Title: Stay Calm
Reading for July 12: Ecclesiastes 9-12
If the anger of the ruler rises against you,
do not leave your place,
for calmness will lay great offenses to rest.
I understand this proverb from the perspective of a parent. When a child has caused the blood pressure of his father or mother to rise, and thus receives a strong (and perhaps unjustly harsh) tongue lashing, things can be quickly be brought into a more calm state if the child is calm themselves. If the child demonstrates humility and meekness through their quiet demeanor, that by itself will communicate a sense of sincere sorrow to the parent. The silence of the child can even be rewarded later with an apology from the parent once the blood pressure has dropped and reason returns.
On the other hand, if the child matches the intensity of his parent's anger and tone, it normally only adds fuel to the fire. Things can escalate out of control, and the child figures out it would have been better to just keep his or her mouth shut.
Is there lesson for the rest of us? What about on the job? Are there situations where we simply need to be quiet and accept a tongue lashing from our boss? Of course. Sometimes we do deserve a good firm reprimand from our superior, but even when we are being unfairly punished for something we didn't do (or if the punishment does not fit the crime) we are still not doing ourselves any favors by fighting back. Things will typically go from bad to worse when we do.
Stay in your place. Stay quiet and trust in God. Embrace this as an opportunity. By accepting abuse like this, you are learning the mind of Christ:
"For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly." 1 Peter 2:21-23
Father, clothe us with the meekness of Christ!