The First Punch

Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both. Proverbs 27:3

You see it sometimes in professional sports, two opponents “mixing it up” during and after plays. The other players on both sides pull the two apart. The altercation normally starts by someone provoking the first punch. From there it doesn’t matter who threw the second or third or fiftieth punch. You can sense the anguish on the players’ faces as they prevent the fight from escalating further. It’s as if they’re saying, “the game is hard enough without you two getting penalties called against us.”

We all know first hand how difficult it is to walk away from the person who threw the first punch, whether it be the first punch of words or with a fist. We all know what will happen if we don’t walk away and ignore the comment or the fist. Certainly we should defend ourselves against abuse but sometimes situations and words thrown at us are just not worth the effort and grief of a proper defense.

Knowing when to walk away and when to remain is what wisdom is all about.


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