I love to talk about baseball memories with friends and former teammates. Although the opportunity rarely presents itself, those times are a blast. Inevitably, we dig up the same old stories and talk about the same old things. It helps us to relive it all, to go back in time for just a few minutes, and, in some way, to be encouraged by it.
It’s healthy and helpful to dig up those kind of stories.
Proverbs 16:27 warns us against the unhealthy kind: “A worthless man digs up evil, while his words are as a scorching fire.”
We’ve all seen it, and we’ve probably all done it. Digging up and rehashing what someone did that brings them shame.
Why do we do it? It makes us feel better, I suppose. Makes us feel as if we’re better than that other person. And, perhaps by comparison, we are “better” because we didn’t do THAT. But we know that the comparison game is a slippery slope that has no positive end.
Back to the point of Proverbs 16:27, it’s obvious that those who dig up evil and subsequently gossip about it aren’t viewed highly in God’ eyes. In fact, as the verse says, God calls them worthless. Harsh? Sure, but so is digging up someone’s past faults and mistakes.
In the end, all we’ve done by digging that up is ruin someone by the scorching fire of our words. And, given that Jesus said that our words reveal our hearts, we also learn that the fire goes deep within us.
Perhaps instead of digging something up, you and I would choose to simply let the love of Jesus, which has covered our own sins, guide our hearts to lead our mouths to remain closed.
Perhaps instead of burning someone just because we can, we would extend to them the grace that we would love to receive in the midst of our worst mistakes and shame.
Perhaps in all of this we will come to understand and appreciate the love of Jesus, who by his grace has thrown our sin as far as the east is from the west.
Lord Jesus, I’m indebted to your grace and your covering of my sin. I praise you that you don’t dig it all back up on me. Please make me that kind of person for those around me. Amen.