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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 people enjoy strife and keep large wood piles to keep the fire burning. One man said, “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!” It seems Paul wrote more about strife than sin. Once he wrote about two disagreeable women, “I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord” (Phil. 4:2). John R. Rice called them, “Ouchie and Sotouchie.” They had strife over non-scriptural issues which affected the whole church (Heb. 12:15).

It is all right to debate, discuss, and disagree, but not divide over non-scriptural issues. It has been stated that 80% of people leave church because of conflicts. Learn God can use people who disagree with you. Fight the good fight of faith, instead of the bad fight of failure. 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 confronted, the Lord often became as a lamb and opened not His mouth (Acts 8:32). Once you have said a word, it cannot be unsaid. When opposed, do the opposite. Attack the problem not the person. Notice both strife and unity are openly noticed. “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. You can tie the tails of two cats together and have union, but not unity.

My fun Baptist toast, “Here’s to you and here’s to me. If we should ever disagree, here’s to me.” The greatest testimony to the world is a changed consistent, and contented Christian. The world needs to see Christ not conflicts. So put out the fire, and get rid of the woodpile. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt.5:16). Remember: No wood – No fire! You have the right to remain silent.

Thought: Life is tough and the first 100 years are the hardest – TC

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