By Pastor Murray
“He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own Is like one who takes a dog by the ears.” (Proverbs 26:17, NKJV)
It is easy to get involved in other people’s arguments.
At the time I first left my Palmerston North home in 1968 to come to Christchurch for study, there was a dispute within my extended family in Christchurch, involving marriage difficulties. I had not seen any of the parties for several years and my father had his views on the rights and wrongs of the situations. However, before I left for Christchurch, he wisely told me to not let disputes among other people become my dispute. I was free to form and build any relationships I chose within the family.
We often hear it said: Don’t let other people’s disputes become your disputes. In other words: Don’t take sides in the arguments of others.
In the verse for today, Solomon is telling us the same thing. He tells us not to meddle (become excited, angry) in the quarrel of others.
He likens this to one who takes a dog by the ears. It may be difficult to let go the ears without being bitten and, at the very least, the dog does not appreciate such attention. The individual runs the risk of being seriously injured.
“There is a world of difference between suffering as a Christian and suffering as a busybody. Even with Christian intentions, many of us are too fond of meddling in other peoples’ affairs.” (Bridges)
This is particularly wise counsel when the quarrel is between husband and wife. To get involved in such a situation requires the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It may be possible to assist, but it would be most unwise to take sides or, as Solomon says here, to meddle.
A man came to Jesus and asked Him to take sides in a dispute that he had with his brother. Jesus refused to take the dispute on His own shoulders:
“But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?”” (Luke 12:14, NKJV)
May God’s richest blessings be with you, with those in your bubble and with those you would like to have in your bubble