“Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.” -Proverbs 22:10
God wants us to forgive a hurt, but He doesn’t say we are to become a doormat. He doesn’t tell us to keep strife in our lives. In fact, He tells us just the opposite. Proverbs 22:10 tells us that when our scorners add contention to our lives and we cannot come to an agreement, we are to cast out the scorner and strife will cease.
Have you ever had someone in your life who was constantly making things difficult for you? Ever have a friend who can’t seem to get behind your decision to do something? You’ve told them your reasons and discussed their concerns, but you just can’t find a way to get past this in your relationship. Sometimes these disputes carry more strife than just a disagreement that comes up every time the subject comes up. Occasionally, there is such a fundamental difference between friends where one party can’t seem to let go of the issue and so every encounter becomes an argument, maybe even a fight. It may even become more of a problem because the disagreement often becomes heated and spills over to involve your children or neighbors or other family members making life almost unbearable.
I’m not talking about Aunt Sally, who chides you about homeschooling every visit. I’m talking about the one who is so upset that he resorts to cruelty that affects your quality of life, endangers your family or has a negative effect on your children.
I don’t advocate cutting Aunt Sally out of your life because she pokes fun each Thanksgiving or disowning your mother because she is always telling you what she would do. These are things that are part of life in an imperfect world. I’m sure I do things that annoy my family too.
However, when a disagreement turns ugly, God tells us to cast out the scorner so that you can live a life closer to that which God would have for you. Why? You may remember that old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I beg to differ. Words do hurt. They hurt so much that they have been the cause of great strife. What are the dangers of leaving a scorner of this nature in your life?
1. You may be tempted to retaliate.
There will come a time when the temptation to bite his head off will be too great. You’ve heard of all those people who had been bullied all their lives. Some of them snap and do horrible things either to the one who had bullied them or to innocent bystanders who just happened to be nearby at the time. There is only so much a person can take. However long your rope is, there is usually an explosion when you reach the end of it.
2. You may be tempted to join him.
Many a bully has gained accomplices simply by making it too painful NOT to join him. School children have often been victims of this. They know it’s wrong for Billy to make fun of Bobby, but they feel if they don’t join him, they will be Billy’s next victim. Adults do this too. Maybe not on a physical level or an open forum like a schoolyard, but they do. A supervisor makes fun of the boss in front of the other employees. Coworkers jump on the bandwagon either fearing the supervisor will turn on them if they don’t, or in the hopes this will endear them to the supervisor who will remember them with a good raise at the end of the year.
3. It may deter you from the path God has you on.
Many times the story goes the other way. How many times have we heard of someone, who felt he was doing the right thing, turn from his convictions because someone made him feel it was too difficult to continue? How many times has someone abandoned their cause because they just couldn’t take it anymore? They gave up. It becomes even more difficult when there are more than one scorner.
4. It may turn your attitude.
Having strife constantly in your life at some point will cause your attitude to turn negative, not only toward the scorner, but everyone who has the misfortune of being in your presence at the time. The evil that spews from the scorner’s mouth may affect your children’s attitudes as well.
5. It may cause you to sin.
As I shared in a few of these dangers of having a scorner around, the temptation to sin becomes much greater, stronger with each passing day you are around this kind of person.
Our first choice should always be to repair the dispute between friends, neighbors or family. However, if the disputes are so intense as to cause this much strife, there comes a time when the Lord tells us to cast out the scorner so that the contention may go out and the strife will cease.
JoJo Tabares holds a degree in Speech Communication, but it is her humorous approach to communication skills which has made her a highly sought-after Christian speaker and writer. Her articles appear in homeschool publications, such as Homeschool Enrichment Magazine and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, which also endorses her Say What You Mean curricula. You can also find JoJo on web sites such as Crosswalk.com and Dr.Laura.com. For more information on communication FUNdamentals and Christian-based communication skills for the whole family, please visit http://www.ArtofEloquence.com
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