Kick Strife to the Curb!

Proverbs 17:14  (NKJV)
The beginning of strife is like releasing water;  Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.
Strife/division is one of the most common problems among believers. We let it get into our homes, friendships, jobs, and churches. Of course most of us do not purposely wake up every day with the intent to go around and stir up some strife; we just sometimes let it slip in one minor irritation at a time like the verse in proverbs 17 says “like a trickle”.  I am going to urge us all to take a stand against strife, to be aware of when the trickles start happening and if you know you have a tendency to let things irritate you decide to overcome that. Did you know we do not have to be irritated? We can choose to let things go and focus on the more important things like loving each other regardless of differences. We need to be mature and know that there are things in life that are going to be annoying, there are people that will let us down from time to time, but our reaction to it is ours! We can control whether we let strife in or not. It does not have to derail us and cause conflict, we can be different and disagree on things and be ok with that. We are all created differently and creatively by a God, we are not going to all think the same and agree on everything but if we focus on the big things that we should all agree on, like loving one another, and making a choice to not allow strife to enter in, then we can all head in the same direction together and embrace each other’s differences.  Differences can be celebrated and encouraged if handled correctly and viewed through kingdom eyes. We get into trouble when our own pride and beliefs want to control every situation all the time. We allow strife to come in when in our pride we think opinions different than our own are wrong. Make up your mind that you have the power and the gifts of the Holy Spirit in your life to help you overcome strife and refuse to settle in it. Ask God to help you recognize when it starts to try and trickle in and take a stand against it. Strife is nothing more than a distraction to occupy your mind and emotions to keep you from doing and seeing all God wants you to. Strife is like a poison that kills from the inside out, don’t drink the poison, and don’t give it a moment of your time, as time is the thing we don’t have to waste. 
Pastor Ginny