Tuesday, June 7th, 2016
Proverbs For Performers (Part 29)
Don't Sow Contention
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 (NKJV)
The beginning of strife is like releasing water;
Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.
Proverbs 17:14 (NKJV)
Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave;
Yes, strife and reproach will cease.
Proverbs 22:10 (NKJV)
Listed last in these seven things God hates is a person inciting rebellion, the striker of a match called civil war: a blood bath of infighting among kin. Civil wars ravage peace and unity among families, churches and nations. But our Lord intends a different bath.
And for Christians who've had this immersion, a baptism of surrender to Christ, a cleansing of our sins into new life, an inviting of His Holy Spirit, what's our excuse to incite rebellion? Because that's what 'One who sows discord' does.
I'm extra guilty of number seven. Here's how I justify sowing discord: 1. I'm right and the other people are wrong. 2. They're stupid, short-sighted and/or unfair. 3. Obviously, they need strong correction. 4. They need to hear it right now and from me. 5. So I accuse them of acting badly. 6. They're not listening to what I'm saying. 7. Aren't I justified in getting angry?
Since I'm 60 and writing devotions, am I too old or wise to sow discord? Seems like I should be. How well do you score? Because all of God's Commandments are tests. Thankfully, He's willing to repeat them until we pass by His amazing grace.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: I'm believing in His great purpose and your great potential to unite. Our church and nation are torn apart. We've forgotten patience and mercy. We accuse, boycott and point fingers. Too many of us are mean teachers. We've anointed ourselves for a job our King was created to handle.*
Your calling is clear and pivotal: To act as ambassadors for Christ in the modern fields of media. Because the enemy planted them... through you, God reaps where He did not sow. And The Parable of the Talents is fulfilled before Jesus comes back.**
Like most hopeful parents everywhere, I expect you'll do better than I. You'll exude gentleness and kindness. You'll forsake all things hateful to God.
To Be Continued...
* 'My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment' (James 3:1).
* 'The anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you' (1 John 2:27).
* 'For One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren' (Matthew 23:8).
* 'The Helper, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you' (John 14:26).
** The Parable of the Talents: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+25%3A14-30&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.