It was a perfectly peaceful day. I was in seventh grade. I was sitting in class, thinking devious thoughts. Suddenly a glistening straight pen appeared on the floor, beckoning me to pick it up.
I should have known better. After all, I was a teenager. But you know, just because you’re old enough doesn’t mean you’re wise enough.
There was this kid sitting in front of me minding his own business. I didn’t even have any good reason to do it. But maybe I just wanted to see what would happen if I took that pin and stabbed him in the back with it.
He jumped up, spread his arms out, and howled like a soldier who had just been hit with a missile full of daggers.
The teacher couldn’t help but notice. My poor planning put the finger right on me as the sole perpetrator.
If I’d read Proverbs 3:28-35, I’d have known better than to attack my neighbor without provocation.
If you have even half a brain, you’d know better than to treat your neighbor like the Hatfields treated the McCoys. That kind of strife is totally avoidable. Just keep your nose in your own business and your life will be more peaceful.
Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t have any contact with your neighbor. But if you are, why not find a way to make his life better for having known you? After all, isn’t that the aim of the Gospel?
Jesus came to make wrecked people whole. It’s also the reward for following Him into His mission for the world.
If you’re going to stir up trouble, at least do it to advance the truth. If you I have to go through wreckage to get to a better place, then the strife is worthwhile. Otherwise, it’s like taking a straight pin and sticking yourself.
Don’t stir up trouble just because you can.