We’re continuing to look at the seven things in our passage that God sees as an abomination. God is a tender, compassionate God who is rich in mercy and grace, but He is also a God of justice—One who hates and abhors sin in every form. Preachers often fail to remind people that while our God is essentially a God of love, He also has the capacity to hate and wield His vengeance (Rom 12:19).
In Proverbs 6:16-19 the passage clearly declares that God hates haughty eyes (a proud look), a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren. Today, we’re looking at the seventh thing written here that is an abomination to our Lord, “those who sow discord among brethren”.
7. Those Who Sow Discord Among Brethren
God is pleased when He sees His children living together in harmony and peace. He is deeply troubled when discord and strife surface in the family and/or the church. The Thesaurus gives a whole list of words that can be substituted for “discord.” They are disagreement, disunity, disharmony, variance, conflict, noncooperation, friction, tension, enmity, etc. Some who profess faith in Christ are absolute experts at sowing discord. They thrive on tension and sarcasm. They put up roadblocks within the fellowship. They seem unaware of the fact that God says, “I hate discord.” We all have some of these difficult people in our lives; those we are required to walk on eggshells around them or live with the consequences. Generally what happens, is we just don’t end up spending time together.
God has commissioned the church to spread the Gospel to a dying world, but many times we sit in our comfortable pews and shoot at the saints. But one who “speaks evil” of an absent person is giving evidence of a lack of love. There are probably no other sins named in the Bible that are condemned more severely than the sin of needlessly repeating the faults of other people. There is perhaps nothing that God hates more. His Word says we are “to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people” (Titus 3:2). It also says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (Eph 4:31).
I must admit that today’s message is truly screaming at me. There are so many hateful and abusive people who are gleefully ugly to one another. It’s an easy thing to fall into rewarding ugly speech and behavior with our own ugly behavior, but that is not what the Lord tells us to do. We are to allow His light to shine through us, not allow our own ugly mouthiness to shine through so that no one can tell the difference between us and those who don’t know Jesus. God’s Word tells us, “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.” (James 4:11) And we are to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).
We should follow the instructions which Jesus gave as recorded in Matt 18:15-17, and go and speak directly with the offending person. If the issue is not important enough to use that approach, then we need to pray for the brother or sister, and hope that God will bring change for the better. There is nothing the devil would rather do than disrupt the unity that should exist among God’s people in a local assembly. We must guard against getting caught up in a spirit of fault-finding and in this way sow discord among the brethren. God hates the sowing of discord and unrest among fellow believers, and considers it an abomination.
We need to cooperate with God and seek more and more to sanctify our natures, so that gossiping and slandering and maligning others will increasingly disappear. God will not hold him guiltless who drives wedges between friends and family members and brothers and sisters in Christ. These have been things which God hates. We must strive to increasingly love the things that God loves, and to hate those things that God hates. I know the Lord is calling me to my knees to repent of angry talk and sowing discord. I need to pray for each one that I want to call out so that I learn to see them through God’s eyes. After all, while I was still a sinner Christ died for me out of His great mercy and grace because I did not then, and do not now deserve His love and sacrifice.
I’m reminded that I must seek His face (His will), die to myself and live for Him counting on Him to shepherd me where He wants me to go, restores my soul and leads me beside still waters (Ps 23). Thank You, Lord, for Your loving message to me to stop acting like satan’s minions and allow You to work through me. Thank You for the reminder that if I will turn to You in faith and repentance, and with a set-of-mind that is determined by the grace of God to walk according to Your Word, there will be new power to move ahead victoriously. Thank You, Jesus!