Strife in simple words means to fight, fighting to protect what your pride wants to hold on to, tenaciously; fighting to stay relevant in a leadership group, fighting because you do not accept being made to be inferior to others. Many people would literarily fight when someone who is supposed to be their junior is placed above them.
Paul was the least of the Apostles and he said he was not even supposed to be called an Apostle because he persecuted the church. Yet when the Apostles perceived the grace of God given unto him, they gave him a right hand of fellowship that he should go unto the gentiles. This is the right attitude every minister should have in a local church.
No man can receive anything except it be given to him from above. If somebody possesses more grace to do the job than you do, you should not resist such person’s progress or promotion but you should rather be a part of helping such persons to stand in the position where their grace can be a blessing to the body of Christ.
Strife is fighting because your opinion is not sought about a matter before such a matter was decided upon. If your opinion is not sought about a matter, the attitude of love would be to rejoice, if a right decision had been made, irrespective of what opinion you held.
God does not want to share his glory with man. Self glory and wanting to be relevant is pride and vain glory. If you hold a differing opinion, you should, in the spirit of meekness, approach your leaders and express your opinion in the spirit of meekness and avoid strife.
Strife is fighting because you want things to be done your own way and you are unhappy because it is done some other person’s way. This occurs not only among leaders but among married couples as well. Husbands must avoid strife with their spouses at all costs. Plead with your spouse where necessary and teach your spouse the danger of both of you fighting.
One reason why God has set leaders over followers in his church and in society at large is because we are all different people and we will all have different ways of viewing things and doing things; hence the leader holds the responsibility of defining in an organisational setting how things should be done. This he must do in the fear of God and fairness to all concerned.
When most people engage in strife, it usually starts as a feeling of unease, or unhappiness either by the progress of somebody, or in the case of a leadership tussle; it starts as a feeling of unhappiness where a decision is made which does not favour you or that makes you unhappy.
Strife is the inner or outward contention between people. Strife is generally stirred by hatred. Hatred is the opposite of love. Hatred is founded on selfishness. One of the qualities of love is that it is selfless. It does not seek its own. Most occurrence of strife in life and ministry are actually results of selfishness and unwillingness to yield grounds to others.
• A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
Strife or factional spirit among ministers and leaders starts and grows through secret discussions among people. There are people in leadership who specialise in discussing privately their ill feelings about the organisation and they ultimately end up drawing innocent people away from those they are committed to.
This is why it is important to guard yourself from those whom the book of proverbs describes as froward men. Those who specialise in holding side discussions to vent their feelings are those classified as froward men. Do not be a part of such side discussions.
If you find yourself having to deal with anyone who is unhappy with leadership, your response should be to ask the person to go to whomsoever has offended him, do not make your ears grounds for strife trafficking.
If you are the aggrieved person, God commands you to go to the person who has caused you grief and speak to the person. You must avoid the temptation of becoming a whisperer by going to discuss leadership issues with others.
Last Line: Have you ever wondered what it means to give your life to Christ and be saved? Are you born again? God sent Jesus to die for all your sins so that you will not have to be punished for the same. To be saved means to simply accept Christ Jesus as your substitutionary sacrifice for your sins and to make him lord over your life. Surrender your life to Christ today by asking Jesus to forgive you your sins; ask Him to come into your life and to make you a new person. If you are facing challenges and require counseling/prayers do not hesitate to contact me. I will be willing to assist as much as I can.