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Stirring Up Strife (Proverbs 15:18)

Introductory Thoughts

No doubt about it: the world is full of problems. Every day, people choose to say and do things that they should not say or do. Their actions contain all of the necessary ingredients for strife. The Bible says a wrathful man looks for the possibility of strife and does whatever necessary to stir it up (Proverbs 15:18). Why does he do this? The Bible points out that he is proud of heart (Proverbs 28:25) and full of hatred (Proverbs 10:12). The Bible further describes this work in Proverbs 26:20-21 where it says, “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.” A contentious man seeks to rekindle the flames as he notices the fires of strife beginning to be extinguished.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): The Jews who hated Pauls gospel stirred up the people in their own cities: Antioch (Acts 13:50) and Iconium (Acts 14:1, 2, 5-7). They even followed Paul to another city (Lystra) to stir up trouble (Acts 14:19).
  • (For everyone): Have you ever had a conflict with someone? Has it been resolved? Do you find that it seems to be fixed but then spirals out of control again? If so, someone is likely stirring up strife.
  • Do you look for ways to turn people against one another? Do you seek to draw things out of people only to tell others and stir up trouble? If so, you need to repent and get right with the Lord!

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to forgive you for times you have stirred up strife.
  • Ask God to help you see when someone is trying to cause strife.