Monday, June 9th, 2014
Christian Pitfalls (Part 16)
There are six things which the Lord hates,
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that run rapidly to evil,
A false witness who utters lies,
And one who spreads strife among brothers.
Proverbs 6:16-19 (NASB)
Strife is conflict, discord and rivalry. Strife is gossip: 'As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife. The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body' (Proverbs 26:21-22).
Once inside, Satan's tasty trifles cause heartburn and division. Consider it: God's church has split, and split, and split. Denominations can't be counted. Instead of a unified house with many wings, we are individual fiefdoms with many kings.
We have not (yet) lived up to the final Prayer of Jesus, Who asked, 'That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me' (John 17:21). Because we are not one, the world does not (yet) believe.
Of the seven things the Lord detests, strife is listed last. Does our discord mark the last of times? 'If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand' (Mark 3:25).
Actors, models and talent for Christ, avoid strife. Don't light the match of gossip. If you're caught in a circle of smoke, don't fan the flame with agreement. Don't ignore the flame with silence. When you're faced with fire, you have two choices:
1) Put it out... with the 'Rivers of Living Water' (John 7:38) God allows you to carry. It flows from you in Spirit, truth and love. It pushes you to 'Seek peace and pursue it' (Psalm 34:14, 1 Peter 3:11). Even so, dress for success in your fireman's gear.*
2) Leave. 'Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil' (Proverbs 3:7); 'Avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife' (2 Timothy 2:23); 'Note those who cause divisions and offenses... and avoid them' (Romans 16:17).
Because 'Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases' (Proverbs 26:20).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: you know better than to gossip. Even so, Satan loves to hand out sparklers. Refuse him.
To Be Continued...
* The armor of God, including the 'Footgear of Peace': http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%206:10-18
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Christian Pitfalls series.