Who couldn’t use more of any number of things–money, time, opportunities, friends, etc. Our families would be blessed with an increase of precious memories, traditions, vacations, and even those glorious, ordinary moments together? The nation could use more politicians with courage, public figures with proper, moral convictions, and ordinary citizens whose believe in and love for the God of the Bible were strong enough to turn the tide. The church could use more volunteers, more holiness, more qualified elders, more preachers with backbone and compassion, more programs to accomplish God’s purpose on earth, and that list could go on for a while. But, the church does not need more “strife spreaders.”
“Strife spreaders” are those who spread strife. They may do so openly or clandestinely. They may do so directly or even through innuendo and insinuation. They may do so by peddling their side of a two-sided story. They may do so by stirring up the discontent or dissatisfaction of other members. They may do so through gossip or lying. They may do so through assassinating the character of others, whether elders, deacons, preachers, teachers, or other members.
But, they that do so, do so at a tremendous price! Solomon describes a worthless person as one who spreads strife (Prov. 6:14). Then, he follows that up by speaking of “the seven deadly sins,” things done by man that are hated by God. Last in the list is “one who spreads strife among brothers” (Prov. 6:19). Solomon strikes hard at “strife spreaders.” It is fueled by hatred (Prov. 10:12). It is fed by pride and arrogance (Prov. 13:10; 28:25). It is fired by a hot-temper (Prov. 15:18). It is a feature of perversity (Prov. 16:28). It flies from a fool’s lips (Prov. 18:6; 20:3 says, “Any fool will quarrel”). It is a feature of sinful anger (Prov. 29:22; 30:33). None of those verses mentions adultery, fornication, murder, theft, or false teaching, but strife will have done much harm to the souls of men when all is said and done. It is easy enough to spread strife, but it is exceedingly and eternally unwise. Paul warns that those who practice the spreading of strife will not inherit the kingdom of heaven (Gal. 5:20-21). That should be enough warning for all of us to continually be on guard against spreading strife, instead choosing to be those who sow the seed of peace and produce the fruit of righteousness (Jas. 3:18).