Seven Sins (07) Sowing Discord

Date: 2/24/2008
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Seven Sins (7): Sowing Discord
Dr. Gregg Strawbridge * February 24, 2008 (Prov. 6:16-19)

The Seven Dimensions - We have seen seven dimensions of this passage. (1) The seven sins have a parallel structure (chiastic). (2) The core is the heart which plans wicked actions. (3) They parallel creation days as a counter-new creation person. (4) They move from inside to outside (pride to community destruction). (5) They move from visible to invisible (eyes/discord to the heart). (6) They follow sequentially one from another. (7) They show an upside-down sense of faith or trust. They flow from a misdirected trust.?
Trust Relationship Seven Sins: Private to Public, from Appearance to the Heart
self-trust [A] haughty eyes,
words of mistrust [B] a lying tongue,
actions breach trust [C] and hands that shed innocent blood,
untrustworthy to the core [D] heart that devises wicked plans,
actions breach trust with others [C’] feet that make haste to run to evil,
words of mistrust in public [B’] a false witness who breathes out lies,
distrust others [A’] and one who sows discord among brothers.
The Seventh Sin - Sowing discord or dissension is our final step in this downward spiral. This “strife” is attributed in Proverbs to contentious, quarreling people (21:9; 26:21; 25:24) who have a short fuse (15:18). The motivation is clear: “Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs” (Prov. 10:12). In the New Testament, Paul places it in the list “envy, malice, and strife.” He begins with #1: “He is puffed up with conceit . . . He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of financial gain” (1Tim. 6:5 ESV/NIV).
Exhortations: There are “brothers” who create strife among us by [1] pride, [2] deception, [3] malicious actions, [4] wicked plans . . . . We must repent of this behavior. The cause and effect of this kind of discord is a lack of trust. It is losing faith in the God’s sovereignty. If we look on others with “evil suspicions” or we accept slander, then a breach of trust is inevitable. Christians are to have an initial and implicit trust relationship with other believers. Paul speaks of our posture: Love “always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Cor. 13:6-7).
Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more