Peace. It’s something we all long for in our relationships with other people. It is something God wishes for us here on earth. Upon the birth of Jesus Christ the angels praised God and said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).
Peace and good will towards men can sometimes be a challenge. Especially when our “neighbor”, to whom we are to “love” is such an unpleasant fellow!
The Characteristics of an unpleasant fellow include and unfortunately not limited to always having to be right, being obnoxious, rude, a gossip, putting other people down, constantly complaining, pointing out what is wrong in everything and in general, never happy. We all know someone who has one or more of these attributes.
An unpleasant fellow pollutes their environment. Everyone within that environment is affected by the negative emanating from them. So what do we do?
“Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.” Proverbs 22:10
It’s a simple solution. Remove the problem. If someone you know is creating turmoil in your life by their very being and presence then just walk away from them. There is no sense in having a stumbling block in your life.
“Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.” Proverbs 4:14-15.
Some people try to fix the negative fellow. The best thing to do is to lead by example and do not speak to or confront the negative attribute. Anger is a good example. Yes, “A soft answer turneth away wrath” according to the first part of Proverbs 15:1. But the rest of it paints the picture complete, “but grievous words stir up anger.”
If you engage a negative person then more than likely you are going to get a negative response. Your good intentions become thwarted and overpowered by the anger generated within you by them. The devil can only draw out of us what is already within us.
Here is something all of us need to contemplate. “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom” (Proverbs 13:10). “Only by pride”, our own pride! Oh so very powerful. Strife comes only by pride. Not the pride of the “negative fellow” but the pride within ourselves.
“There is nothing into which the heart of man so easily falls as pride, and yet there is no vice which is more frequently, more emphatically, and more eloquently condemned in Scripture.” Charles Spurgeon
In Proverbs 21: 4 we are warned of “An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.” Pride is sin. Part of our daily repentance to God is to indentify sin within our self. One of the biggest anchors that sin snags in your heart is correctness. “I have to be right” or better yet, “I am right” is often times nothing but the voice of pride.
Having to be right or having to have the last word stems from pride. If you are in a situation where being right really doesn’t matter or doesn’t affect an outcome then why even bring it up?
Only by pride.
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