Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Peace, Joy Part 4

What does "being contentious" mean anyway? I've heard of being "held in contempt of court". Or a heavy-weight fighter is called a "contender". But am I a person like that?

Some definitions of contentious didn't really help, unless you look at the synonyms. Belligerent! Who wants to be described like that? In any situation, no matter what, I don't want to be remembered as belligerent. And the second definition in the link describes a "wearisome tendency to quarrel."

I had a co-worker years ago that seems to have a "wearisome tendency to quarrel." It was so hard to go into work, I almost braced myself for whatever conflict would occur that day. I prayed for peace to come into the situation, and in answer, God moved that person to a whole other town. And, I saw that I was moved out too! You know that saying, If you are not part of the solution.....

I realized then that there were two people in the conflict, I was one of them. Since then, when ever a contentious atmosphere arises I am alert and praying for God to move me, or move them. And he always does.

Last of the causes of strife to reflect on today:

Lord, open my eyes to hear your word and my heart to understand. Help me to recognize strife when it occurs and to strive instead to see you in every situation.

Personal differences, cliques, speculative ideas and foolish questions can cause strife.
  • After some time, Paul said to Barnabas, "Come, let us make a return visit to see how the brothers are getting on in all the cities where we proclaimed the word of the Lord." Barnabas wanted to take with them also John, who was called Mark, but Paul insisted that they should not take with them someone who had deserted them at Pamphylia and who had not continued with them in their work. So sharp was their disagreement that they separated. Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus.But Paul chose Silas and departed after being commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. Acts 15:36-41
  • Whenever someone says, "I belong to Paul," and another, "I belong to Apollos," are you not merely human? 1 Corinthians 3:1-4
  • Whoever teaches something different and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the religious teaching is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes. From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds, who are deprived of the truth, supposing religion to be a means of gain. 1 Tim 6:3-5
  • So turn from youthful desires and pursue righteousness, faith,love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord 5 with purity of heart. Avoid foolish and ignorant debates, for you know that they breed quarrels. A slave of the Lord should not quarrel, but should be gentle with everyone, able to teach, tolerant, correcting opponents with kindness. It may be that God will grant them repentance that leads to knowledge of the truth, and that they may return to their senses out of the devil's snare, where they are entrapped by him, for his will. 2 Tim 2:22-26

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