July 26 - Enter the Strife-Free Zone

By Douglas W. Martin

Today's Scripture: Proverbs 20:3

Central Thought: Stop stirring up your own trouble.

    We are living in a time when information is being distributed around the world at incredible speeds, and demands of the workplace seem to be increasing exponentially. Devices and inventions help us to leverage our time to meet this rising demand, and yet we can feel our temperatures rising in our own worlds, indicating increasing stress and frustration. It seems that in this environment we compound our frustration by turning up the heat of conflict everywhere we go. Ironically, the temperature to which the heat rises is completely within our own control.

    One of the most honorable things we can do is avoid strife. Most of the strife in our life is from making small things into great conflicts and poorly choosing our battles. I heard a wise man of God once say, 'Unnecessary battles cost as much as necessary battles. The difference is you gain nothing from the unnecessary ones.” It requires the wisdom of God to discern the difference. We can at least be assured that the level of strife in our lives will be mostly determined by our own hands as we rely upon God's resource of wisdom.

Devotional Prayer: Lord, give me the wisdom to discern where I am creating my own problems, and help me work towards creating a strife-free zone around me.

Today's Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 17:1-18:34; Romans 9:22-10:13; Psalm 20:1-9; Proverbs 20:2-3