by Gloria Copeland
“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.”
James 3:13-16, New Living Translation
Scriptures reveal the enemies of love, and one is more insidious and more common than any other. It is the enemy called strife, which means: “vigorous or bitter conflict, discord and antagonism; to quarrel, struggle or clash; competitions; rivalry.”
According to James 3:16, where strife gets in, every other evil work will follow. Strife opens the door to the devil and licenses him to bring confusion and evil into our lives. That’s why he’s always pushing for us to argue with one another and get offended or critical of one another. It gives him access to us!
Satan doesn’t want you to enjoy THE BLESSING that is yours in Christ Jesus. He doesn’t want you to be healed, happy and prosperous because, if you are, other people will notice and want the same quality of life you have. They’ll give their hearts to God because of the goodness of God they see in your life.
To keep that from happening, the devil tries to steal THE BLESSING from you. He tries to trick you into opening the door of your life to him by bringing you an opportunity to have conflict with someone. He knows that the moment you step into strife, he can begin to gain mastery over you. The devil wants control of your life, but he can’t have it when you walk in love.
Don’t let him have control. Make a quality decision today to shut the door on strife. Refuse to argue with people. Refuse to fight back when people criticize or wrong you. Determine instead to respond in love—take no account of the evil done to you. When you do mess up and say harsh words, be quick to repent so the devil can’t get a foothold in your life.
It will be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. It will take effort, but by God’s grace you will be able to do it. It’s a small price to pay for the freedom in THE BLESSING…and you’ll be forever glad you did.
LOVE ASSIGNMENT: Keep your eyes and ears open to see where the enemy would have you respond to situations with strife. Turn the tables on him, and take the time to consider for a moment how you can respond in love—and do it!
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