Sunday, December 25, 2005

Strife and Contention

The following is my Opinion.

One of the reasons that we as a country find ourselves in such a divided nation is because of two actions that are an offshoot of competition. Those actions are “Strife and Contention.” While competition is good, it can have harmful by products.

The dictionary defines “strife” as: strife (strºf) n. 1. Heated, often violent dissension; bitter conflict. 2. A struggle, fight, or quarrel. 3. Contention or competition between rivals. 4. Archaic. Earnest endeavor or striving.

The dictionary defines “contention” as: con·ten·tion (k…n-tµn“sh…n) n. 1. The act or an instance of striving in controversy or debate. 2. A striving to win in competition; rivalry. 3. An assertion put forward in argument.

Lets see what the Bible tells us about “strife” and “contention.” Notice that a debate happens to fall into the definition of contention, and contention is used as a part of the definition of strife.

There are 38 references in the Bible about strife and 9 about contention. Most of them talk about how bad it is to participate in both.

In my opinion the reason that it is bad is that it can foster what is called “false pride.” Here is what my opinion of the difference between “pride” and “false pride” is:

Pride is being able to say to ones self or to someone else things that compare your results with what “you are capable of doing.” For instance one might say something like this, “I ran the mile in 4 minutes flat, and I never thought I could do that well.” There is nothing wrong with pride, only false pride.

False pride is comparing your self “with others.” For example, one might say something like this, “I ran the mile today and I beat all 17 participants. I was so much better than they were, it isn’t even funny.” False pride lifts us up at the expense of someone else. Winning awards where there is competition sometimes gets us in trouble because it can “lift us up” in others eyes and in our eyes to where we think we are better than others.

Now for some quotes:

“Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.” – (Prov. 13:10)

“A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.” - ( Prov 15:18 )

“Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.” – ( Prov 22:10 )

“For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” - ( 1 Cor. 3:3 )

This is why I prefer for people on the Blogosphere to post information that is their opinion and for others to disagree in a way that does not cause strife and contention. In other words not as a debate, and not in a way to “prove the other person wrong” as that can instill “false pride.”

Try things like, “I see your point, but I disagree with you and here is why.”

Or, something like this, “Well my opinion is a little different, it is this….”

I don’t think there is many people on the Blogosphere who do not exhibit rational thought and have some points that are worth consideration. We may disagree with them, but when we start to feel like they have no points worthy of merit, we are only fooling ourselves and beginning down the road of “false pride.”

Well anyway, I am guilty of sometimes breaking my own rules and each time I do, I find myself in deep remorse, and shameful of such actions.

So, I would like to ask all of you to help me remember this post and the message within.

It may even be good advise for all to ponder.


At 4:50 AM, Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

12 26 05

Whoa FAR: You are about the only blogger who posted on Christmas day!!! How dedicated! This is just a note to wish you and your family a Happy New Year:) It has been a pleasure coming across your insightful blog and I relish your comments and posts. Interestingly enough, I oft read your posts but don't comment simply because I have to read your posts in stages (complexity requires this!) so just wanted to stop by and say hey. Also to thank you for supporting my blog. I hope you and your family have a great year and I hope you continue to blog in the future:)

At 7:31 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Thanks Disa!

I am working on making my posts shorter. Sometimes it requires lenght to insure my point is made.



At 11:53 AM, Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Very good post. That false pride thing is hard. I talked to a guy from my church once and he made a really good point. Comparing yourself with others is never a good thing. If you compare yourself and think you're better you are prideful. If you compare yourself and think the other person is better you feel insecure. So you never win when you are playing the comparison game.

The problem is I've noticed that in real life it is very hard not to do. Especially for women. We always want to match things up and see where we fit in the spectrum. But it's never a good idea. Thanks for the great reminder.

At 2:19 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

I wonder if the guy from LMC's church applies that same principle to other religions. It is amazing to me that religious people say don't judge others, don't compare yourself to others, but then rip on people from other religions, gays, liberals, etc.

At 7:27 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


That is why it is important to talk about actions and not people.

Where people get in trouble is in judging people instead of the things people do wrong.

It is O.K. to say stealing is wrong, but we should still say that the theif is our brother and we should walk a mile in his shoes before we try to figure him out.

I am against the act of homosexuality, but can have plenty of gay friends, just like with Liberal friends of mine including my daughter in law who I love dearly but is a liberal. We tease each other all the time, but it is all in good fun.

Jesus condemed sin, but not the sinner.

So, sometimes we say Libs this and Libs that, what we are talking about is really their actions, just as they are talking about Conservative's actions.

If the world ever gets to worried about speaking against the Hitlers and the people's actions at Abu Grabe(sp?), then we are all doomed. It is good that those who abused the prisioners at GITMO had their "actions" pointed out.




