If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
- Galatians 5:15
If a snake bites before it is charmed,
the charmer receives no fee.
- Ecclesiastes 10:11
My wife was having a bad day about a month ago. She was about to have a test that is usually only done for people who are suspected of having cancer. She told me that nothing that I did was right. She told me that every bit of information that I gave her was wrong and I had to recheck it. If I told her when we should leave, she would scream that we were going to be late and it was all my fault. And then as soon as we started to head out the door, she was lamenting about how early we were going to be.
I got one word in edgewise when I asked for a moment of silence. It lasted half a moment with her next complaint. Did I think of pulling over and asking her to get out and walk? Yes, but I have done that before, and she got out and walked instead of apologizing.
The phrase “Never bite the hand that feeds you” is one of those classic old sayings. It has probably been around for a few hundred years, but no one knows where it came from.
The concept is simple, if you attack the person who provides something to you, they may quit providing that something. It does not even have to be food.
My wife and I were living out the first Scripture that morning of the test.
As for the second Scripture, I was in India and I had a single day off. The entire team went to the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, travelling over the bay on a hydrofoil. There was this huge crowd in front of the hotel. And regardless of our attempts to reach the hotel, we were not making progress, even though the hotel was 100m away. I saw an opening in the crowd, just as a pickpocket tried to steal the two coins in my pocket. What I did not know was that the snake charmer was about to start his show – thus the opening. As I stepped into clear space, the snake charmer deftly kicked a basket in my direction. The basket hit my toe, the lid flipped open, and a king cobra emerged with the hood expanded. I stepped back into the crowd, and then the snake charmer started playing his flute. Of course, the crowd laughed at me and roared in appreciation for the snake charmer. And no, we went to the hotel without watching his show. But as the proverb suggests, I did not pay him.
Sometimes people have bad days, but the saying about not biting the hand is because we all do it on occasion. It is good to know what is really bothering the person doing the biting.
Accepting an occasional bite may be necessary at times.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.