“Don’t plot harm against your neighbor, for those who live nearby trust you. Don’t pick a fight without reason, when no one has done you harm.”
Proverbs 3:29-30 NLT
In this passage Solomon is going deeper to say that not only do our actions matter ( previous verses) but our motives matter! Heb 4:12 says “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Wisdom prunes and molds our character so we can be transformed in Gods image.
Sometimes we do things for others yet secretly hold resentment against them. Don’t allow thoughts of ill will or revenge get in your heart, especially those closer to you. The scripture uses the word neighbor, because it’s those people that are in our nearby community- it could be our families, friends, classmates, and colleagues at work. These people in our lives trust us, and we shouldn’t betray that trust! Jesus defined neighbor even further in the Good Samaritan parable, saying our neighbor is anyone who crosses our path in need. Our motives toward our neighbor should always be to bless, love, and support.
Additionally, even though we get frustrated sometimes, we shouldn’t take that out on others. My mother used to say, “hurt or unhappy people, hurt other people.” At no time should we instigate a fight with anyone who has not harmed us. Proverbs 16:32 says “He who is slow to anger is better than a warrior, and he who controls his temper is greater than one who captures a city.”
Situations come to test us, and how we respond shows us what is in our hearts. Jer. 17:9 says that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick. It causes us, many times through rash emotions, so do many things we later regret. That is why we must meditate on the Word of God to let it penetrate to the core of who we are and let it transform us from the inside out. David prayed in Ps 139 “Search me,God, know my heart: try me, know my thoughts: see if there be any wicked way in me, lead me in the way everlasting.”