Once upon a time, there were two family pets, and alas, those two pets did not get along. Day after day, their contention grew, and they strived against one another. One struggled with the overpowering nature of the other and daily, she bitterly growled her angst. The other attempted to dominate and control but with little understanding of her own destructive tendencies. As time progressed, the two had to be separated and kept at a distance from one another because their ability to cope with their situation was a seemingly impossible task and a burden not only to them but to all that dwelled with them. The End.
True story… We can laugh at, roll our eyes at, and perhaps even identify with some similar situation amongst our own pets, but the potentially troubling part of this scenario is that it is not relegated to just a story about pet life. It may very well be a mirror to what we have seen or have experienced in the human world as well. Strife seems to be a universal issue for all, but for a believer, the Bible has some very specific thoughts surrounding it.
To be clear, strife is not a fruit of the Spirit. It is quite the opposite. It is a sedentary and idle aspect of the flesh but when given the right kind of fuel, it can spark in an instant. And believe me, Satan is just around the corner ready and waiting to fuel that spark. Before we continue, for further clarity, the following are terms used by various dictionaries to describe strife: conflict, discord, disagreement, bickering, rivalry, struggle, and animosity. Other terms also used include anger, bitterness, fighting, and violence.
No matter the degree of strife—mild to extreme—the Bible says, “Huh Unh.” Ok, it doesn’t say “Huh Unh”, but it does have a lot to say about it, especially Proverbs 17. Take a look: “The beginning of strife is like releasing water; therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.” Proverbs 17:14 “Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife.” Proverbs 17:1
But I also like what Proverbs 17 advises instead: “He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.” Proverbs 17:27,28
Other parts of the Bible give these words of wisdom in terms of peace, which seems to be the opposite of strife and is indeed a fruit of the Spirit: “Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14 “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord…” Hebrews 12:14
Today, if there is strife in your heart against another, stop. Repent, and seek peace with that person. Ridding ourselves of strife and pursing peace are essential in a walk of Holiness with the Lord.
FBC Aztec Member