Scripture: Proverbs 19:19, ‘A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.’


Observations: One of the laws of physics is that every action has a reaction, and that’s true in life as well, every action has a consequence. This particular proverb is about a ‘hot-tempered’ person. In the Hebrew it is literally a ‘greatly venomous’ person. When we don’t control our anger there will be consequences, or ‘penalties’ for our words and actions. This verse implies that those consequences are good, they teach us that our anger, and our words and behaviours are unacceptable, that they hurt others, which in turn hurts ourselves. However, if we rescue, or save, someone from those consequences (or if someone does so for us), then we don’t learn those valuable lessons. The consequence of that is that hot-tempered people will continue to be hot-tempered, and we’ll have to keep rescuing them from their mistakes. If we don’t let them learn from their mistakes they will never learn. When we are afraid to let people face the consequences of their actions our relationship with them becomes unhealthy, we become co-dependant, which means they need us to rescue them and we need to keep rescuing them.


Application: Are you someone who rescues people from the consequences of their actions? It sounds so helpful, but in isn’t. When you don’t let them pay the penalty for their behaviour you aren’t allowing them to learn and grow. Often it is very difficult to watch people we love make destructive decisions in life, but when we don’t allow those decisions to play out they never learn just how destructive they are. Sometimes when those decisions are life threatening we may need to intervene, but often we intervene too quickly. God often allows us to face the consequences of our bad decisions so that we can learn from our mistakes, maybe we need to do the same for others.


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, there are consequences for sin, but often I want to avoid those consequences and even help others to avoid them, but Lord you put those things in place to teach me where a life of sin leads. Lord, help me to learn form my mistakes. Help those consequences lead me to repentance and a desire to do what pleases You. Lord, give me wisdom to know when to intervene in the life of others, and when to stand back. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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