Say 'no' to discord
This past Sunday I preached a “hard” message. It dealt with having an intimate relationship with the Lord by staying away from the things He hates. I began by asking the congregation how relationships go between people we are close with if we continually do things they hate. In reality, we cannot have a relationship with anybody if we do things they hate. The same is true with the Lord.
To begin with, let’s look at a few passages of Scripture. In Proverbs 6.16ff we read: “There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: ...19 A false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.” In Galatians 5.20, Paul declares one of the deeds of the flesh as being, “strife.” In Proverbs 16.28 we find, “A perverse man spreads strife, and a backbiter separates intimate friends.”
Why would God hate sowers of discord and disunity? Think of the children of Israel in the wilderness. Here we see the sowers of discord doing five things: (1)They took the eyes of those around them off of God. When our eyes are not on the Lord, we see the roaring tempest around us and we begin to sink, as Peter did in Matthew 14.30.(2)They caused a great lack of contentment. Instead of being thankful for all they had and all that God had done, they basically said God had come up short! (3)They drain people’s energies. There is little that is more draining then continual strife! Instead of being excited about all God has and living in joy, people are weary and wary. (4)They can cause leaders to stumble and fall. Sowers of discord usually have their own agendas, which are often exercised at the expense of others. When believers are stirred up against one another, our testimonies for the Lord go right out the window. (5)They cause progress in serving the Lord to cease. So many battles are fought over foolish things that churches have little time to really serve the Lord and be concerned with the things He is concerned with. (Please notice how these five things concern more than just the sower of discord! “1 Cor 5.6b, “Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?”)
What causes a person to sow seeds of discord? 1) A lack of a personal walk with God. A distance has arisen between the individual and God and God is no longer the focus of their attention or living. They start to see things from their own abilities, wants and desires. 2) A lack of contentment on their part. Because they are not walking with God, they see themselves as lacking things. They desire for these things and figure they deserve them. When they see others having them, they start to grumble and sow their seeds. 3) They are characterized by negativity and a want to control!
Three things in handling sowers of discord and disunity. 1) Shun being around sowers of discord, strife, and disunity. (See Titus 3.9) 2) Pray for contentment! So much of discord is sown because “It’s not what we want; how we want it; When we want!” 3) Keep your eyes on the Lord and what He is doing: He knows! He cares! And when you don‘t understand, trust His heart!