At 7:44 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


As a P.S., I don't know of any religions that are not good, except for Wahabism.

I believe that only a church or religion that wants to kill innocent babies and all who do not belong to their religion, is worthy of speaking ill of. All other religions that I can think of are ones that teach love and harmony in the universe.

All people are not perfect so we need to not speak ill of anyone. We can condem thier actions, but not them personally.

I remember the sweetest old lady I ever knew who always had good things to say about everybody. One day some young teenagers in my church tried to trip her up by asking her what she had to say about the devil. She thought for a moment and then said, "Well, one thing you gotta hand it to him for...he is trying his best!"


BTW, glad your back to commenting.


At 8:14 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

It's nice to be back. :-)

I agree 100% but I am not sure most people get the distinction. About Wahhabism, it's not a religion. It is a perverted, warped interpretation of Islam and I have nothing good to say about people who accept such an interpretation.

At 10:16 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

One more point about the substance of this post since I got distracted by the comments. Certain things are facts, undisputed facts. If the Bible says turn the other cheek, someone who has the opinion that it doesn't say that is wrong plain and simple. I can appreciate people having differing opinions, but an opinion is not sacred.

I have a cousin who I love dearly, but is annoyingly pedantic. He thinks he is the expert on everything and when he ventures into realms of my greater expertise, I find he spouts a lot of b.s. as fact. When I correct him, his standard retort is "well, that's my opinion", to which I respond, "well, your opinion is wrong." He rattles off nonsense about medicine and my sister shakes her head in disbelief and his comments on science are constantly rebuffed by my husband.

Someone can argue that the sky is green and the ocean is purple until the cows come home, but that doesn't make it so. Nor does it make the opinion valid or worthy of consideration.

At 1:58 PM, Blogger jj said...

I really would like your opinion on the last questions.

I posted this below Fun with Communication

That is a good one. However there would always be more information. Most would want more info than a single sentence.

That sentence can certainly be interpreted in different ways but if it was in the Bible it would be put in context. People will then interpret the context but that would cut down on the "rational" interpretations.

I know you will not agree but I see many contradictions in the Bible. Some see the book as a whole to be a book of love and understanding while others see it as a rigid, unbending rule book to live by or you go to hell.

Since both are right people may choose the way they wish to interpret the Bible which is why there are so many different "sects" in the Christian Church.

Which Church is correct?

Which religion is correct?
Since the religion you believe in has more to do with where you are born and raised(IE: Middle east-Muslim , Europe & Americas- Christian, Asia - Buddhism, India- Hindu etc.)which is correct?

Is someone born in India and raised to be a Hindu going to hell?

Since that is the only religion the person was exposed to through their life would God cast them out for having the "misfortune" of being born in the "wrong" part of the world?

Just wondering

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


I agree that facts are facts. I have a son-in-law that spouts things as facts all the time and is an expert in everything. If you don't believe it just ask him. :)

He is young and we just say "whatever" and let him bask in his own glory.

"What's right" is what is important, not "Who's right."

And we need to pull together to get this Administration to quit getting wiretaps without a warrant.

I think those that are not on board with this need to rethink the importance of the 4th Amendment.

On this I am sure we agree!



At 2:58 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


I won't touch the questions of "which church is correct?" or "which religion is correct?" with a ten foot pole.

Talk about a hot button topic!

But, I will give you my opinion about who is going to heaven.

I can not imagine a God that would punish people just because they were born in China and never had the chance to hear Christianity.

I think we will all be judged by our integrity. Meaning how do we treat others based upon what our belief of right and wrong is.

Some say that there are more rewards for those who seek the truth and then abide by it. If that were true, then Moses would get more rewards, (treasures), than say someone who just did the minimum to get by.

I will comment more on this later or on my next post when I talk about "baptism" prior to Jesus.

You see, I asked about people who lived before Jesus and got a response that they will be judged on "circumcision", and that is a understandable view and one I find interesting, but I believe that there were baptisims done in the Old Testament.

Here is a question about your comment on context changing the meaning, which I agree with wholeheartly.

If your boss says, "Your hours are 8:00am to 4:30pm."

Is there possible flexibility there?

We don't know without the opportunity to ask.

The same is with the Bible when people read what appears to be "absolutes" such as "turn the other cheek." Is there times when we can say..."enough?"

I have read something about 70 time 70 being the number of times until enough is enough.

But are there exceptions? Is self-defense allowed if he has a knife in his hand when he "hits your cheek?"




At 4:07 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

We agree. I am awaiting your post on the importance of the 4thA. Some of your compatriots in the WA need a refresher.


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