Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
The strife will not be long;
It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel. (Prov. 20:3)
To be honorable is to be known as one set apart from the crowd, distinguished, separated by exceptional qualities including, but not limited to, talents, services, truthfulness, and moral excellence. To stop striving is to stop resisting others in the struggle for superiority. Every day the believer is faced with numerous opportunities to become angry and argumentative. The key is how these trials are confronted. To start an argument is easy. Any fool can meddle with things that are none of his business, things he should avoid, things that he will debate to his own shame. To end an argument requires wisdom; it requires the ability to overcome one’s own passions, yielding to the Lord to Whom all honor is due. The one who abstains from arguments and quarrels holds himself apart from contention, thereby achieving respect in the eyes of those who behold him. While the world may value the one who is ready to avenge any imagined injury thrown at him, the true winner, however, is the one who avoids the unprofitable conflict all together.
Whatever contentions we encounter today will not last long. We can be sure that another trial is on the horizon. The question is, how will we contend with today’s trial? Will we choose to be like the children of Israel, going round again and again in the desert, resisting God’s ever-enduring hand of grace on our life as we struggle to gain the victory in our own strength? Or will we choose to be wise, to be set apart, and employ moral excellence, yielding our life to Jesus, exchanging strife for rest? We can be confident that He who has begun a good work in us will continue to perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil. 1:6).
When troubles come, do you erupt as a volcano or do you choose to turn to the Lord, seeking His strength to pull you through? Vindication or submission? Is your faith in Jesus impacting your response to strivings? Today, when you are faced with the opportunity to become angry, what will you do? Will you pursue peace by calling on the Lord when everything within you wants to erupt? As you take even the smallest step in this direction, the Lord will come alongside you when you choose His peace instead of engaging in a fool’s argument. Today, settle in your heart to “Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long.”