Together in Christ: 'The Danger of Violent People' — Proverbs 16:29

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

A violent person entices their neighbor and leads them down a path that is not good.

— Proverbs 16:29 NLT

Key Thought

Major cities worldwide are engulfed in a tidal wave of violence. Television and movies glorify violence, and many of their heroes are violent. Meanwhile, young people and older adults are joining gangs and engaging in violent enterprises for self-protection and cultural preservation. Most people have enough hurtful events in their lives to make them angry, resentful, and vengeful if their inner pain is not addressed to their satisfaction. Violent people easily tap into these feelings of frustration and inner rage, enticing them to join their violent group. The "us versus them" mentality and feelings that "they are out to get us" create a form of brainwashing that promotes a "defend our honor" by any means and at any cost. Fascination with violent people can lead good people "down a path that is not good."

Is there a solution for such a mindset?


Jesus possessed ultimate power but withheld that power to bring redemption and peace. His role as the suffering servant of God provides us a powerful example of someone using his strength to absorb evil while bringing good, bearing suffering, bringing blessing, and enduring death. Jesus is our example. He is our reminder. Violence begets more violence, but sacrificial and redemptive love has the power to bring reconciliation, peace, hope, and life. The apostle Paul shared the words to a common song among early believers to remind us that Jesus must be our hero, not a violent person.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross.
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Associating with and idolizing violent people will lead us into a dangerous, disastrous, and destructive life.

[1] Philippians 2:5-11.

Today's Prayer

O, dear Father in heaven, my heart is breaking at the daily reports of violent deaths in the major cities of our world. I pray for our leaders at all levels of government as they seek to find remedies to this epidemic. Forgive us, Your children and Jesus' disciples, for not being part of the solution. Help us as we seek to follow the example of our Savior, Jesus, and lay down our lives for each other in service and not violence. Protect us by Your mighty hand and use us to provide hope to the violence that rages in the hearts of so many today. I ask for this help in Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Isaiah 52:13-53:12
  • Philippians 2:5-11; Romans 5:6-11


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Illustration of Proverbs 16:29 NLT — A violent person entices their neighbor and leads them down a path that is not good.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.