Ch. 25 of Proverbs gives advice for kings, but there are snippets of wisdom for us as well. It begins with the premise that while both God and king are to be honored, God comes first. There are also warnings against pride. We begin our verses for today with v. 8:
What your eyes have seen do not hastily bring into court; for what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame? Argue your case with your neighbor directly, and do not disclose another’s secret; or else someone who hears you will bring shame upon you, and your ill repute will have no end. (Prov. 25:8-10)
We've all been warned to think before we speak; our first verse for today reminds us to investigate before we draw conclusions and act on what we believe to be true. False accusations, when disproved, bring shame on the accuser; so, be slow to share your thoughts on others until you know what is true. The second admonition advises settling a dispute with a neighbor privately rather than running to court.
Meditation: We seem to live in a society today that increasingly criticizes others without regard for truth. We can find about any opinion on the internet, and sources are frequently not given and are hard to find and even harder to trust. Our media sources "spin" stories to suit their agendas. What should we believe? Solomon's words remind us to be cautious; to think and research before we jump in and take a position - particularly if we are criticizing or accusing someone else in the process.