Today (02/16/2020) I taught my Bible class at the Sunset Church of Christ. We are studying from a guide by Scott Franks called, Practical Proverbs. This is a lesson on “Quarreling.” Last month I taught on “Gossip,” and reproduced that outline earlier here. Below I have reproduced the handout I provided for the class today.
Dissension, Strife and Quarreling
- Remember what “wisdom” means in the Book of Proverbs: “Seeing life as God sees it and then living out our life in a way that honors and glorifies Him.”
- We notice that several of the other topics in Proverbs may be connected to, or else lead to, strife: wrong use of the tongue, money, inappropriate sexual relationships, honesty, friendships, and anger.
DISSENSION, STRIFE AND QUARRELING IN PROVERBS:
- Numerous passages specifically mention strife and quarreling, including: Proverbs 13:10; 15:18; 17:1,14,19; 18:6; 20:3; 21:9,19; 26:17,20-21; 27:15.
- Some of the words used include quarreling, strife, dissension, bickering, disagreements, arguing.
- Four different Hebrew words used in Proverbs having to do with quarreling:
- Mawdon (H4066) – strife, contention
- Riyb (H7379) – adversary, controversy, plead case
- Matstsah (H4683) – strife, contention
- Gawlah (H1566) – to be obstinate, meddle, lay bare, quarrel
- Dissension and quarreling can run the spectrum from just sharp or unkind words all the way to shouting matches and even physical violence.
- Think of some common areas this takes place – between children, in marriages, between friends, among co-workers, sports fans, politics, and in THE CHURCH!
- A few well-known examples in Scripture of strife and conflict:
- Leah and Rachel – Genesis 29:31 – 30:24
- Jeremiah and Israel – Jeremiah 15:10
- Disciples of Jesus – Mark 9:33-37; Luke 9:46; 22:24
- Paul and Barnabas – Acts 15:36-39
- Euodia and Synteche – Philippians 4:2-3
CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF QUARRELS AND STRIFE:
- Think of some things that cause arguments and conflicts.
- Here are a few things Proverbs identifies:
- Hot temper – 15:18
- “Love to quarrel” – 17:19
- Being a “fool” (i.e., not using “wisdom”) – 18:6; 20:3
- Harsh or ill-advised words – 15:1; 20:3
- Pride – 13:10
- James 4:1-10 – coveting, jealousy
- Like breaking a dam with damaging longterm consequences – 17:14
- Miserable homelife – 21:9,19
- Sin – 17:19
- Possibly physical violence – 18:6
THE CURE FOR QUARRELS AND DISSENSION:
- A soft (careful, appropriate) answer – 15:1
- Patience – 15:18
- Avoidance – 2 Timothy 2:23-26
- Don’t feed the fire – 26:20-21
- Deal with the divisive spirit – Titus 3:9-11
CONCLUSION: CHOOSE CHRIST’S PATH:
- Ephesians 4:29-5:2
- Colossians 3:8-17 – the “peace of Christ” is to “rule” (brabeuo – arbitrate, umpire, referee) in our hearts. Romans 12:17-18
- I must love others more than I love to win an argument, prove I’m right, or get my way!
- I need to love the Lord’s Church more than I love my own opinion or preference. He died for His Church, but not for my opinion!
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