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Silence is a great unused tool. Silence can display strength and control. It can be the pause that refreshes. When you are right, be silent – Silent Right: You have the right to remain silent. Learn: silent and listen both have the same letters. There are times to be silent, and let the Lord fight your battles. “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out… where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth” (Prov. 26:20). Notice the word ignites and the wood incites. No wood – No fire. It seems some enjoy strife and keep large wood piles to keep the fire burning. I have a sign in my office, “I have the right to remain silent, but I lack the ability to do it.” The need is more water not more wood.  As Barney Fife says, “Nip it! Nip it! Nip it!”

Paul wrote more about strife than sin. “Mark them which cause divisions and offences…avoid them” (Rom.16:17). “But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes” (2 Tim. 2:23). “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain” (Titus 3:9).  “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness” (2 Tim. 2:16). “I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord” (Phil. 4:2). John Rice called them, “Ouchie and Sotouchie.” Their disagreements caused division and defiled many  (Heb. 12:15). Don’t let issues become the issue. It is all right to debate, discuss, and disagree, but not divide over non-scriptural issues.  Pick your fights  and fight the good fight of faith, instead of the bad fight of failure. You can win the battle but lose the war.  

Learn God can use people who disagree with you. Dr. Bill Rice said, “Good Christians are always reasonable.” “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory” (Phil. 2:3). Nothing means nada, zilch, zero, and no thing. When opposed, do the opposite. Most reactions are in the flesh. Attack the problem, not the person. It is not who is right, but what is right. Notice both strife and unity are openly seen and known. “Behold (look), how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psa. 133:1). “By this (love) shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). You can have union but not unity. If you tie the tails of two cats together you have union, but not unity. My fun toast, “Here’s to you and here’s to me. If we should ever disagree, here’s to me.”

The world needs to see Christ not conflicts. People don’t care what you know until they know you care. Let’s put out the fire, and get rid of the woodpile. No wood – no fire. Let’s be salt to make a difference and a light to shine in this dark world (Matt.5:16).  Realize the greatest testimony to the world is a changed, consistent, and contented Christian. Remember, “You have the right to remain silent.” 

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