For as the churning of milk produces butter, And wringing the nose produces blood, So the forcing of wrath produces strife.
- Proverbs 30:33
Churning milk turns it into butter. Wringing a nose will give a bloody nose. In the same way provoking wrath produces conflict.
Provoking someone to anger is something we get used to very young. You watch any bunch of children and you will see some provokers and some responders. Kids like it when they get someone angry because the responder is the one who gets in trouble – and that is kind of fun.
The problem is that sometimes we don’t grow out of it. Sometimes we can be 30, 40, 50, 60 years old and still like to provoke someone else. Some of us LOVE to push buttons and see what kind of response we can get. I can be that way myself and I think that is why this passage stuck out to me.
There may be some good innocent fun in that, but we need to be careful. It is easy for this kind of thing to get out of control and for fights or even hard feelings to result. Our relationships can be damaged and possibly even destroyed.
While provoking may give us some kind of childish joy – it can, even in its supposed ‘innocence’ divide and destroy.
Let’s just be careful about this kind of thing and not let ‘a little innocent fun’ get out of hand. We don’t outgrow the ability to do that.