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Avoiding strife ..step by step

Proverbs 30:32-33

    “If you have been foolish in exalting yourself, or if you have devised evil, put your hand on your mouth. For as the churning of milk produces butter, and wringing the nose produces blood, so the forcing of wrath produces strife.”

    The wisdom in these verses is how to remain free of strife. There are other things that elicit strife, and this must be added to the list. Here we are instructed in several areas:

  1.     To exalt oneself is foolish- The idea of exalting oneself is reminiscent of the way Noah’s flood waters lifted up and carried the ark. They set the ark above everyone and everything else. This is the picture we should have when we exalt ourselves. This is foolishness.

  2. To devise evil is also foolish. - To devise evil is to meditate, plot, imagine, or mutter evil. This is also foolish. 

  3. God gives us the answer for our behavior by instructing us to clasp our hand over our mouth. The reason for this is because death and life are in the power of the tongue and if we do not force our mouths shut, the natural consequence for these behaviors is strife. This is dangerous of course because where envying and striving are, there are confusion and every evil work. Ie- an open door to the wicked one to wreak havoc in our lives. 

  4. God expresses that there is no other result from this type of behavior by comparing the resulting strife with the natural reactions of churning milk and squeezing the nose. Proverbs 13:10 states that only by pride comes strife {KJV} thus, pride and exalting of oneself are two heads of the same beast. They are both foolish and must be dealt with harshly. If we do not stop our own mouths from exalting ourselves pridefully, the wicked one will enter our lives and we will no longer be able to walk to proudly upon the earth. 

There are consequences for our words to be sure but what brings about the most impactful consequences are the words we speak that we also believe. 

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