Just Leave It Off

“The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.” Proverbs 17:14

The above verse was one topic of discussion this morning and Matthew Henry’s comments are as follows:

{Here is, 1. The danger that there is in the beginning of strife. One hot word, one peevish reflection, one angry demand, one spiteful contradiction, begets another, and that a third, and so on, till it proves like the cutting of a dam; when the water has got a little passage it does itself widen the breach, bears down all before it, and there is then no stopping it, no reducing it. 2. A good caution inferred thence, to take heed of the first spark of contention and to put it out as soon as ever it appears. Dread the breaking of the ice, for, if once broken, it will break further; therefore leave it off, not only when you see the worst of it, for then it may be too late, but when you see the first of it. Obsta principiis–Resist its earliest display. Leave it off even before it be meddled with; leave it off, if it were possible, before you begin.}

Another verse we referred to was Proverbs 20:3,

“It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.”

Contrary to the belief of many, the “badge of honour” belongs to the man or woman who is able to refrain from arguing. In fact, we read that continual strife in a believer is one sign of carnality. “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men.” I Corinthians 3:3  On the other hand, “Salty Christians” are those whose desire is peace among the brethren, “Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.” Mark 9:50

A good question for each of us to ask would be, “Does the atmosphere suddenly become peaceful when I leave the room?” Proverbs 22:10 says, “Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.” 

If we have someone in our life that constantly wants to argue, let’s choose, by God’s grace, to be the bigger person. Abram is a good example of this in Genesis 13:8,”And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.” When faced with a contentious person, stay calm, whisper the following prayer, “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3), and if need be…just walk away from the strife. And then, pray for that person. The worst-case-scenario would be that the person is an enemy and, if that is the case, the Bible still tells us to pray for them. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Matthew 5:44  But also, pray for ourselves – for wisdom and grace as well as compassion toward the individual. God may allow us to see past the person’s continual fighting to an individual with deep hurts, insecurities, etc. As a result, the Lord may use us to make a difference in their life.

“And of some have compassion, making a difference” Jude 1:22

~ Rachel ~

Comments are closed.