Contentions

Casting lots causes contentions to cease, and keeps the mighty apart.  A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle. Proverbs 18:18-19

Contentions – it’s big, bad, and it can very easily get ugly.  It looks appealing for a moment then WHAM – you are in an argument with someone and the relationship gets broken.  The family gets divided.  The Church gets hurt.  Contentions – it’s like strife, stirring the harmony pot, looking for trouble – its debating, arguing, backbiting, disputing, and relationship-breaking, and God doesn’t like it one bit.

I think it’s really interesting to note that something so strong, so foreboding, and so barring like contentions, can be settled simply by casting lots.  That’s it!  It says something about the importance of the matter, doesn’t it?  When I read these verses this morning it reminded me of a picture I saw a week ago:

Chances are, I probably won’t even remember the disagreement in a year’s time, let alone will it matter!  Paul wrote to the Ephesians, submit one to another.  In Philippians he wrote, ‘be like-minded, having the same spirit, the same love, being one in mind and spirit.  Let nothing be done in selfish ambition and vain conceit, but in humility consider one above himself.  Each of you should look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others.’  That means little sisters submitting to big brothers, and big sisters submitting to little brothers.  It means considering how important what I want really is – eternally speaking – and considering the preciousness of others.  It means not arguing and getting angry at each other.  It means admitting when I was wrong, and they were actually… right.  It means watching each other’s backs.  It means when I see something good I could do for another person, I do it.  Basically, it means loving your neighbour as yourself and doing to them what you would have them do to you.

The Epistles are jam-packed full of verses about living in harmony with one another.  Romans 12:10b Outdo one another in showing honour! Living God’s way means giving up the contentions – giving up the ‘snarkiness’ towards each other and choosing to think the same mind as each other.  The issues that turn into contentions don’t need to.  Things often aren’t as big a problem as we make them out to be.  God loves it when we avoid a contention and put others before our own wants. ‘As far as possible live at peace with one another’… and when you’ve gone as far as you can, try a casting lots method like paper-scissors-rock and still live at peace with one another!

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9 thoughts on “Contentions

  1. Oh Jess! I really like this post. Especially the point that we probably won’t even remember the conflict a year later. That is funny, but so true. I think tomorrow I’ll try to go a whole day without arguing or fighting over anything. Thanks for the challenge!

    1. Hi Alison!
      One verse that always challenges me is in Philippians 2 – ‘do nothing with arguing or complaining’. Wow – how different could things be if I (let alone the world!) didn’t argue, or complain, over anything?

  2. Good thoughts there Jess. If only….. but we are all a work in progress so each day we can rely on God’s grace to help us be the change in any relationship we find ourselves in with contention.

  3. Great thoughts, Jessica! Thanks for sharing. I like the quote you got and all the verses. There really is a lot the Bible has to say about it!!!
    I think I like this because its a reminder on something that I think we tend to slack on because we feel like it isn’t as important as other things. And yet, if you really think about it, its SUPER important!

    By the way…I love your new blog design!! I really did worry I bit when it said your blog was blocked or something. haha Good to see you are still around. ^_^
    -SK

  4. Thankyou for the challenge Jess!
    We have Phil 2:15 – “do everything without complaining or arguing” and 1 Thes 5:16-18 – “be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Chirst Jesus” – hanging up in our living room… a great reminder, if only I would live by these truths and principles more!!! But, as your Mum so wisely said… we are a work in progress, and through God’s grace we can become a less ‘complaining, arguing and “me” centred’ person and more a ‘God centred, joyful and serving others’ person! We have so much to be joyful and thankful about… we can get so busy with ‘life’ that we turn our focus from the Lord and forget what great things He has done for us … and become selfish, irritable and argumentative!
    Thankyou for this post… keep them up!!
    Your blog has been a blessing to me, thankyou.
    Your sister in Christ, Emily xox
    p.s Ohhhh!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!

    1. Thanks for the comment Emily – it is really encouraging to hear that I am on the right track. And you are right – we have so much to be thankful for and rejoicing in!

      And happy new year to you too! May you have a mind-boggling amazing year in Christ!
      Love, Jess

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