Adult SS Lesson – Discord

VII. Proverbs 6:16-19   Soweth Discord (The Actions)

Prov 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, & hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, & he that soweth discord among brethren.

19…he that soweth discord among brethren.

 

            Introduction: We finish our seven series closing with the seventh item the Lord hates, one who “soweth discord among brethren”. As already stated, the purpose of these seven warnings for us is to strive to honor the Lord, not participate or practice what gets under His skin. God wants us to live the life He wants, not glorifying ourselves. While we go astray, we must remember God alone has the ability to save us. Like Job we claim, “He (God) will deliver you from six troubles; in seven no evil shall touch you.” (Job 5:19). Let’s take a look at the problem, “sowing discord”…

 

The Problem: Sowing Discord

  • Explanation: The Hebrew word discord (Medan) is the same word “strife” meaning a lack of harmony between persons (often in marriage) where a difference of opinion leading to war. Discord is an inharmonious combination of tones (think music) leading to conflict, arguments & quarreling from one to another.
  • Illustration: Think of it like this… One man gets nothing but discord out of a piano but another gets harmony (have me play then Becky). Discord or harmony, no one claims it’s the piano fault but more the person. Life is like that as God is not at fault, man is.
  • Application: 3 “Sowed Seeds” of Discord… Which one do you sow?

            o A Seed of Bitterness – A seed of bitterness is ultimately hostility (to others). Bitter men have profound grief that acts on the mind like poison in the body.

He holds on to fury, takes offense, refuses reconciliation & strikes out in anger.

  • Let all bitterness, & wrath, & anger, & clamour, & evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: Eph 4:31

            o A Seed of Anger – While anger is not always a sin (righteous anger), it becomes sin when motivated by pride (the first thing God hates). Unrighteous, angry people let their anger linger. They attack the problem/person using destructive words & poison speech, holding a grudge & keep things inside.

  • Be ye angry & sin not, let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Eph. 4:26

            o A Seed of Distrust – Distrust is essentially taking eyes off the Lord looking to our own strength & confidence instead of that which comes from the Lord & His Word. One who sows a seed of discord using distrust will push others to put their faith in the world over faith in God’s Word. God hates that!

  • “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15
  • These actions don’t come from the Spirit but “the works of the flesh” (Galatians 5:19), which we are called to wrestle against.

            Transition: While salvation takes away the penalty of sin, it doesn’t take away the “sinful nature” or fight against the flesh (that which still clings to us while still in this life). The sinful nature demands a daily fight, leaving behind the old man & developing the new man walking in the Spirit (Gal 5:16-25). Christians are called to crucify the sinful nature with its passion & desires, to keep in step with the Spirit. How do we do that?

Solution: Three ways to sow harmony over discord.
 

            #1: Embrace the Fight Against Bitterness

  • Explanation: We must make sure “bitter roots” aren’t growing in our hearts causing us to fall short of God’s grace. God’s desire is we live in love, joy, peace, & holiness – not bitterness. As believers we’re called to watch diligently, being on guard against the grave peril of bitterness fighting it in a few ways. Leaving bitterness means we forgive. A lack of forgiveness is why we hold onto bitterness. We must face that we are unwilling as in tension there is growth.
  • Illustration: In the parable of the man who was forgiven a great debt (Matt. 18:24-35), the forgiven man immediately demands payment from someone who owes him a fraction of what he himself owed. Though he was shown mercy & grace, he was unwilling to extend it even in a small way which lead to sowing discord.
  • Application: An unforgiving spirit has eyes on themselves not the Lord. When we tell God, “Someone should pay for this.” He says, “I did…” God knows what’s going on. He knows our thoughts & how others hurt us. He was there. One of the hardest things we ever do is pray for those who have hurt us; but it opens the door of our heart, so that God can come melt icy resentment that is there.

            o “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10

 

            #2: Embrace the Fight Against Anger

  • Explanation: We biblically handle anger by returning good for evil (Gen. 50:21 & Rom. 12:21), converting anger into love. That is, we can change our feelings toward others by changing how we choose to act towards them – communicating to solve the problem.
  • Illustration: “Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal & career success.” Paul J. Meyer
  • Application: Four basic rules of communication shared in Eph. 4:15, 25-32.

            o Honestly Speak (Ephesians 4:15, 25) – People can’t read minds. Speak in love!

            o Stay Current (Ephesians 4:26-27) – What bothers us can’t build up or we will lose the ability to control ourselves. Deal with it now before blowing up!

            o Attack Problems, Not People (Ephesians 4:29 & 31) – Remember the importance of keeping the volume of our voices low (Proverbs 15:1).

            o Act, don’t react (Ephesians 4:31-32) – The first impulse is often a sinful one (31). Count to ten, reflecting on the godly way to respond (32) to remind yourself how to solve the problem & not create a bigger one.

            #3: Embrace the Fight Against Distrust

  • Explanation: While men can & will let us down, Christ is the sure foundation. Isaiah tells us this is what the Sovereign Lord says, “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste..” (Isaiah 28:16) Jesus is the solid rock – our only hope of security (Matt. 7:24).

            o We must keep our eyes on Christ! • Illustration: “Ye cannot serve two masters…” Matt. 6:24

  • Application: The reason for distrust is occupation with self or an “it’s all about me” mentality. God’s work can’t be done in a prideful heart but only in one who will be humbled. We must recognize that while man let’s us down, God “shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”. (Philippians 4:19). If you struggle with feelings of insecurity, never forget God’s promise…

            o “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee..” Isaiah 26:3

 

            Conclusion: The author of Hebrews closes our series well when he says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher (perfecter) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2). We MUST “…lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…)(Heb. 12:1). When we do, we shall not stumble or do the things God hates as long as we fix our eyes upon Jesus.


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