“Hatred starts fights, but love pulls a quilt over the bickering.”
Proverbs 10: 12 The Message
The problem with hatred is that it rarely remains within a person. It spills out of them, and will arouse dissention among others. It can even result in some sort of fight. It may be a physical altercation. It may be a war of words. But hatred rarely, if ever, results in peace.
Love, on the other hand, is the most powerful force in the world. It can soothe ruffled feathers. Love has transformed bullies into brothers and sisters in Christ. Here, the author of proverbs reminds us that when we encounter low-level disputes, we have a choice. We can bicker back, which will probably sustain or escalate the conflict. Or, we can respond with love, which can overcome the other person’s felt need to argue.
Behind many snide comments is often a cry out for love. See me. Pay attention to me. Care about me. Meet that snide comment with love, and the other person’s need to quarrel may melt away.
I love the imagery Eugene Peterson chose in his Message translation: a quilt covering over the bickering! Quilts are soft. Many are very creatively done. During these colder days of autumn, a quilt feels welcoming, and full of warmth. My hope and prayer is that we all will find our quilts to snuggle under and protect us from any desire to join in any squabbling or negative fall out from our election tomorrow. May we find a sense of peace and love through the protection the Lord offers us.
When we encounter a hard-hearted person bickering complaints, let us meet their hardness with the soft quilt of love. Our Lord and Savior met the hatred of the world with love, and love won out in the end. He showed us the way. Let us follow our Lord in loving others…
Lord of love,
When the world offered You hatred, You responded with love. When I encounter hatred, or even just bickering, remind me to respond with love and care. Your love has shown me and everyone else the way. Help me to follow Your lead, allowing others hurtful words to fall by the wayside. I pray this prayer in the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. Amen.