What Stirs Up Strife Prov. 28:25 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
If you are striving with someone there is a root cause for the strife. You can usually point to some of the contributing elements of the strife, but it is hard to get down to the root cause. Generally, two people at odds with each other are so busy fighting about what he said or she did that they cannot see past the last “rock” that was thrown. So, today we are going to consider what stirs up strife. And if you will be honest with yourself, you can get down to the root of this problem.
These are the root causes of strife:
Pride – Prov 28:25, 13:10 – only by pride cometh contention – no matter what another person says, if you are proud eventually there is going to be strife – and the strife is not really about their “stupid” comment, thought, idea, plan or whatever – the strife is the result of your pride – can you be honest enough with yourself to admit that you are proud and that your pride is at the root of your strife with this person? If you can you are more “man” than most – most men and women cannot admit that they are the root of the problem because they are proud!
Hatred – Prov 10:12 – the fact that hatred is at the root of strife is obvious – it is hard to get along with someone you hate – however, admitting that you hate a person is awfully hard to do – the truth is that until you admit your hatred and turn from it you cannot cease from your strife – and realize that the problem is not theirs but yours if you are the one who hates the other person – I counseled a striving couple one time and the wife admitted to me that she hated her husband – consequently, they never did get along.
Envy – Rom 13:13 – envy appears with strife in several passages in the Bible – so if the person with whom you are having strife envies you [for whatever reason] then no matter what you do you are going to have strife – who is able to stand before envy [not Joseph, not Moses, not Jesus, not Stephen] – the strife can go on for years – by the same token, if you have envy toward the other person, then the only way you are ever going to solve the discord between you is to cease from your envy – now searching your heart and admitting that you are envious is hard – but it will solve the problem.
Anger – Prov 29:22 – angry men stir up strife – so the way to end the strife is for the angry man to learn to rule his spirit and control his anger – in other words, a man can usually talk through a problem with another person – however, if he is an angry man, he won’t get through the discussion without strife, not because the other person is wrong but because he is angry – if anger is at the root of your strife you probably won’t admit it – but until you do you are going to have strife.
Scornfulness – Prov 22:10 – “scorn” is extreme, often indignant, contempt for someone or something – if you are dealing with a scorner there is only one way to end the strife – cast out the scorner – in churches, when a scorner finally leaves, this is often called a “back-door” revival – the spirit of the church is refreshed almost immediately after he or she leaves – if you are the scorner you will have to leave for the strife to go away – you will have strife every where you go but the people with whom you strive will only have peace in your absence.
Sensual wisdom – Jas 3:14-16 – sensual wisdom is “wisdom” that feels right – it is earthly and it is devilish – the end result of following this kind of wisdom is envy, strife, confusion and every evil work – many Christians are “pushed” into this wisdom by a spirit imitating the Holy Spirit – you can tell when the wisdom is sensual because it will not match the characteristics of divine wisdom in Jas 3:17-18 – to end the strife you must quit listening to this spirit, quit following these feelings, and quit following the men or women who espouse this sensual wisdom.
Carnality – 1 Cor 3:3 – the Christian life is spiritual life – but the more carnal it becomes, the more strife arises – men don’t often agree on religion and politics – so, it may be that you are at odds because “as men” you cannot agree – if you will humble yourselves to God and do what he wants surely you can agree with him and thereby end the strife – if not you are carnal and the strife will continue.
Foolishness – 1 Tim 6:4-5; 2 Tim 2:23 – foolish words and questions – if you want to see an excellent example of this root cause of strife, just read the comments following any news item posted on the internet – by the third or fourth comment you will see a good deal of mud slinging and name calling – and the subject matter? Nothing but foolish words and questions of ignorant men destitute of the truth. If you want the strife to end, before you say another thing, study and research diligently to learn the absolute truth [and this is much more than repeating what you read in one article on the internet] – after you learn the truth you will probably decide to keep it to yourself and the strife will end [Prov 17:27; 15:28].
Gossip – Prov 26:20 – the thing would die if you would just move on and quit running your mouth about it – two preachers got cross ways and both of them published newsletters – each new issue had an article where the one preacher blasted the other – finally a third party stepped in and in about 30 minutes settled the disagreement between them – the articles stopped and so did the strife – the only problem may be that you won’t shush.
Conclusion: What stirs up strife is easier to see in others than it is to see in yourself – however, if one or more of these root causes of strife is in you then you need to deal with you if you want the strife to cease.