I have much on my mind and heart as I start to write this morning. It has been a busy couple of weeks with lots going on and emotions at times running very high. Anytime busyness gets the best of me, I have to fight for time with the Lord. Anytime I have to fight for time with the Lord, I have to contend with the flesh more than if I died to it early on in the day.
Reading Proverbs 17 this morning, the Lord shrunk the room for me and became my Teacher once again on the issue of strife and pride.
I have learned to love peace and hate strife. I hate tension, wanting to run from it, especially if I know it is not my fight and I cannot do anything about it. My oldest son, Nekoda is like this too. When he was a baby, he would cry and cry if there was the slightest bit of tension or strife (which there always seemed to be.)
What causes such strife and tension? Well, according to Proverbs 17, it is pride. I heard this a few years ago, Pride; “The one sin that makes everyone sick, except the one who is wearing it.” But, is that a true statement? NO. According to scripture, when we wear pride, it affects our relationships with others, invites destruction from God, and causes us to have major strife in our lives.
Some people seem to feed off of strife. Thinking that something was done against them, or just looking for something to argue or be mad about all the time. These people drain me. But, they also drain themselves, I think.
When your relationship with God and man is off-balance, you become destructive to yourself and to others. You become judgemental of others, trying to make yourself look and feel better, with no truth just opinion, and that is a very dangerous place to be.
I have had to search myself and ask these questions of myself the past couple of days reading Proverbs 16 and 17.
1. How much of the strife that I may feel have I started or just plain looked for?
2. How can I end an argument before it breaks out?
3. Has pride taken over my heart?
4. Do I have more opinion of my own or what has been fed to me, then I do the truth of God’s Word?
All of these questions are “OUCH” questions. But if I want peace in my life, I must “humble myself in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift me up.” I cannot fool Him, no matter how “righteous” I sound. And you know what? I am glad He loves me enough to not let me get by with trying to fool myself either.
Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
Proverbs 13:10 By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom.
Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
Proverbs 17:1 Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.
Proverbs 17:4 The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
Proverbs 17:19 Whoever loves transgression loves strife; he who makes his door high seeks destruction.
Proverbs 20:3 It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.
Isaiah 54:15 If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you.
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