“He who loves a quarrel loves sin; he who builds a high gate invites destruction.” –Proverbs 17:19 (NIV)
It seems to be a universal fact that little boys are fascinated with bugs. I was no exception to this rule. One day as I was playing outside on a bright summer’s day, I came across an ant colony and a small stick. As I saw the ants hard at work, my inquisitive mind asked what would happen if I placed the stick inside the hole. I grabbed the stick and plunged it down into the ant colony. Nothing happened. It must be noted that my inquisitive mind was also a mischievous one, and I thought it would be a good idea to keep ramming the stick down the hole. To my horror I found a swarm of angry ants, and quite a few with wings, pouring up out from the hole wanting to know who was destroying their home. Terrified I dropped the stick and ran, my lesson duly learnt.
While we may know that it is probably not a good idea to agitate insects, or any other wildlife for that matter, sometimes it seems that this lesson does not apply in our interactions with others. Too often we use our words and actions to provoke others and cause unnecessary arguments. Why do we do this? The answer is found deep in our flawed human nature. Our pride loves opportunities where we can bring glory to ourselves. That is why pride is often what sparks arguments, because in quarrels we have the chance to prove to others that we are somehow superior or better than them. But if such an attitude has taken root in our minds, we will only reap destruction and misery as our stubborn pride tears cherished relationships apart. Our only hope to be spared from such a fate is when we have allowed Christ to be at the centre of our lives. When His Spirit has infiltrated every area of our being and we have submitted ourselves wholly to Him, He will teach us to be humble so that His love may overflow from within us; bringing life to our relationships and healing to the broken.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.