Pathways Through Proverbs
July 17, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 17
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Following Scripture Verses
Strife could be defined as a conflict between two individuals. Solomon defines the beginning of strife as being similar to a hole being drilled into a dam. Once the water starts running out, there isn't much that can be done to stop the flow. In the same way once a conflict begins, it is very difficult to bring it to a conclusion.
- Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.
- A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.
- The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.
- A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.
- Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.
- Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.
- Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.
- A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.
- He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
- A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.
- An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.
- Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.
- Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.
- The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.
- He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.
- Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?
- A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
- A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend.
- He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.
- He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.
- He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.
- A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
- A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.
- Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.
- A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.
- Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.
- He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.
- Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
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We have all seen this principle in action. For example: a man makes a negative comment to his wife, and she reciprocates with a comment of her own about him. The strife is just about to get underway. He makes another snide remark, this time at a slightly higher decibel level. She does the same, perhaps punctuating her remarks by slapping her hand on a nearby table. The next thing you know, both people are screaming at each other. Tempers have been lost, and cutting words are being used that can never be taken back and will never be forgotten. Eventually one of the combatants leaves the room, probably accompanied by a slammed door. For the remainder of the day, and often for much longer, tension reigns in the home. Few words are spoken, and those which must be said are delivered in a sharp, biting tone. I doubt that the couple intended to wreck their home in this way when the disagreement started. However, once the strife began, they couldn't bring it to an end.
Here is the key: don't let your disagreements escalate into conflicts. Don't respond to anger with anger. Don't resort to name calling. Don't raise your voice. Even if the other person is "fighting dirty", don't lower yourself to his or her level of behavior. Don't let the sun go down on your wrath. "Leave off contention" by working towards a solution to the problem. Listen, pray, and handle the issue in a Biblical manner.
Most destructive conflicts could have been resolved in the early stages if one or both of the parties had been willing to deal with the problem God's way. How are you handling your issues?
Pastor Mark J Montgomery