(Jim Johnson is not only very tall, but very wise as well. So I have the honor of looking up to him both figuratively and literally. Enjoy reading what he has to tell you today.)
Let me begin by saying how much I appreciate the opportunity to be your substitute teacher today Daniel’s shoes may be tough to fill but I have rather large feet. So, here we go!
I am part of a men’s community group/Bible study this summer and we are studying the book of Proverbs. As a result, I have learned basically three things: 1) Wisdom is ultimately found in the Word of God and in obedience to Him; 2) God isn’t trying to hide wisdom from us, we’re just too stupid to take hold of it most of the time; 3) The wrong women will destroy your life and soul. Don’t believe me? Read the first six chapters of Proverbs!
One other lesson that Proverbs teaches is that it’s good to live at peace with your neighbor. Why am I telling you this? I have a story to tell.
I play tennis every week in a doubles league at a local tennis center. In this particular doubles league, a player does not have an assigned partner but rotates with different people every night. As a result, I have had the opportunity to get to know quite a few different men from all sorts of backgrounds. One of these men was a local business owner, husband, and champion of the league a few different times. He’s also now in prison.
You see, unbeknownst to any of us playing tennis with this gentleman (we’ll call him Corey…because Boy Meets World is the epitome of all that is good and noble in television), he was having a rough stretch in his marriage. The woman he was married to was having an affair and wasn’t even trying to hide it from him (see the wisdom in Proverbs?). I can only imagine the pain that that must have caused Corey over an extended period of time. Apparently, he reached a point where he had tolerated all of his wife’s infidelity that he could handle. So, doing what all wronged husbands do in Lifetime movies, he hired a hitman to kill his wife’s boyfriend.
Thankfully, the plot was foiled before anyone was hurt. The person hired by Corey to commit murder went to the police and they set up a trap for my erstwhile doubles partner. And Corey jumped into the trap with both feet. I played tennis with the guy on Tuesday night and saw the news of his arrest and this entire saga on Wednesday evening. Blown away does not even begin to describe my response.
Not one man among us in the tennis league had a clue that Corey was in such a place of despair and bitterness. He was one of the more jovial guys in the league, had bought a new business not too long before, and seemed content. Yet, he HIRED A HITMAN TO KILL HIS WIFE’S BOYFRIEND. While most of the people around us haven’t reached such a place of craziness, we rarely know the true state of their hearts. It could be that a word of love or encouragement could have stayed Corey’s hand. It could also be that someone around me (or you) who I see on a regular basis is approaching his/her “edge.” Perhaps what he or she needs is found in Proverbs 10:11 & 12—“the mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked. Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.” And, as I’m sure you’ll agree, I’d much rather be a “fountain of life” than the subject of a Lifetime movie.