2 Timothy 2:23-24 says “23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient” So many people (let alone Christians) strive about everything. They simply do not know how to control their tongues from speaking words of strife. And striving is not just about arguing with another person, although many times is often a big part of a person’s life.
Striving can also be about getting into worry, fear, anxiety, frustration, anger, taking an offense, etc. Anything that causes a person to not be at peace is always the enemy. Circumstances that appear to be a certain way cause people to lose their peace, instead of declaring how they want it to change and then thanking the Lord until it manifests in the future. Unfortunately those in the church are not much better then those in the world when it comes to truly walking in the Spirit.
So how does one change their life to stop striving so much? It is a process of renewing one’s mind from the things of their past to the things of the Lord. When you actually pay attention to what thoughts are coming into your mind and how many are from the enemy that cause you to speak words of strife, then you can finally do something about it. You need to be slow to speak, and then cognizant of the words that you do say to discern how a person may receive them. If it causes the person to become upset, then you are fanning the flames of strife and it is better left unsaid.
When you get a thought from the enemy that causes you to take an offense, you must let it go and not ruminate on it. I learned over many years and thousands of opportunities to take an offense, to just bite my tongue and consider it as taking one for the team of Christ. Knowing that the person coming at you simply was hurt in their life and are behaving out of that pain. That they know not what they do. Look at that person as to how Christ views them – as a hurting little girl or boy that never received the unconditional love that they deserved. Sometimes you may even feel like you are on the cross and getting whipped with verbal assaults, but when taking it for Christ, you can get through it and continue on.
I will never strive with anyone, ever at any time. I did not think it was possible, but after more than two years of walking in it, there is nothing better. People do not think it is possible but you can do it. If someone tries to argue with you over the phone, you simply tell them that you need to go and politely hang up and then pray for them. If you get into an argument, the enemy has a right to torment and cause you to not feel comfortable for sometimes hours, days or weeks. You simply cannot argue, ever with anyone at any time. Let it all go. Give them to the Lord. Love them, but you may need to separate from them in order to get out of immediate enemy fire to protect yourself.
So the next time you have an opportunity to get into strife, just say no. Walk away. Bite your tongue. You can do it!