/ / / How to Avoid Strife {Proverbs 30}

How to Avoid Strife {Proverbs 30}

 

The Proverbs are filled with wisdom. One of the things they teach us is how to avoid strife. There is one thing we can do that will cut it off every time. #Biblestudy #Proverbs #WomensBibleStudy #GoodMorningGirls

Proverbs 30:32 says:

If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,
 or if you have been devising evil,
put your hand on your mouth.


Sometimes my mouth becomes like a fire hose – words come pouring out.

Words that are not pure, kind, merciful or gracious.

Most times the words began as thoughts in my head – swirling around as I lay in my bed…pride rears its ugly head, anger builds up, imaginary conversations begin and before you know it someone says something that triggers these thoughts and out they pour.

More times than not, the moment these impure thoughts come tumbling out of my mouth, I know what I’ve been thinking is not right but there’s no taking them back.

There they are…

my private thoughts…

laid bare to see.

Proverbs 30:33 says – if you have been foolish and prideful and thinking evil things – “put your hand on your mouth.”

That’s one way to make the firehose stop – right?

When my children were younger, I handled bickering this way.  I would tell them that because they were not speaking kindly, they had to cup their hand over their mouth for 1 minute.  This was extremely effective in making the bickering stop (Yay!) and giving them an uncomfortable consequence.

But today, as I read these words through my adult eyes, I wonder…how many times have I needed to simply put MY hand over MY mouth!?!

Just yesterday I was upset about something and when I reflect on it today, I see how incredibly foolish my words were in response to the “pressure” I was feeling.

In Proverbs 29:11, it says only a fool gives full vent to their anger…a wise man keeps calm.

Calm.

Quiet.

Controlled.

Peaceful.

Do these qualities describe you?

How about when you are under pressure?

Let’s look at Proverbs 30 and the graphic illustration used to explain how strife is produced.

For pressing milk produces curds,
pressing the nose produces blood,
and pressing anger produces strife.
~Proverbs 30:33

This verse explains some common laws of nature.

Curds are the product of pressure on milk. Blood is the product of pressure on a nose.  And in the same way…strife is the product of pressure from an angry person.

Pressure.

Have you been under pressure?

Perhaps a child or spouse is pressing on you with demands?

Perhaps your in-laws, a friend or co-worker is making you angry and you feel the tension rising?

Or maybe out on Facebook or other social media the pressure there is making your anger spill over into your comments.

How do we avoid strife in the midst of these scenarios?

Perhaps we need to physically put our hand over our mouth or stop our fingers from typing.

Be silent.

Remember what James 1:20 says:

“The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Oh friends, let’s pursue righteousness by avoiding anger and strife.

Let’s not be the one putting pressure on others and causing strife.

Let’s not respond to pressure with anger.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
~James 3:17,18

Do you see the product of wisdom in the list above?

Peace.

Gentleness.

Reasonable.

Mercy and good fruit.

Impartiality.

Sincerity.

And peace again.

As Jesus said:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
~ Matthew 5:9

**Chime In**

Are you under pressure – where is the pressure coming from?
Which of these qualities do you need to pursue most to overcome strife in your life?

Walk with the King,

Courtney

24 Comments

  1. Thank you for this lesson. I feel gratitude for hearing God’s voice through my sadness over losing control yesterday. I’m going to work at being obedient to God’s word instead of fighting to be treated fairly. I realize that I need to trust God to work on my behalf.

    Now on to writing out the verses in today’s lesson!

  2. Hi Courtney,
    Wonderful post today. I had did my SOAK prior to reading and when I read the post I saw more to even think about. Thank you!! I just went through a breakup with my fiance and I am at a point not sure where I want to be with it. But we had a habit of making each other angry a lot for whatever issues. My main issue with him was that he is normally (at least with me) a hot tempered person. And at first I would try to be that calm quiet nonarguing person. As that happened more and more, I felt pressured to react. And while I used to be that way before him, I knew I could push his buttons back and I felt tired of being on the receiving end. With each complaint and visits to my mistakes I was a tea kettle ready at any minute to overspill. Towards the end, I became just like what I didn’t want to be. And it led to our demise. I stopped talking to God during those moments of weakness. And that I need to keep with me in dealing with us. Keeping me a peaceful and walking with Him in the way he would like me to be.

