QUESTION: I don’t hear the word “strife” used much anymore, but it seems that is the best description for what is going on in society today. No one seems to agree on anything. What does the Bible mean when it speaks of strife, and can our government overcome it through more laws? – S.R.

ANSWER: The Greek word for strife refers to variance, contentions, fighting, discord, wrangling and quarreling, just to name a few. Yes, our world today fits these descriptions whether it is inside the church, inside the government, inside our corporations and most certainly strife is found within the home.

Strife is also present in mankind’s selfish ambitions. Today’s culture certainly is self-seeking and self-absorbed. When selfish ambition replaces seeking God, it violates the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20); the command to love others more than ourselves, and most of all to put God first in everything.

Why is the human heart filled with strife? The answer is found in God’s Word. Sin is the culprit. When sin is not dealt with before Almighty God, strife will preside.

The truth is that only through Christ can the flesh be changed. We cannot legislate these problems. No matter how many laws are passed, or how many good intentions there may be, outside of Christ there is no resolution. It may be subdued at times; it may be controlled by sheer discipline on other occasions, but there will come times when these works of the flesh will manifest themselves by boiling over in strife that often leads to political unrest and even war.

The answer is to let Christ reign in every area of our lives. It may not change the world around us, but our light will shine before others and be a shining witness to the peace that He will one day bring to this darkened world.

– This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.

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