Avoid Contentions.

God’s Word instructs the Christian against fighting. Fighting is a work of the flesh.

Galatians 5:19-20 (NKJV)

19 Now the WORKS OF THE FLESH are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, CONTENTIONS, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, DISSENSIONS, heresies,

Contentions and dissensions are works of the flesh! We are not to walk in the flesh, but in the Spirit, “I say then: WALK IN THE SPIRIT, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. (vv. 16-17, Galatians 5)

Thus, the Christian must not be a brawler. It should not be heard of such a one that he engages in fistfights. As much as he can, he must avoid brawls and live peaceably with all men (see Rom 12:18).

Proverbs 18:19 says about this, “A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are LIKE THE BARS OF A CASTLE.

Contentions or fights are likened to the bars (or gates) of a castle (simile). The comparison here is that bars are very strong, and cannot easily be broken.

In Bible days, they were usually made of iron or brass, “Ben-Geber, in Ramoth Gilead; to him belonged the towns of Jair the son of Manasseh, in Gilead; to him also belonged the region of Argob in Bashan—sixty large cities with walls and bronze GATE-BARS.” (1 Kings 4:13)

So Proverbs 18:19 intimates that fights are HARD to resolve. Don’t start them in the first place!

— contentions are LIKE THE BARS OF A CASTLE.

2 Timothy 2:24-26 says, “…a servant of the Lord MUST NOT QUARREL but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in HUMILITY correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

A minister must not be quarrelsome. He is to be an example to the Saints!


Proverbs 10:12 (NKJV)

12 Hatred stirs up strife,

But love covers all sins.


Instead of hatred, let’s have love! Love covers all sins — it helps us to not see the wrongs others have done.


Proverbs 20:3 (NKJV)

3 It is HONOURABLE for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel.


To stop fighting is HONOURABLE. Choose the path of honour.


Romans 13:12-14 (NKJV)

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us WALK PROPERLY, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, NOT IN STRIFE and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. 

The Saints are to walk properly, not in strife (fighting).


We may learn from Abraham on this particular matter. Genesis 13 records an incident of strife over land.

Genesis 13:7 (NKJV)

7 And there was STRIFE (quarreling) between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land.

There was not enough room for both the herdsmen of Abraham and of Lot to feed their lifestock.

Observe what Abraham does. He chooses the way of peace, “So Abram said to Lot, ‘Please LET THERE BE NO STRIFE BETWEEN YOU AND ME, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; FOR WE ARE BRETHREN‘ (vs. 8).

He rather let himself be cheated than fight, “…Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.” And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other.“(Vv. 10-11)

Abraham allows Lot take the BEST of the land JUST SO peace could reign. We may learn from this story how that sometimes, you would have to give up your rights, just to avoid issues with others. That’s what God’s people do!

The Apostle Paul reprimanded the Corinthian Christians for suing each other to Court, “Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that YOU GO TO LAW AGAINST ONE ANOTHER. Why do you NOT RATHER ACCEPT WRONG? Why do you not rather let YOURSELVES BE CHEATED? No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!” (1 Corinthians 6:7-8)

The Apostle says it is BETTER to allow yourself be cheated than take your brother to Court!

—Let yourself be cheated than fight! That’s GODLY CHARACTER.

Isaac (Abraham’s son) did similarly in Genesis 26:

Genesis 26:19-22 (NKJV)

19 Also Isaac’s servants dug in the valley, and found a well of running water there. 20 But the herdsmen of Gerar QUARRELED with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek (Esek means “quarrel), because THEY QUARRELED WITH HIM. 21 Then they dug another well, and they QUARRELED over that one also. So he called its name Sitnah (Sitnah means “Enmity). 22 And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, because he said, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”

Isaac left the wells (which legitimately belonged to him) for the disputers and dug another, just so there could be peace.

—You will sometimes lose your rights to walk as a Christian.

The believer must therefore watch his conduct and ensure he doesn’t get into fights! You are born of God, act accordingly.


© Josh Banks Ministries. 2022.


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