For the month of May, we’ll take a brief look at 31 wise sayings from Proverbs 11, that’s one proverb a day…
Whoever shows contempt for his neighbor lacks sense, but a person with understanding keeps silent.Proverbs 11:12, Christian Standard Bible
The Bible tells us to love our neighbor, but what do you do if your neighbor isn’t very lovable? The second half of this proverb hints that’s what Solomon had in mind when he spoke about those who “show contempt.”
We’re not going to like every person we meet. Sometimes other people are so brash, rude, arrogant, or spiteful that they’re far from likable. Yet, we can still be loving in the way that we talk about them.
Just because a person isn’t likable doesn’t mean that we should trash them or speak ill of them to others. Many of us heard as children, “If you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.” Sometimes silence is the key.
Furthermore, even if a person makes it hard for us to love them, we can still pray for them, we can help them when they have a crisis or need, and we can show kindness in our interactions. In these ways we can truly be a loving neighbor.