    JD

  3. Thank you for this Courtney!! For having it be the first email this morning in my inbox is a blessing all its own. I, like many others, have pressure at home and at work. When I am at work I have pressure to be the fair and hardworking boss that isn’t always everyone’s favorite person. As a supervisor, I will not always be everyone’s favorite. I am trying harder than ever to bring God and His wisdom with me in every situation I have to deal with at work. I work with a lot of different personalities and this is my biggest struggle. I want them to like me and see me as a fair and kind person. (I am these things, but I am not seen that way often). I also spend my work day praying that God will help me connect with my employees in a way that blesses them and myself and in a way that makes the Lord proud of my work. Then I leave work and head home to a screaming baby (she is 3 months old with a pretty bad spell of reflux) and a three year old that is testing her daddy’s patientce in the midst of a screaming baby. In that moment, I feel that it is my job to calm everyone down (including my stressed hubby) while trying to get dinner on the table for my family. I feel the pressure here by trying my best to be the wife and mother God wants me to be, and to do it perfectly. I know I am not and will not ever do it perfectly, but it is the pressure I put on myself. So today, I am praying for God’s peace, the ability to cup my hand over my mouth when I start to say something that is not kind or gracious, for God’s grace when I screw it up, and praying that I am doing all this work (at home and at my job) for God’s glory and that I am making Him proud.

    Thanks Courtney….this blessed my day!!

  4. Wow. I mean wow. I’ve read this scripture a jillion times and yet this is fresh and a painfully relevant for me this morning. I get impatient with my excellent daughters and yell and get mad….usually because I am spending time on myself instead of helping them…so then we run late or I feel inconvenienced. God has been working this out in my heart….thank you for being a tool…in this case a chisel & flashlight.

  5. Courtney, thank you for this timely reminder that “out of the heart the mouth speaks”. We live in a strife-filled world. I can never plant too much of GOD’s heart revealed in His Word into my mind. Proverbs has highlighted over and over again how important our words are and the wise words that please our Heavenly Father. I never thought of cupping my hand over my mouth or my child’s literally, but I love the idea. However, I may have my mouth cupped more than not. Hopefully, I’m learning and growing and that will not be the case. Blessings to All!

  6. This is so good. So easily we can tend towards anger.

    A verse that stuck out to me recently, Proverbs 25:28. Bascily saying that if we lose self control, let anger over take us; we are like a city wall broken down. 🙁 If you emagine a city wall broken, the enemy can get RIGHT in. Our enemy is SATAN and when our ‘city wall’ is broken down, satan can get right in!! 🙁

    I’m Praying we can each keep our self-control, keeping our walls up against satan.
    Trudie
    http://www.LearningLittleLessons.com

  7. Whew! How I needed to read this today!
    Impartiality & Sincerity are those I need to currently work on- feeling so much pressure from family as my parents divorce 12 years ago is a continuing source ofor contention.
    Now that there are grandkids & birthdays to attend & living far away from them, we’re having to pick & choose who gets to stay with us when for events (my eldest has her birthday party next week) & it’s a lot of pressure!
    Oh how I desperately need our Lord to intervene & help make me a peacemaker, gracious, merciful & extending love…

  8. I had to look up what strife meant…to be sure. Anger, or bitter disagreement. The word bitter stuck out to me. I have a friendship that I once thought was one of my best, but over the past couple years things have become weird, and I’ve felt she hasn’t been honest with me when I ask her about some things that have happened. This has caused me to be very bitter, and angry. Our families are spending the next week together with her family and I am so anxious about it. I hope my firehose doesn’t open up. This post came at a perfect time. I will be praying for calm, quiet, self control, peace, mercy. God please help this friendship thrive and not take a dive.
    Thank you Courtney.

  9. Wow! What a devotion for this morning. I needed this. I let anger fester inside of me and then not only is my heart wrong but I end up physically ill. I say a lot of pressure comes from my spouse, I don’t measure up, nothing is good enough. I need to work on a lot of things mentioned this morning.

  10. I am in real need for all of these scriptures and studies. I have had tons of strife from my outside family members in regards to wearing dresses all of the time, to growing out my hair, to complimenting my husband instead of seeing his faults, to not agreeing with negativity or gossip about others that I did not see or hear for myself, to how my husband treats me as a slave and is controlling my every being. It’s just unbelievable what I’ve gone through and is not the first time for any of this to happen. The latest hateful message I had received I remembered this scripture and many others, it took everything I had to ignore and not respond. Yes, it hurt tremendously every false accusation that was shot at myself along with my daughter (yes, they did the same thing to her). All I can see if pure evil resting in their hearts and in their homes. They have been able to convince other family members of the false accusations whom all are listening to and following a false “leader”, all I can do is pray for them and hope Our Lord In Savoir can open up their eyes and hearts. Not only have they done this to myself, my daughter, my husband, our sons, but their own siblings as well. They believe it is ok for them to be so hateful and treat people in such a hateful way.

  11. Hi Courtney,

    I was wondering if it is ok if I post your discussion questions each day on my IG and FB page? I’ll give credit back to you and promote GMGs. I don’t have an official group with you yet but I am trying to get the word out to Women in my area and it’ll hopefully turn in to a more permanent group. I just don’t want to step on your toes. I also have a blog call La Mere Diaries that I may reflect on some of the verses on. How do you want me to link back to you. I am totally new at this lol.

