Ever become embroiled in an extended fight with your spouse or close friend? And then later be unable to recall how the fight started or even what you’re fighting about?
Upon reflection, we may even find that the initial cause of the fight is ridiculously small and insignificant. Would you believe that even wars have erupted from very minor events?
Ever hear of the War of the Oaken Bucket? This war occurred in 1325 between the Italian states of Modena and Bologna. And, yes, it was fought over a wooden bucket that had been stolen by some Modena soldiers who invaded Bologna. This tragic war lasted for twelve years and resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and soldiers. And the bucket was never returned.
Then there was the War of the Stray Dog. This conflict exploded in 1925 when a Greek soldier’s dog strayed across the Bulgarian border. When the soldier crossed over to retrieve his dog the Bulgarian border guard shot and killed him. An enraged Greek government declared war on and invaded Bulgaria. Only after the League of Nations intervened was the war brought to a halt.
Still Going On
Much more recently, in 1969, the neighboring countries of El Salvador and Honduras duked it out, resulting in the deaths of 2,000 civilians and soldiers. And what were they fighting about? The survival of their economies or governments? No, their bloody war began over a soccer game.
The Book of Proverbs tells us, “The beginning of strife is like releasing water; therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.,” (Proverbs 17:14). It’s difficult to take back words. A raised gun, a fist, and a voice are all alike-they are easier to lift than to put down. Avoid an outbreak of hostility by practicing the words of Proverbs 15:1: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Dear Lord, help me to treat others the way I would like to be treated. When anger rises within me, help me not lose control or do anything I will later regret. Amen.