Proverbs 20 2-20-20

“Helping God out” is usually not a good idea. Let’s wait for Him to tell us what, how, and when. Timing is everything.

3 It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.

Quarrel- “an angry dispute or altercation; a disagreement marked by a temporary or permanent break in friendly relations; a cause of dispute, complaint, or hostile feeling.”

The difference between bickering and quarrelling, to me, is in the break in relations.  We can bicker and still come to an agreement. Not so with quarreling. The hostile feelings don’t go away so fast. In fact, one party must repent and apologize before reconciliation can be made. We, as little Christs, must listen to the Spirit and be willing to BE THAT PERSON who repents and apologizes. The fact that there was a quarrel means that both parties said things in a way that shouldn’t have been said. Let’s look at some guidelines:

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you [from all kinds of pitfalls, temptations, hidden snares and heartaches.]. James 1:19-21

Vanity and arrogance charge the battery of quarreling, and we know that arrogance leads to rebellion (ignoring the Spirit), then to sin, and then to destruction, in this case, of a relationship. It can also be the catalyst for losing privileges and even placement in whatever we are in, such as a job, a position at church, a place on a team, etc. So, how should we view our circumstances and behave?

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God [be holy and pleasing]—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2

If you have not committed these verses to memory yet, do it today. We live and die (or is it die and live?) according to these two verses.

Later on in the passage, Paul tells us how to relate to each other in a godly fashion:

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord [never lose your zeal in honoring one another above yourselves]. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone [pertaining to God’s Word] . 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:9-18

What it boils down to is this: We are to recognize our place in the body of Christ. We are responsible for ourselves and the ones over which God has put us in charge.  Period. Let’s not be taking more responsibility than God has allotted us. We are to make sure that we are doing the best we can and being the best we can be at what God has given us. The Shepherd will take care of the rest of the sheep.

I have been stung many times by offering help where help was not wanted. Would what I offered have helped? Absolutely, but since I wasn’t in charge, I could not force the issue. In fact, I am to have no feelings at all about it (dead people don’t have feelings; we must remember that we are living sacrifices that have been crucified with Christ and we no longer live, but Christ lives through us). I just focused on my part and made sure that I was doing what I was supposed to be doing to the best of my ability.

Today, let’s take the lower seat at the banquet table (Luke 14:8-11). Let’s wait to be asked for our assistance or opinion. Let’s let whoever is in charge be in charge. Tough? Absolutely for certain kinds of temperaments! But, it is the godly way of doing things.

Abba, as I go to play percussion for the Singing Churchwomen East, may I remember what I preached today and allow Randy Lind and others be in charge. I will make my services available to them for whatever they need and then step back and do what I am supposed to be doing to the best of my ability. If they ask me to do something, then grant me the wisdom and right heart attitude to jump up and do it immediately and fully THEIR WAY. May I be a humble and willing SERVANT for You today, LORD. Amen.

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