Stirring Conflict!

A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, who plots evil with deceit in his heart— he always stirs up conflict.Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy. Proverbs 6:12-15 NIV

Listening to all the “arguments” from political candidates–both nationally and locally–reminds me of a number of things, but mostly it reminds me of Judas Iscariot and Haman’s plot to rid himself of Mordecai.

While walking with Jesus, Judas stole money from what they collected from people on their travels, and because his heart was hardened against anything good thing that Jesus attempted to move forward, he looked for opportunities to give himself an advantage. The one advantage–betraying Jesus for the 30 pieces of silver–led to the arrest of Jesus, the insufferable beating, and crucifixion. But more importantly, the greed that drove Judas to the betrayal also led to his death.

Before Judas Iscariot was, Haman plotted to rid himself of the Jews–and greed, position, status drove his thinking and eventual demise. And his plot to get rid of the Jews–backfired when the king allowed the Jews to defend themselves against any attack.

This is what happens to people–then and now–when we plot to do evil, incite hatred and bigotry. Whenever we think we can outwit God–who is never surprised by anything that happens and indeed–knows exactly what we’ll do, long before we ever do it. It is He who has planned our lives and any time–evil comes against those He loves and those who love Him–He is the standard bearer who will avenge all the wrongdoing.

So, why do we stir up conflict–deliberately lying–to make something out of nothing? The same driving force that led to the death of Judas and Haman–is still residing in the hearts of many people today. The desire to have more than they deserve–greed, pushes their need to wrangling for position and status. In that unchecked desire to achieve what they do not rightly deserve, people lie and then they lie about the lies that have already been told. And in order to make the lie believable–at least to themselves–they repeat lies that have already been exposed in hopes of making the repetition lead people to believe the repeated lies.

A perfect example of repeated lies is the attempt to negate the legitimacy of President Barack Obama by repeating the lie that he wasn’t born in this country. Another repeated lie–that has been exposed–is having a plan to replace the Affordable Healthcare Act or that cutting taxes will reduce the national debt. Economists–those with experience in tackling the issue–have repeatedly said, cutting taxes will not reduce the national debt.

Of course the ultimate stirring of conflict has been in demeaning women or any other minority or those with disabilities. When a person does not exercise discipline over their own mouth, how can anyone expect them to exercise right governance of a nation?

The natural remedy to avoid the conflicts is simply this--tell the truth at all times, even if it hurts or one has to admit being wrong; stay focused on the task at hand, and build bridges, not walls–to cement relationships and garner support to achieve all goals. Reaching out, not blocking out, opens the door for better outcomes, alleviates the need to stir up conflict and controversies, and sets the stage for the ultimate success of all one desires to accomplish.

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