“Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame. Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another: Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.” (KJV).
“Don’t be in a hurry to go to court. You might go down before your neighbors in shameful defeat. So discuss the matter with them privately. Don’t tell anyone else, or others may accuse you of gossip. Then you will never regain your good reputation.” (NLT).
I’ll Make You Famous!
The fall after I graduated from high school (in 1990), I went to Calgary for two weeks to spend some time with my biological dad. Because he and my mom were divorced before I was five years old, his involvement in my life was minimal, and I never really knew him well. However, during this trip, I spent two weeks living with my dad, getting to know him for the first time.
One of the things I remember about my visit with my dad was that we saw the western movie Young Guns II together. The movie tells the story of the infamous Billy the Kid, and the movie ends with this main character, played by Emelio Estevez, saying, “I’ll make you famous!” However, there’s a big difference between being famous and infamous.
Dealing with Offenses:
In the days of cowboys and cattle drives in the Wild West (so Hollywood would have us believe) all disagreements were quickly dispatched with a six-gun. But the Bible gives us better ways to deal with our hurts and offenses!
In today’s Scripture, Solomon tells us to be careful about running to court to sue someone who hurts or offends you. Instead, he says we should go and talk to that person first and try to work it out with them. Jesus taught the same thing in Matt. 18:15: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.”
It’s unfortunate that nowadays, when someone does something wrong to somebody, they turn around and gossip, slander them, lie about them, or blog about them. God’s Word has a lot of strong warnings against those who would gossip! “A gossip goes around revealing secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence” (Proverbs 11:13). In today’s Proverb, Solomon says that if we start gossiping, our “infamy” will not turn away.
Do you want to be Infamous?
That word infamy means extremely bad reputation, public reproach, or strong condemnation as the result of a shameful, criminal, or outrageous act. If you are a gossip who stirs up strife, be careful, because you may never again regain your good reputation. Gossip says, “I’ll make you famous!” Or is that… infamous?