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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

September 19, 2014

A source of strife

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

In the sermon on the mount Jesus warns us about false teachers and in so doing gives us a general principle for recognizing the true source of something.

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them" (Matthew 7:15-20).

So we see what kind of a tree it is by checking its fruits, whether it is a prophet or something else, like a personal characteristic.

One characteristic that we are to avoid is contentiousness. Causing strife is not a fruit of the holy spirit. If we cannot get along with someone in peace, it should not be because we like to argue: "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men" (Romans 12:18).

Have you experienced an argument that just never seemed to be over? Strife like that only exists because those who are involved are involved! Like the proverb says, "It takes two to tango".

The Bible tells us what a frequent source of strife is: "By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom" (Proverbs 13:10)

When you look at someone outwardly, you won't necessarily notice pride. But like the fruit of the tree, what the person "produces" will reflect this character weakness if it exists. The person who always has to have the last word, who always has to be right, etc., is proud according to the Bible.

If two people like this tangle, strife is the result. But if a proud person encounters someone who is trying to please God, strife will not necessarily be the result: "It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel" (Proverbs 20:3).

If there isn't a second person participating in strife, then there won't be any strife.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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