"He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbor: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace" (Proverbs 11:12, KJV).
Once the neighbor's chickens almost sowed trouble for us.
It happened this way: One day our landlord said, "Why don't you plant a garden?" As we wanted a garden, we prepared a plot for our garden.
Lacking a rototiller, my husband used a shovel to spade up the ground for a garden. He shoveled up a large plot as we desired many kinds of plants in our garden. We sowed watermelons, carrots, green peppers, radishes, lettuce, and many other seeds.
Rabbits ate the lettuce and spinach. We boxed in our green peppers and saved them. The root vegetables and watermelons sprouted lovely leaves.
Because we hankered for cucumbers, we planted cucumbers.
These cucumbers grew into nice juicy cucumbers. How good they tasted!
Alas! The neighbors' chickens noticed how succulent those cucumbers were. Now our trouble started.
We were tempted to tell our neighbors, "What a nice chicken pie we'll have if you don't keep those chickens out of these cucumbers." Oh how appealing this idea!
We also thought about not speaking to them. This will surely give them the hint, we contemplated. Bitterness threatened to crop up in our hearts. However, the reminder came to us that getting even or bitter is the way of fools—a sin. In Proverbs 14:21 God says, “He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth” (KJV). We decided not to sin against our neighbor in this way. This way cuts off our fellowship with our Lord.
A plan took shape in our minds to preserve our cucumbers and peace with the neighbors. We sprinkled the cucumbers with chili powder in an effort to make them unpatable to chickens. What a delicious flavor! these chickens apparently thought. The chili-spiced cucumbers disappeared faster than the others.
Failing to come up with another plan, we gave up this battle and our cucumbers. The chickens ate them up.
We could have gripped and complained, but this builds walls between people and their neighbors.The Bible says, “He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace” (Prov. 11:12). We decided to hold our peace. Because of our silence Carolyn never knew the plight of our cucumbers.
A secret grudge in our hearts charged too high a price to be worth it. We wanted to continue enjoying our walk with God. I still count Carolyn a friend.
Oh Lord, help me be a good neighbor when chickens gobble my cucumbers. Help me hold my peace and not despise my neighbor in my heart. In Jesus' name. Amen.
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