Article - God Hates Strife in the Body
The Psalmist issued a challenge to all of God’s people when he said, “behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1). In the New Testament Christians are encouraged by Paul to “endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). While unity and peace is God’s ideal standard, sometimes, Christians don't act the way they should and strife is created. What is it that causes this strife and how do we deal with strife in the body of Christ?
One of the chief causes of strife among God’s people is evil or perversion in one’s heart. Since sin is a heart problem, it should come as no surprise that strife is generated in the heart of man. The Proverbs writer said, “A perverse man sows strife…” (Proverbs 16:28). When someone is not following the Spirit of Christ in their life, strife is going to come.
A failure to control the tongue is another cause of strife. In fact, this may be the chief reason of strife in the body of Christ today. Solomon said, “A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating” (Proverbs 18:6). When we are so busy talking that we forget to think about what we are saying, chances are we may be saying things we shouldn’t.
How then do you stop strife? People who are always belittling or making fun of others must be silenced. The Proverbs writer said, “Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; Yes, strife and reproach will cease” (Proverbs 22:10). To avoid strife—mind your own business! The Bible says, “He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own Is like who who takes a dog by the ears” (Proverbs 26:17). To stop strife, gossip must be stopped. Scripture says, “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases” (Proverbs 26:20).
Another main cause of strife in the Body of Christ is pride. When people think they are better than others and look down on or belittle other people to make themselves feel better, it is guaranteed to create strife. The Wise sage said, “By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom” (Proverbs 13:10).
May each of us remember that God hates it when people cause strife in His church. “These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19). Just as Jesus prayed for unity in His church, may we make it or aim to only say and do those things that build up the body of Christ (John 17:20-21).
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