Week 17, Day 4: Upset About What Upsets God

          Most of us eventually get tired of hanging around someone who is always starting confusion with people. Ms. Troublemaker may like to toss in some word or two that casts a negative light on another person so that we’ll look at and respond to that person differently. Rather than “rejoicing with those who rejoice,” Ms. T. enjoys tearing down reputations or just casting shadows over others’ accomplishments.

         Our reluctance to hang out with Ms. T. mirrors the seventh thing God hates. Proverbs6:19ends by letting us know that God can’t stand the practice when someone “sows discord among brethren” (NKJ). Matthew Henry’s Commentary explains this problem as:

  •  Making mischief between relations and neighbours, and using all wicked means possible, not only to alienate their affections one from another, but to irritate their passions one against another. The God of love and peace hates him that sows discord among brethren, for he delights in concord. Those that by tale-bearing and slandering, by carrying ill-natured stories, aggravating every thing that is said and done, and suggesting jealousies and evil surmises, blow the coals of contention, are but preparing for themselves a fire of the same nature.

         We want to watch ourselves to be sure we do not fall into this hated sin. Do we try to alienate people from one another, operating on the principle that if we don’t like someone, others ought not to like that person either? Do we build cases against others so as to keep our friends loyal only to us? Do we spread slanderous and ill-natured stories so as to pull another person down in the eyes of those who are important to us?

          And once we get ourselves under control in this area, do we turn conversations around when someone else is trying to inflame contention? If we hate that which God hates, it’s not enough just to stay clean ourselves; we must speak up when the sin is being committed in our presence, gently turning the conversation to one that will glorify God.

Prayer of Supplication: Lord, help me to speak words about others that build them up, words that strengthen relationships. 

________________________

©2012 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, and from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website.

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~ by sanewriter on June 20, 2012.

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