Word Picture: Stay in your lane!

“Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own

    is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.”

Proverbs 26:17 ESV

In today’s vernacular the writer is warning the reader to “Stay in your lane!” This proverb brings back memories from almost 50 years ago when I was in first grade. We were trying to play on the outdoor basketball court during recess when a German shepherd made his way into the middle of the area where we were playing. No matter how we tried to persuade the dog to move along, he wouldn’t. I didn’t take him by the ears, but I suspect the outcome was the same as if I had. Instead, I wrapped my arms around his midsection and attempted to lift him in order to carry him off the court. He turned his head back and bit me on the face. I still have the scar.

This proverb compares those who meddle in other people’s business to those who grab stray dogs by the ears. In other words, be careful! You could be scarred for a lifetime. Wise people recognize boundaries. Fools do not, and they can pay a severe price for not doing so.

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