tvProverbs 25:17 – “Withdraw [be precious or prized; hard, difficult; withhold] thy foot [leg; step; time] from thy neighbour’s [companion; friend] house [household; family; dwelling]; lest he be weary [have enough] of thee, and so hate [as an enemy; set against] thee.

The proliferation of television in the 1950’s and central air conditioning in the 1960’s dramatically changed the American sense of community.  Children of the 50’s and early 60’s played outside until dusk while their parents escaped the summer heat visiting with their neighbors on front porches.  Back then, neighbors knew and watched after one another!front porch

Times have changed and not for the better!  Our homes have become mini-fortresses with garage doors that open and close without homeowners ever emerging from their horseless chariots.  The result–we have lost the sense of neighborliness and infrequent visits are often unwanted intrusions into our privacy.

Given the change in our culture, Proverbs 25:17 serves as a good reminder for those who like to visit with a neighbor or friend: A person with discretion will be mindful to not “over stay their welcome”! It is better to leave too early than it is to stay too late!

Proverbs 25:18-19 is a difficult life lesson to learn, but one we will all sooner or later suffer.

Proverbs 25:18-19 – “A man that beareth [answer; speak; testify] false [lying; deceptive] witness [testimony] against his neighbor [companion; friend] is a maul [breaker; disperser; a heavy hammer], and a sword [knife; dagger], and a sharp [pointed; piercing] arrow [shaft; spear]. 19 Confidence [security; assurance; trust; confiding] in an unfaithful man [deceitful; treacherous] in time [day; moment] of trouble [affliction; distress; adversity] is like a broken tooth, and a foot [feet; leg] out of joint [dislocated; untrustworthy].”

betrayalDisloyalty, lies, and an overall lack of integrity define our generation.  There was a time when a verbal agreement and a handshake sealed an agreement between two parties whose characters were as binding as a well-written “lawyered-up” contract.  Sadly, those days are gone forever!

Anyone in leadership committed to being a man or woman of character will suffer the fateful reality of Proverbs 25:18-19—the betrayal of a friend (25:18) and broken confidences (25:19).

I have suffered my share of Judas’ who pierce my heart, break my trust and soil my testimony with their lies.  I have seen their treachery shatter lives, destroy friendships and divide families as surely as a hammer shatters, a sword cuts and an arrow pierces (25:18b).  Their acts of disloyalty break trust and cause sorrows that cripple families, friendships and institutions (25:19a).

My friend, you and I have to leave vengeance with the Lord Who is just and omniscient!

Romans 12:19 – Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”