Troublemakers seem to be involved in an intense life-long battle to have their own way. That battle makes them miserable and will inevitably destroy them. If we read between the lines of their troublemaking what it really communicates is that they NEED THE LORD AND THEY NEED OUR PRAYERS.

Psalms 106:15: And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

Proverbs 13:15: Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.

Mark 8:35: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel*s, the same shall save it.

The key is for troublemakers to give up the battle and surrender to the Lord. Such a surrender will result in their beginning to battle to have the Lord*s way. But how are we to deal with those who cause trouble in an attempt to have their own way.

Luke 6:27: But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

Romans 12:18: If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Romans 12:21: Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

2 Timothy 2:24: And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

We are not to fight fire with fire. We are to fight fire with a fire extinguisher. There will, of course, be some troublemakers that will fight against love. That fact does not negate God*s command that we do our best: as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Matthew 5:9: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

DEAR GOD, PLEASE MAKE ME A PEACEMAKER. Sometimes the opposite of what the Bible says can be interesting and helpful. Two negatives can make a positive. My personal paraphrase of the opposite of Matthew 5:9: Cursed are the troublemakers; for they shall be called the children of the Devil. There is not a specific scripture that exactly agrees with my paraphrase, but there are many that come pretty close. Before I was saved I loved to win an argument. My flesh still does. I am becoming increasingly aware that the contention is not so much between unbelievers and me as it is between unbelievers and God. It is wonderful to be on God*s side of an argument. A wise missionary said he often lets the other fellow have the last word. It can be helpful to remember that we also were once contentious with God. It can also be helpful and give us some understanding to remember that we have the blessing of God and that the troublemakers make worse trouble for themselves than for us.

Mattew 5:11: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Here is a sampling of what troublemakers do to themselves and their relationships:

Proverbs 17:19: He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.

Proverbs 16:28: A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.

Proverbs 17:1: Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.

Proverbs 17:14: The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.

Proverbs 20:3: It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.

Proverbs 26:17: He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

Proverbs 26:21: As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.

Proverbs 28:25: He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.

Proverbs 29:22: An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.

Proverbs 30:33: Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.

Isaiah 58:4a: Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: . . .

Jeremiah 15:10a: Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! . . .

Romans 13:13: Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

Galatians 5:19-21: Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

James 3:16: For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Thankfully, God ultimately protects His people from the strife of the world.

Psalms 31:20: Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

The ONLY things the Lord will lead us to be contentious about are the things of our faith.

Jude 1:3: Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Sometimes the best thing a Christian can do is to avoid the troublemakers. That is, of course, the last resort.

Proverbs 22:10: Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.

1 Corinthians 5:11: But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

Psalms 101:5: Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.

Romans 16:17: Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

2 Thessalonians 3:6: Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

2 Thessalonians 3:14-15: And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

Care to discuss Troublemakers with Ron?

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