What Does the Bible Say About Strife?

By Tim Greenwood

The Bible has a lot to say about how destructive strife is when it is allowed into any area of our life and the importance of putting an end to that strife. Below, I have paraphrased just some of the scriptures that talk about strife.

Genesis 13:7-8 says that the whole land was given to Abram, but it was so important to Abram to avoid strife, that he gave up half of the land, and took the less fertile part.

Psalms 106:32 says that Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land - because he allowed the people to provoke him to strife.

Proverbs 28:25 and Psalms 31:20 say that there is a connection between pride and strife and that it is God's desire to protect us from strife.
Proverbs 15:18 and Proverbs 29:22 say that there is a connection between anger and strife.
Proverbs 16:28 says that if a person plants the seeds of strife or spreads strife, he is either habitually contrary or he is a fraud pretending to be a Christian.

Proverbs 17:1 says that a tiny piece of jerky in a desolate but tranquil place is better than a limitless supply of meat in a palace where there is strife.

Proverbs 17:14 says that strife is like when you crack the bottom of a water-pot, and then start picking at it. Once it starts to flow, it's almost impossible to stop it. Therefore if a situation seems fragile, don't pick at it. Because once it has poured out all over the place, you can't put it back into the pot.
Proverbs 17:19 says that there is a connection between rebellion and strife.

Proverbs 20:3 says that it's honorable to walk away from strife - but a fool just has to stay and meddle.

Proverbs 22:10 says that if you throw out a mocker (one who makes mouths at people), strife, judgment and dishonor will get up and leave too.

Proverbs 26:17 says that getting mixed up in strife that does not belong to you is about as smart as grabbing an attack dog by the ears!

Proverbs 30:33 says that just as sure that churning milk makes butter, and just as sure as twisting someone's nose causes it to bleed, publicly pointing out someone else's faults will cause strife.

Galatians 5:20 and Romans 13:13 show that Paul places strife in the same category as: "Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, contention, debate, jealousy, wrath, seditions, heresies, laying around deliberately exposing yourself, drunkenness, sleeping around, filthiness in mind or behavior and envying.

Philippians 2:3 says that we should not try to accomplish things or change things through strife. But rather humbly address the issue as if you considered those involved to be important people.

1 Timothy 6:4 addresses how sometimes an insecure person over-compensating out of self pride, will enter a discussion and ask loaded, inflammatory questions or start disputes over picky little issues or impugn motives, just to stir up strife and drag the group down to his or her level.

James 3:14 - 16 says that another form of strife is jealous rivalry which manifests itself in boasting and spinning the facts just to make yourself seem better than someone else. This usually ends up with others involved in your strife.

As you can see for yourself strife is one thing that we as Christians must absolutely remove from our lives.