Morning ‘blessings’ can easily turn sour

Curtis K. Shelburne

One of my favorite bits of wisdom is Proverbs 27:14: “If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.” It comes right before another great one: “A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm” (27:15).

I take verse 14 to mean that on any given day before, say, 9:30, the most civilized and eloquent thing to say is nothing. Speech early in the day rarely improves on silence.

Back to verse 15. God has blessed me with a wife who is not at all quarrelsome, but this morning she pretty well flew in the face of the aforementioned verse 14. No quarrel ensued.

Of necessity, my wife, on several days a week, gets up earlier than I do. (She likes to have a devotional quiet time early, and that’s good.) I am the son of my mother and tend to do my best work in the peace and quiet of late evenings. I’ve never understood why folks get all gushy about early risers and are not nearly as teary about those of us who work long hours burning the midnight oil.

Most of the time, once my wife is up, I’m already approaching consciousness, but the real wake-up call comes when she bangs on the TV and the obnoxiously perky and loud morning show anchors start spewing out their verbal drivel.

This morning was worse than usual. First, she assaulted me by loudly singing a medley of the “Good Morning to You/Rise and Shine!” sort of stuff. Then she turned up the volume on a morning show, and good grief!

The TV folks are all atwitter about an unbelievably spoiled and self-destructing TV star. The guy’s face and voice are on every channel, and you could not possibly find a better (worse!) example of what happens when we become our own gods and abandon ourselves to our own worst appetites. He’s completely out of control and spiraling toward despair, effectively dead already. Not fun to watch.

Then, right after that heartwarming piece of pseudo-journalistic voyeurism comes another. Regarding homosexuality, Canadian journalist Robert Davies wrote, “The love that dare not speak its name has become the love that won’t shut up.” The next “news” interview was with a gal I used to think was kinda cute who has now decided to “come out” and write a lucrative tell-all book. Great.

Maybe I do need to get up earlier, before the drivel starts. The quiet of the morning really is a good time to read God’s word, something I’m afraid we Christians talk about a whole lot more than we do. It’s a good time also to devote to reading some truly good books by, say, folks who have walked with the Lord down through the ages. Some good ones are being written even today. It’s strange. Living in a supposedly literate land with so many good books and the Good Book itself never more available, we so often choose to be basically illiterate. We stand knee deep in spring water and die of thirst rather than drink.

I could be in a bad mood. I blame the morning shows.

Curtis Shelburne is pastor of 16th & Ave. D. Church of Christ in Muleshoe. Contact him at