Book: Proverbs 26
“Interfering in someone else’s argument is as foolish as yanking a dog’s ear.”
You may have a pet dog or know of a dog that is very good around children and would never hurt anyone even if their ear got grabbed. At the time this proverb was written, dogs were not domesticated and only a fool would try to grab one. If you visualize a person grabbing the ear of a wild dog their arm would be very close to its mouth. It would be almost impossible to protect oneself from being bitten. The dog would surely turn on them and let them know their involvement is not appreciated. The pain the dog felt from the tug on it’s ear is nothing compared to the pain the person will feel from the bite!
The Apostle Peter alludes to not being a busybody or getting into other people’s arguments when he wrote with regards to suffering resulting in blessing and suffering without blessing, “ If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! 1 Peter 4:14-16. Prying into other people’s affairs will result in them figuratively biting you without benefit to the Kingdom nor yourself.
Are we not to be peacemakers? Yes, we are, but the priority is that we are peacemakers in our own conflict that we come across in our lives. Matthew 5:9 says, “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God…” but then goes on to say a few verses later, “ So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” The priority here is on us making peace with those we are in conflict with.
There are times when we may be called upon to help bring peace to a situation. We need to enter that arena prayerfully and carefully. This proverb is not referring to such a case. Instead it is focused on a busybody who comes across a situation and gets involved in the argument, even taking a side, without knowing all the facts. I have witnessed a person do this and both of the other parties have turned on them.
Be careful that you don’t get drawn into arguments that you don’t need to be involved in.