Pastor Joe Miller IV
These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
I often told my kids when they were young and lived at home, “I know you’re going to do wrong and fail your mom and me at times, and even make some choices that cause the whole family to suffer the consequences, but nothing will grieve me as much as when you fight amongst yourselves or even drop a seed of discord in ‘my family’.”
In Proverbs 6, we see God the Father has the same attitude and goals for His children, and in our case, at Harvest Baptist Church. God hates the first six items listed here, and we should always be on guard to be careful in each situation we find ourselves in. We need to make choices wisely to reject these temptations and to not grieve God. But the seventh, which generally can be a product of the previous six, is an abomination to our Heavenly Father. ‘To sow discord among the brethren’ is morally disgusting in God’s eyes. To understand the severity of this, go to Leviticus 20:13 or Deuteronomy 12:31 to find instances where God is utterly disgusted by actions. But here we are talking about sowing discord. It means to send forth strife and ultimately an unraveling or undoing of relationships. To divide the family. Oftentimes, this happens by something we say. Our words. That is why it is so important to watch what we say and even ask ourselves, ‘What are the consequences going to be if I open my mouth or get this off my chest?’
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
We can also sow discord by the things we hear and react to. How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you say something and it was twisted or interpreted wrong. Sometimes we don’t wait to hear the whole story and react prematurely to what we perceive about a situation, and it causes discord.
He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
This verse says coming to an opinion and reacting without hearing the whole matter will not pan out too well for anyone.
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
‘If it be possible.’ Sometimes apologizing doesn’t even work.
Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
‘Only by pride cometh contention.’ Whether it is the person with overly aggressive words or the person with overly sensitive ears - both are offended by pride and can potentially cause discord.
I remember an incident that happened years ago. I heard some loud noises and yelling coming from the kitchen. As I entered, I saw milk all over the floor and two of my kids standing there - one holding the milk jug and the other holding a cup, yelling at each other over who was at fault. It was the one pouring or the one receiving. In their eyes, it was the milk they were fighting about, but in my eyes (as the dad), it was the discord that was taking place in my family over spilled milk. You might say, ‘But Joe, what I’m dealing with is not just spilled milk. I have been wronged, and I’m offended. I can’t live or worship with this person. I can’t even look at this person.’ Maybe in your eyes, it is worth dividing over, but I’m willing to say that, in God’s eyes, it’s probably spilled milk.
Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
1 Peter 4:7,8
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
Why does God include these verses in scripture? Because God does not want us to be ignorant, to understand it’s not if transgressions happen, it’s when they happen to stop. Forgive. Clean up the mess. Love one another and unite. In doing so, we glorify our Heavenly Father.