It is an honor for a man to keep away from strife [by handling situations with thoughtful foresight], But any fool will [start a] quarrel [without regard for the consequences]. —Prov. 20:3, AMP
Strife is prevalent, and not just outside of us, but on the inside of us.
However, we get the victory when the LORD helps us recognize it and overcome it with the Word of God, prayer, worship, repentance, and often, changing our life and habits to remove from our lives those things that have been the source of the strife.
This is much too complex a topic to delve deeply into in this writing, but let me just give you a few tips on how to recognize strife and replace it with peace.
Some of this is definitely from personal experience, and since the LORD has been teaching me His ways, I have started to enjoy so much more peace in every realm of my life!
If God can do it for me, He can do it for you!
One of the main things to remember is that this is a journey. You are not going to be completely free of the effects of strife on this planet, but you can greatly insulate your heart and mind and body and God-ordained relationships from it, praise the LORD, and you can abide in Him–the Prince of Peace–and bear much fruit (Luke 15:4,5).
These tips will help you with all of life, not just in recognizing and avoiding strife. That’s the way God works–He does several wonderful things at once!
(1) Recognize that, if you are easily angered/offended/upset, then there are roots in your heart or soul (or both) that you need to get rid of.
For years, I was a born-again Believer who loved God and read the Word, went to church, worshiped, etc., but the LORD helped me realize that His Love and peace and joy and vision in me was being strangled by roots of unforgiveness, bitterness, and more.
He answered, Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be torn up by the roots.—Matthew 15:13, AMPC
(2) Repent of these wrong roots, which essentially means renouncing (asking the LORD to forgive you of listening to the enemy, and rejecting those wrong thoughts; repenting of them) every agreement you’ve made with the enemy, who accuses others, and even yourself, to you.
Most Believers have no idea how much they have agreed with the enemy through the years. But the Holy Spirit, Who is the Spirit of Truth, is faithful to turn on the light for us. The main way He does that is through the Word of God!
A big part of repentance is forgiving others. You can do this in your heart and mind, but it is most powerful when you say it out loud. That way, the holy angels and the demonic forces hear it. You hear yourself say it as well!
(3) Receive the LORD’s forgiveness. When we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to hear us, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). He is a good, good Father, and has truly already forgiven us through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross. When we repent and ask Him for forgiveness, however, it is for the cleansing of our hearts and consciences!
(4) Remember to forgive yourself! Condemnation is not from God. Once we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and LORD (John 3:15-17), then we become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (Isaiah 61:10, Romans 3:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21).
(5) Rejoice that, what the enemy means for evil, God Your Father always works for your good (Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28)! Hallelujah! Now, you can invite the Prince of Peace to fill you afresh with Himself; to help you be thankful, to walk in love and remember and rehearse the good things about Him, and also about the others with which you used to have a problem!
Here’s another secret: The more thankful you are, the more peace and joy you will have!
I have this Scripture posted inside the cabinet where I have my vitamins, so I see it every morning (and more often, if I take vitamins twice a day!): “Let peace rule in your hearts and be thankful.”—Colossians 3:15
So another definite and vital part of rejoicing is to be in the Word of God every day–even if it’s just one Scripture that you think about over and over (which is what “meditation” is!)–and pray (simply talking to God, your very Best Friend, your loving Daddy God) throughout the day (out loud or in your heart and mind, or both); and worship!
Obedience is a biggie too, of course, as He shows you things. But I’m digressing into other sermons; those are for another time.
If you’ll do these 5 things, with the daily basis of the Word, worship, and prayer, you’ll find that the LORD is getting involved more and more, and it may be very uncomfortable sometimes; rotting flesh (sin, oppression, whatever’s against God in your life!) always is! But it will be so worth it for Him Who loves you so much Jesus died for you to let Him love you by cleansing and healing and delivering and restoring you!
Take it from one who’s been through many such processes, it’s a wonderful life now, on the “other side.” Not that I’ve arrived, but I’m so thankful He’s helped me stay close to Him and trust in Him to help me. I truly have a life of “Heaven on earth” now. And it just gets better from here.
The same can be true for you. Go for it!
It all starts with a relationship with Jesus Christ. If you don’t know Him, say this prayer out loud: Dear Jesus, I need You to please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and save me, and start the cleansing and restoring process. I renounce all the works of satan in my life, and I receive You as my Savior and LORD and Best Friend Forever. Thank You, and HALLELUJAH!
Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.—Psalm 34:14, Berean Study Bible
So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. — Romans 14:19, NASB
5 For even when we arrived in Macedonia, our bodies had no ease or rest, but we were oppressed in every way and afflicted at every turn—fighting and contentions without, dread and fears within [us]. 6 But God, Who comforts and encourages and refreshes and cheers the depressed and the sinking, comforted and encouraged and refreshed and cheered us,–2 Cor 7:5-6, AMPC
Tonja K. Taylor is a joyful, free worshiper, teacher, author, wife, and mother who adores helping others know the sweet faithfulness of God. Through her YouTube channel, “River Rain Creative Arts” and other platforms, she tutors people around the world in faith, worship, writing, health, and more.