    1. Hi Jessica – that all sounds great!! A direct link to womenlivingwell.org or goodmorninggirls.org or to the blog post of the day is wonderful – whatever works for you!

      Thank you so much for reaching out.
      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

  12. Good Morning,
    Pressures that I have are self brought. I place so much heavy stuff on my own shoulders that when an extra pressure comes at me from a source I am not open to I can have thoughts tumble that are not pleasing to God. Then I know I need to pause and remind myself why I am impatient with this latest demand or need from this person and it always comes back that I am flustered because I have already set my day up to get through the load I have burdened myself with. I am a all out and all in kind of person and I expect 100 % the best of myself in everything I do. When I am loaded with so many things to do it is easy to run short of the qualities I need to please God when a need arises that I did not plan for. By pausing and evaluating my reaction, merciless thoughts, impatience, etc….I give God the window to speak to my heart and He always helps me chill out on my plans and make room for the need at hand. Thankful for this study today, it is a great reminder for me and a boost for the next unforeseen need that arises and interrupts my plans that I may catch my thoughts before any tumble and instead of pausing for God to speak to me I will pause to smile up and say see I am learning and please Him more quickly. Have a great day everyone, God Bless you Courtney.

  13. I so needed to read this! My husband is unsaved and I’ve tried not to force anything on him. The illistration of pressing the nose causing bleeding. I don’t want to press my husband and cause bleeding! I want him to walk into the Kingdom excited and of his own accord. Afterall, if he is pushed in, he will push back and it will not be a lasting relationship. It’s hard at times to figure out the dynamic when you want so badly for it to be a Godly discussion or prayer. Until that day, I will hold back and allow God to work in his life. Hopefully through what he sees in me and hears in church he will be lead to want to know the Lord!

  14. Boy did I need to hear this today!
    Last week my father past away. My father and mother had been married 46 years and he handled everything. Their finances, doctor appointments, cell phone, computer, you name it. My mom loved the attention and being “taken care of”. Well, now she is lost. She doesn’t even know how to use an ATM. I am an only child, the mother of 3 children, and a wife to my husband of 20 years and the job of taking care of my mom and dealing with final arrangements for my dad has been placed on me. I was very close to my dad, so I’m missing him terribly and I find myself losing my patience with my mom. Not to mention feeling guilty about it being summer and not doing “fun” things with my kids. I am stressed.
    I’m using these passages to remind myself of the need for self-control, peace and strength.

    1. OH Wendy,

      I am so sorry for your loss. I am saying a prayer for you right now. May you sense the presence of the Lord with you as you walk through this valley.

      Lots of Love and ((Hugs)),
      Courtney

    2. Wendy, I am so sorry for your loss. I was in your situation two years ago. My heart goes out to you. I will have you and your mother in my prayers.

    3. Sorry for your loss Wendy. Praying for peace and patience in dealing with your mother. And that your mother can learn all she needs to in taking care of herself.

  15. This was so encouraging for me today. So comforting to know we do not walk alone, others go through trials and yet God sees us through them,even when we are in our flesh, he draws back through His word, a email,a friend. Whatever He can use to draw us back to Him. Loved this message and I’m so excited for next week.

    Blessings,
    Adrienne
    IG: craftea_mom
    Blog: http://www.crafteamom.blogspot.com
    YouTube: CrafTEA Mom

  16. I messed up *bigtime* the other day. We are in the middle of moving and the a/c had gone out in my car AND house. I was a little grumpy. So when a pizza driver pulled out in front of me and I had to slam my brakes and swerve into the left lane I honked my horn at her. She proceeded to flip me off. That was it! I followed her to the pizza shop and demanded with her boss that she be written up. He pacified me and said that he would but afterward I realized I had lost my witness by the way I reacted. We all mess up sometimes and are a constant working of the Holy Spirit.
    I would like to recommend a fantastic book that really helped me in this area. It is called Powerful Peace by Greg and Sharon Fletcher. http://www.powerful-peace.com It will change your life!!!

  17. Thank you Courtney I gained some new perspective on how to act by your section here “Oh friends, let’s pursue righteousness by avoiding anger and strife.

    Let’s not be the one putting pressure on others and causing strife.

    Let’s not respond to pressure with anger.

    But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
    ~James 3:17,18”

  18. I just wanted to thank you for this post! It’s late at night, I’m 30 and I’m struggling with a toxic friendship. I’ve tried countless ways of dealing with this situation and nothing has worked. I’m on the path of finding God and as silly as it sounds Pinterest lead me here. Anyway, thank you this truly will help me rest my head tonight.

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