What Is Strife In The Bible
Strife is an emotion that often finds its way into relationships and can create further conflict among members. It is a powerful emotion that can spiral out of control and often leads to broken relationships and anger. Strife can also be a source of tension between two parties, leading to further disharmony. In the Bible, strife is addressed as an emotion that can be used to create godly relationships or to tear them apart.
The Bible speaks of strife a number of times, as it was a problem among many different relationships. In the Old Testament, numerous verses address strife, giving us insight into what it is and how to handle it effectively. The book of Proverbs offers numerous solutions to deal with strife, as well as several admonishments to avoid it. In the New Testament, the letters of Paul are full of wisdom and advice on handling strife among the church’s congregations.
When it comes to defining strife, the Bible gives us a few clues. In 2 Timothy 2:23-24, Paul tells Timothy to “avoid foolish and idle talk, for it will only lead to more ungodliness.” The same theme is addressed in Proverbs 15:18, which tells us that strife stirs up dissension, and Proverbs 17:14, which states that it causes argument. In Proverbs 16:28, we are told that strife will lead to disaster and in Proverbs 6:19, we are told that it will lead to death.
The Bible also speaks a great deal about the effects of strife and how it can negatively affect relationships. Proverbs 16:32 tells us that “it is better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.” Matthew 5:23-24 speaks of making peace with an adversary quickly and Proverbs 19:13 speaks of the consequences of being quarrelsome. Ecclesiastes 7:9 states that it is a sign of folly to get involved in quarrels.
The Bible also makes it clear that strife should not be taken lightly. James 4:1 states that quarrels between people are caused by “jealousy and selfish ambition,” and this verse serves as a warning against allowing these two emotions to take control of our lives. Philippians 2:14-16 urges us to “do everything without grumbling or accusing,” and Matthew 5:9 tells us to “peacemakers will be called the children of God.”
In many cases, the Bible speaks both implicitly and explicitly about the effects of strife and how it can impact relationships. However, it also provides us with a number of solutions to managing strife in relationships, offering us a path towards deepening our relationships.
Holy Perfection for Perfect Relationships
The Bible encourages us to strive for holy perfection in all our relationships so that our lives can be filled with peace and harmony.
Colossians 3:14-17 speaks of living a life filled with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience—attributes that we can use to ward off strife.
Similarly, Ephesians 4:30-32 tells us to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, and malice.”
When we are in a relationship, it is important to remember that our actions have consequences. James 3:17 teaches us that “the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace,” while Ecclesiastes 7:8-9 states that “the end of a thing is better than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”
These verses remind us that there is power in patience and humility, and that these qualities can help us to avoid strife and build better relationships with our loved ones.
The Bible also encourages us to think of our relationships with God first, and to use our interactions with others as an opportunity to cultivate our relationship with Him.
Philippians 4:7 tells us to “think on these things,” and in Romans 12:18, Paul encourages us to “do no harm to your neighbor.”
John 15:12-17 speaks about the importance of abiding in the love of Christ so that our relationships may be fruitful, and Romans 12:21 tells us to “overcome evil with good.”
These verses remind us that when we keep Christ at the center of our lives, our relationships will be filled with the peace and harmony of His love.
Seeking Conflict Resolution
The Bible encourages us to seek ways to resolve conflicts instead of letting them fester and cause strife.
In Matthew 5:25-26, Jesus teaches us to settle our disputes quickly, and in Proverbs 22:24-25, we learn that it is better to settle our disputes than to get involved in a quarrel.
These verses teach us the importance of dealing with conflict in an appropriate manner and how it can help to prevent strife.
The Bible also emphasizes the importance of showing mercy and forgiveness, as these are two key ingredients for successful conflict resolution.
In Matthew 5:7-8, Jesus declares that those who show mercy will be shown mercy, while 1 Corinthians 13:5 tells us that love “keeps no record of wrongs.”
These verses remind us that conflict resolution requires us to take the higher ground, and to strive for forgiveness and mercy instead of vengeance and bitterness.
Managing Emotions Wisely
The Bible teaches us that emotions can be powerful and should be managed with wisdom. Proverbs 14:29 warns us that “the one who is slow of anger is better than the mighty,” while James 1:19-20 tells us that “everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”
These verses remind us that it is important to take the time to consider all sides of a situation before getting angry, as this can help us to avoid strife in our relationships.
The Bible also speaks of the importance of self-control, which is essential for managing emotions and preventing strife in our relationships.
In Galatians 5:23, Paul tells us that “self-control is among the fruits of the Spirit.”
The book of Proverbs has a wealth of advice about the importance of self-control, as it is key to preventing us from entering into conflicts that can result in strife.
Love Above All
Finally, the Bible speaks of the importance of love and how it can help to prevent and dissolve strife. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 and Romans 12:9-11 are both powerful reminders of the power of love in relationships.
The Bible also emphasizes the importance of patience in a relationship and how it can help us to avoid strife. Proverbs 25:15 tells us that “patience can persuade a leader,” while Ecclesiastes 7:8-9 states that it is a sign of wisdom to show restraint in a quarrel. These verses remind us of the importance of understanding and patience in our relationships, and how it can help us to avoid strife.
The Direct Path is Only Through Prayer and Obedience
The Bible encourages us to rely upon prayer and obedience in order to successfully navigate our relationships and avoid strife.
Philippians 4:6 instructs us to bring our requests and worries to God, while James 1:5-6 teaches us that if we ask for wisdom, He will freely give it to us.
Prayer is a powerful tool for managing strife, as it can help us to seek God’s guidance in our conflicts and can help us to overcome our own prideful tendencies.
The Bible also emphasizes the importance of obedience, as it is essential for avoiding strife in relationships.
In 1 Peter 3:13, we are exhorted to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ,” and in John 14:15, Jesus encourages us to obey His commands.
These verses remind us of the importance of humility and obedience, and how they can help us to prevent strife in our relationships.
Unforgiveness Breeds Strife
The Bible speaks of the importance of forgiveness and how it can help us to avoid strife in our relationships.
In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus instructs us to forgive those who commit wrongs against us, while Colossians 3:13 admonishes us to bear with each other and forgive one another.
These verses remind us that it is important to show mercy and forgiveness instead of focusing on the wrongs of others, as unforgiveness can lead to strife.
The Bible also speaks of the importance of love and how it can help us to overcome strife.
In 1 Peter 4:8, we are told to “love one another deeply,” while in John 15:17, Jesus tells us that He has given us His commandments so that we can love one another.
These verses remind us that genuine love for our neighbors can help us to avoid strife, and can help us to cultivate godly relationships with one another.
Seeking Guidance from God’s Word
The Bible offers us a great deal of guidance on how to handle strife in our relationships.
In Proverbs 4:7, we are told to “get wisdom and understanding,” and in Proverbs 3:5-8, we learn that if we trust in God and obey His commands, He will direct us and guide us in the right path.
These verses remind us of the importance of relying upon God’s Word and of seeking His wisdom in our relationships, as He alone knows the best way to deal with strife.
Finally, the Bible speaks of the importance of humility in relationships and how it can help to prevent strife. Proverbs 22:4 tells us to “turn away from selfishness,” while Philippians 2:3 urges us to “do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit.”
These verses remind us that it is important to remember that our relationships are about others, not about ourselves, and that true humility can help us to prevent strife.