17 He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.
I once saw someone with her kids and minivan stopped on the side of the road. I had to stop and give them a ride.
She had said she knew someone who could help get the minivan, though she needed it as soon as possible. However, she was having some money issues, so it might be a while.
I had done my duty, and I could have stopped helping her right there. Instead, I called my friend who had a friend, and her van was towed to a garage.
Two days later, she and her kids were out of their apartment. They had been evicted for not paying rent. There were past-due bills stuck to the apartment door.
And I was stuck with the $600 storage and removal fees for her minivan that she never claimed.
Spitting into the Wind
Jim Croce was a folk singer a few decades ago who wrote about this very thing. In his song “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim“, he has these lyrics:
You don’t tug on Superman’s cape
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger
And you don’t mess around with Jim
In the song, there is a man nobody messes with: Jim. He takes what he wants when we wants, and anyone who gets in his way gets trouble. It would be like grabbing the ears of a dog after you broke into someone’s house.
Jim learned this when he flirted with the wife of a man named “Slim”. He had never heard about Jim, and Jim finally messed with the wrong dog.
Sometimes there are things that come along in lie that common sense warns us is stupid and dangerous. Disregarding common sense in those situations can prove as dangerous as spitting into the wind or grabbing the ears of an angry dog.
Fortunately the Bible helps us understand some of the things that our common sense may not pick up on, and our friends can help us even more. (Which is one of the reasons Hebrews 10:24-25 was written.)
Great God, give us the discernment to know the situations that are not good for us, the wisdom to know when to act and not to act, and the strength to say “No” when we need to.