Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Proverbs 25:15-28 (ESV)
15 With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone. 16 If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it. 17 Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house, lest he have his fill of you and hate you. 18 A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow. 19 Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips. 20 Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda. 21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, 22 for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you. 23 The north wind brings forth rain, and a backbiting tongue, angry looks. 24 It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife. 25 Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. 26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked. 27 It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory. 28 A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
This section has several verses on how we should treat others. We shouldn’t overstay our welcome so that our hosts get sick of us (17). We should not lie about our neighbors because we could seriously hurt their reputation or their spirit (18). Verse 21-22 echoes Jesus in Matthew 5:44 and Paul in Romans 12:20 where we are commanded to love our neighbors. Just as Jesus loved us who hated God and rebelled against him, we also should love those who hate us. Instead, we should give our neighbors and those who hurt us “good news” that fills their thirsty souls (25). Who in your life needs to be loved and refreshed with forgiveness, undeserved grace and love? How can you give that to them?