July 17, Daily Devotion

The scripture reading for today is Ecclesiastes 9:17.

“The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.”

This verse balances the praise of wisdom’s power and effectiveness by observing that, just as one wise man can successfully overcome the worst odds, so also one sinner destroys much good. We can easily recall in everyday life how often we observe wisdom’s ability to snatch a remarkable victory from the jaws of defeat. Even when such wisdom is forgotten by others, it is still to be prized over earthly might.

In today’s world, we frequently hear of the damage that can be done by one sinner.

How often have you heard the word bully used to describe the behavior of a mean-spirited person? Our children suffer from such tactics on the playgrounds of our schools, but it doesn’t stop there. Law enforcement use the word bully to help people understand the thinking of abusive neighbors who torment innocent residents, coworkers carrying a grudge, and yes, even those aggressive drivers that intimidate motorists by driving dangerously and jeopardizing the safety of others. Bullies really do destroy much that is good.

To balance the scale, we must also look at the power of the words of the wise heard in quiet. This immediately brings to mind a favorite Psalm, “Be still and know that I am God.” In this noisy world, how sweet it is just to stop, let our minds relax, and breathe in His love and wisdom. You may have to be patient, but He will answer your prayer. Many tearful souls have whispered these profound words: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Amen.

Maureen D. Baldwin maureenwrites@aol.com

Prayer Concern: Those who are suffering from the destruction of “one sinner.”

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