May 11, 2017
“Where…strife is, there is…every evil work.” Jas 3:16 The apostle Paul writes: “Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand” (Php 2:2-4 TM). Strife wreaks havoc in relationships. It often stems from an inflated ego and leads to comparing, competing, and condemning. James points that out: “Where…strife is, there is…every evil work.” So be a strife-spotter! The moment it rears its ugly head—uproot it! “Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many” (Heb 12:15 NLT). If you want to walk in God’s blessing today, try to live in harmony with others. Is that always easy? No, but the sooner you learn to do it, the better things will go for you. When God prompts you to “turn the other cheek,” or “take the short end of the stick,” draw on His grace and do it. Pray: “Lord, give me Your wisdom in this situation.” He will. “The wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness” (Jas 3:17-18 NLT). Bottom line: If you want God’s blessing on your life—avoid strife.