Selfishness Stirs Strife
He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the Lord shall be made fat. He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. (Proverbs. 28:25-26)
Take a moment and think of some of the silly fights you’ve had. At the moment, it didn't seem foolish or trivial, but in retrospect, you realize the argument was over something that in the long run didn't really matter all that much. However, at the time, it was a big deal because your pride was involved. There is a direct connection between strife and pride. All conflict is pride based. It is impossible to get into strife without pride in your heart.
A person who says, “I don’t have pride in my life” is full of pride. It takes a humble heart to open yourself up to acknowledge that you have any pride in the first place. The truth is, we all deal with it from time to time and need to have regular evaluations with ourselves to confront it and deal with it.
A proud heart is one that is quick to defend itself, especially by attacking anyone who opposes them. My spiritual father, Kenneth E. Hagin, refused to defend himself when people talked badly about him and said all sorts of horrible things about his ministry. It wasn't because he couldn't, but because he was learning to trust that God would defend him.
Verse 26 says, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.” Walking wisely comes from trusting God and not yourself. Believe in His deliverance and follow His way instead of trying to figure it out and do it all on your own. Keep out of strife and keep out of foolish plans; follow God and not your pride.
Practical Application – Are you quick to defend yourself? Practice humility by pausing and closing your mouth; then take the matter to God. Strife needs two parties working in pride to operate. Refuse to be that second party.