb reminded me that the steps to that path started with a heart that "casts out the scoffer."
Are you hunting down the scoffer, or are you learning that the path to a life free from contention starts with a heart determined to find the good, positive and uplifting and dwell there at all times?