Scripture: Proverbs 29:19
19 A servant cannot be corrected by mere words;
though he understands, he will not respond.
As it got closer to write today’s devotional, I wondered what I would say. Not because the Word doesn’t have something for me to say, but because my heart is not right. Since last week, there has been a discontent in my heart that I am harboring and in some ways it gets better and in some ways it has gotten worse. The daily devotional series that my former professor writes has been focusing on forgiveness and I have struggled with reading it everyday this week. I can’t wait to read tomorrows because the topic is what I am struggling with…forgiving someone who doesn’t even think they need forgiveness. But that is tomorrow and right now I am living in today. The verse that keeps replaying in my mind is Proverbs 29: 19, “a servant cannot be corrected by mere words; though he understands, he will not respond.” That gave me pause because that simple sentence, said so much. The wisdom of the Word of God
I can not change people. I can not make someone give freely of themselves, just because I do it with them. They may understand, but that doesn’t mean they will respond. Just because I tell someone what friendship and family means to me, doesn’t mean they will automatically cherish what I cherish. Although I don’t think there is anything wrong with me expecting that, there is something wrong if both parties don’t view the bond that built those expectations the same way. So, I learned, mere words will not make someone respond.
You can not change people. How many of us have watched a friend or family member walk a path that leads to destruction? A path that is obvious to everybody and sometimes, even them. We can plead, we can yell, we can cry, we can say all sort of things, but WE can not change that person. They don’t respond. And it hurts us, because it is not just about them. We have vested something in them as well. There is a saying that “no man is an island” and if that is true everything someone does or does not will have ripple effects. I think we have all lived enough of life to know the truth of that statement.
But, the Word of GOD said mere words can not correct anyone. If God said that, it made me think, what can? God has said in Proverbs 18:21 that life and death are in the power of the tongue. Since God never contradicts Himself, I had to wonder and I need to know; what does it take for someone to respond? And then it hit me. It takes me letting go. Letting go, so that God can step in and do what He deems necessary. I can’t stop it, I can’t delay it, and I can’t make the outcome be what I want it to be. Only God can do what He will do. Although this devotional is personal to me, I am not the only one who needs to let something go. It can be a job, a relationship, a friendship, a lifestyle, or an ideal…something. Letting go is so hard because it leaves us alone. That person, that thing, filled a space that God wants to fill. And that person, who is in need of correction, they won’t get it if you are always there to point it out, to pick them up, or to give them mere words… It takes something higher than you. It takes God.