Day 24: Zero Strife Policy
“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” James 3:16 (KJV)
Strife—arguing, bickering, people getting offended over the smallest of things—seems to be the norm nowadays. It’s up to us to put a stop to it.
In the verse above, the New King James Version translates the Greek word for strife as “self-seeking,” and it still fits, because the root of any strife is people seeking to push their own thoughts, needs, or agendas. Also, the Greek word for “strife” here means “electioneering for office,” “a desire to put one’s self forward,” and “partisanship.”
Think about presidential campaigns you’ve kept an eye on. They’re all about the candidates putting themselves out there. While it’s important for them to let us all know what they stand for, most candidates rarely mention their opponents unless it’s to smear them. It can leave you wondering if they really do want to help their country, or if they’re in it just for the bump in their own status (pride).
Don’t we oftentimes behave this way in our relationships? We put ourselves center stage, make everything about us. When we do, we’re letting strife through the door.
If that isn’t enough to convince you that strife is a really nasty thing, you need to grasp that strife isn’t just strife. It isn’t just being selfish. The Bible says that when strife is present, confusion and every evil thing come along with it. (Have you ever noticed that you feel confused when you’re upset about something?) Strife is how minor arguments turn into major blowouts, abuse, and even murder. (Yes, murder. It has to start somewhere, right?) It’s because it brings every other evil thing along with it.
You need to adopt a “Zero Strife Policy.” If you’ll refuse to allow strife into your life, you are also refusing to allow confusion and everything else that’s evil into your life.
So how do you stop strife? Submit to the Lord, and resist the devil.
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7
Submitting yourself to God by choosing to walk in love rather than strife will stop the mess before it gets started. If someone’s rude to you and you sense your emotions getting fluffy about it, submit yourself to the Lord. Refuse to obey your flesh. Don’t let one person’s moment of fleshiness ruin the entire day for either of you. God had plans for this day, and you have the power to make sure the devil doesn’t get you, or anyone else, out of those plans. Let the Lord deal with the other person’s heart. You are only responsible for your actions.
While strife can enter your life through other people, you also have to pay attention to the things you read, watch, and listen to. I had to stop watching the news so much. It got to the point where all it would do was make me mad, which was affecting the atmosphere of my home. It had to go! So if there’s anything that causes strife in your life continually, it’s time to cut it off. If it’s a person causing strife, pray about it. The Lord may want you to put some distance between you and that person.