discord in the family
• Romans 16:17-20
How should you deal with a divisive person in your fellowship group or church? What should you say to him or her?
According to a 2009 study, men and women sin differently. This study of the seven deadly sins found that the top sin for men is lust, followed by gluttony, laziness, anger, pride, envy, and greed. For women, the sin list in order of frequency is pride, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, greed, and laziness. These seven deadly sins were first laid down by Gregory the Great in the 6th century AD. But, in reality, it’s wrong to say that there are only seven deadly sins. For all sins are deadly (Romans 6:23; James 1:15).
King Solomon listed seven sins, which are detestable to God (Proverbs 6:17-19). Contrary to popular understanding, he isn’t saying that there are only seven specific sins that God hates. For all sins are abhorrent to Him! In the Bible, the “six . . . seven” numerical pattern (also seen in Job 5:19; Proverbs 30:15-16,18-19,21-31) does not give a complete list. Instead, these patterns lay out all items equally, pointing to the final item—“a person who sows discord in a family” (6:19)—as the culmination of the preceding items.
In Proverbs 6, the passage is bracketed by liars who “constantly stir up trouble” and those who sow “discord in a family” (vv.12,14,19). It describes the attitudes and actions of the divisive person. A divisive person is wicked (v.12), deceitful (v.13), perverted (v.14), proud (v.17), and evil in his heart (v.18). He sows discord by hypocritical actions and deceptive words (vv.12,13,17,19). The divisive person is without value to the community and will be severely punished (vv.12,15). He has incurred God’s wrath (v.16).
A troublemaker can easily destroy the unity of the church. We’re reminded: “Throw out the mocker, and fighting goes too. Quarrels and insults will disappear” (Proverbs 22:10).
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