3 Stone is heavy and sand a burden,
but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.
4 Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming,
but who can stand before jealousy?
Nobody carries stones and sand further than they have to, but many of us have carried past provocations around for years. Emotional burdens weigh us down, impairing our relationships and stifling our growth. If you’ve done something foolish you don’t have to be burdened with regret. Seek out those you’ve wronged, apologize and make amends, lay down your grief and help them lay down their anger. It won’t be easy, take it as a challenge and do it anyway. Would you rather carry your regrets for the rest of your life?
If you’ve been on the receiving end of a fool’s provocation, you may still be holding on to anger. What do they owe you? How could they possibly pay you back? Why carry a burden of debt that can never be repaid? Don’t put your peace in someone else’s hands. The most dangerous burdens are those which are justified. You may have every reason to hold on to your anger, but what good will that do you? Forgive the debt and free yourself from the bondage of enmity. Seek out those who have wronged you, if possible, and forgive them directly – so that they may also have peace.
“Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?” Envy is an attitude held towards things you don’t have, but jealousy is an attitude of defending what is already yours. Jealousy is the most dangerous of motives, as it is that which defends those we love. Are you tempted by a married woman? Let the fear of jealousy deter you. “For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.”