“Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.”
My dad and I have some similar stories from our youths. He was a lot rougher than I, but we both had our ways of treating other people which were not as wholesome as they could have been.
My dad was the kind of boy who would disrupt class because he could. He would start fights and usually finish them, too. He would even punch a guy for looking at him the wrong way.
I would occasionally physically respond/retaliate/initiate with people (especially my younger siblings), but my weapon of choice was words. I would stretch the truth to see what I could get away with saying. I would tell someone a mis-truth (using elements of truth) to get a reaction. I would start rumors to watch the impending chaos.
Usually, the other person/people had done nothing to us, at least not meriting our actions.
The rest of Proverbs paints a picture that people such as the younger me and my dad are wicked and destined for destruction.
The NIV states the verse this way:
Do not accuse a man for no reason— when he has done you no harm.
There may not be anyone on this planet truly innocent, but we can be innocent of certain things. When we prey on the innocence of others through deceit, violence, malice, or just because they were the ones in our way at that moment, our victims are innocent.
Keep in mind, the person who said “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood,” the blood of Jesus, was an Apostle. Judas Iscariot, a man who walked and talked with Jesus for about three years and knew Him intimately, accused the Son of God and had Him dragged away to death.
We need to remember that though we spend time going to church services and even reading our Bible, if we do not put our faith into action we can easily slip into sin.
We need to remember that we all, like Judas Iscariot, have accused Jesus and put Him on that cross.
We need to remember that only the Holy Spirit can truly guide us in all righteousness.
Precious Lord, thank You for your forgiveness of our lies and abuses, for putting You on the cross. Thank You that You have redeemed our lives. Guide us by Your Holy Spirit every moment to not bring harm to the innocent but to lift them up and lead them to You.