Proverbs 29: King James Bible
Stirring up Strife – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter twenty nine, Verses 22-23
22 An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression. 23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.
Daily Inspiration from These Verses – Stirring up Strife
Everyone has the capacity to stir up some strife. As long as it is in us to get angry or even furious at someone, strife will always be knocking at the door.
It doesn’t matter if you’re the type of person to be confrontational or not, or whether or not you’re argumentative. Everyone can get angry, right?
When we’re angry, we’re presented with all kinds of choices to make that might result in stirring up strife. Ever notice when you’re mad at someone for whatever the reason, the first thing you want to do is vent?
Some of us get a burning desire to tell someone else how so and so has wronged us when we’re angry. Most of the time we’re looking to share the fury with someone else so they can jump on your bandwagon.
Being angry or infuriated gives us a sense of being untouchable as it relates to sin, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t that be why we tend to do or say things that we normally wouldn’t once the Tabasco sauce starts running through our veins?
When we succumb to that sense of being untouchable or feeling justified to sin, the very least of the bad things between you and peace would be gossip. The very worst would be murder.
In between those extremes, are a variety of different levels of strife, just wanting to make its presence known to the world.
Stirring up strife is an action, which by itself is a transgression. That’s why the scripture says what it does. An angry man transgresses by stirring up the strife, and someone who has gone beyond anger into fury, becomes awash in all kinds of different transgressions, leaving plain old strife in the dust.
We forget about God, salvation, our families, and even ourselves, and the damage we are capable of when we allow ourselves to enter into fury mode. But the following verse tells us the origin of all this mess.
Pride is at the root of nearly every sin, and is most famously known as the “original sin.” If pride isn’t responsible for launching the anger, it doesn’t take long for it to hitch its wagons on to the anger train.
How often is stirring up strife the answer to attempt to repair bruised pride? In my opinion, quite a bit. Pride gives us that feeling that we must say or do something in response to whatever the source of that wounded pride may have been.
Anger and fury are low places for us to dwell. Pride will bring someone low, and cause for one to dwell at that altitude for awhile. While being at that depth, transgressions are not found wanting.
It is at times like these, is when our metal is tested in the spirit. Though the Lord isn’t the cause for our anger or rage, he is always paying attention to see how you are going to respond.
Will you respond in remembering him? Will you take a higher road of being meek and humble in spirit? Will you cool yourself down before saying or doing anything regrettable? Will you kick pride to the curb and choose the the fruit of the Spirit rather than the bonds of iniquity?
All of this is at play when we are tempted with anger. We’re instructed to be angry and sin not. This means that once we become angry, we work toward irradiating that anger the Lord’s way.
What this doesn’t mean is to brood over it. When we brood, it eats away at us and creates bitterness. Let not the night go down on your anger.
Honor and being humble in spirit is the Christlike alternative to stirring up strife. Pride may yell and scream for you to avenge him, but you don’t have to. In fact to do so is taking away from the Lord his willingness to step up to the plate in your defense, or to avenge you against the wrong.
This doesn’t mean to be a pushover, not to defend yourself, or become a punching bag. All of that can be done even by reflex rather than lashing out in anger or sin.
But it is on us to remember the Lord, and remember his Holy Ghost who is with you at all times. Is it worth grieving the Spirit of the Lord because of wounded sinful pride?
Opportunities for stirring up strife will always come when we’re not looking. It’s much easier to follow after righteousness during times that try our faith and patience, when we remember the Lord, when we recognize pride for what it is, and when we make the decision to not give place for wrath for Christ’s sake, rather than our own.
Related New Testament Scripture
Romans 13: King James Bible
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
1 Corinthians 3: King James Bible
3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
Ephesians 4: King James Bible
26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil.
Philippians 1: King James Bible
15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: 17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
Philippians 2: King James Bible
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Colossians 3: King James Bible
8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
James 3: King James Bible
13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
Thank you for your Word, and for exposing the things necessary to get us closer to you, and to cause for us to be more like Christ Jesus, rather than taking shape that this world would make of us. When times come that would stir us to anger, let us not forget you Lord. Help us to recognize the enemy at work, and to refrain from sinful actions or words that come to mind during these times. Help us to have the spiritual wherewithal to stand strong in righteousness, meekness, and sound faith, till our anger turns to calm, or our tears turn to joy. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
Do you feel that burning desire to avenge your flesh by stirring up strife when you’re angry?