Five Ways to Avoid Strife

By on February 26, 2013
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I’ve been reading in 1 and 2 Timothy this past week and have been struck by Paul’s teaching on strife.

Because it is so human to get irritated, annoyed, and totally frustrated with people from time to time, let me share some thoughts on this topic that might help you.

Having different opinions, different perspectives, or different objectives is part of being human. Your kids, your spouse, your mom or your boss have every right to see things differently.

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Differences are understandable–but how you and I respond to those differences determines whether the outcome honors God and furthers His purposes, or just becomes an opportunity for us to let off steam!

Here are five ways to avoid strife that come straight from 2 Timothy 2:22-24. As Paul says in the next chapter of 2 Timothy, “Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for instruction,” so chew on these:

  • Make it your determined aim to have peaceful and harmonious relationships as much as you
  • Refuse to argue and divide over issues that don’t really matter–let it go.
  • Don’t be a quarrelsome person–that’s hardly a badge the Lord’s servants (you and me) should wear.
  • Pray for and practice being kind, mild-tempered and quick to build people up–not blow them up!
  • If correction is needed, be polite and courteous, praying that what you say brings them to Christ.

Q: Do you struggle with bickering, arguing, and feeling at odds with members of your family, your friends, or those you work with? What will you do about it?

Scripture is full of help–search it, pray over it, and practice it. Ask the Holy Spirit for help to become a woman known for her gentleness, one who avoids strife and builds others up.

It can happen–God promises!


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About Poppy Smith

Born in England to a non-believing family, Poppy grew up there and in Sri Lanka, Singapore and Kenya. She met her American husband in Nairobi and they soon moved to the United States. The adjustment to her new marriage and new country, combined with loneliness and the loss of all that was familiar, brought Poppy to a defining moment with God. The resulting change, from anger to acceptance, from fighting God to seeking Him, led her into a life-long love of Scripture and the One it reveals. Her website:

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Five Ways to Avoid Strife