It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife,
but every fool will be quarreling.
Proverbs 20:3, ESV
For whatever reason, people love controversy. I don’t know the reasons, and I expect that there are many of them. Sometimes people wander into a controversy that is not their own. For whatever reason, it makes them feel better about their life. I don’t know why people must be involved in strife, but they do, nonetheless. It seems to be more pronounced in the age of social media, where you can find as much strife as you can stand online. It is ubiquitous in that medium.
Yet, Solomon would tell us to keep aloof from it. What does it mean to be “aloof”? The word is defined as “removed or distant either physically or emotionally.” Put a different way, it means to stay away from it. Yes, sometimes strife comes our way, but it is not something we should seek. The reason is offered in the following line: because every fool will be quarreling. A fool loves to argue and fight. A fool loves controversy and strife. A fool loves the friction that comes between people. A fool enjoys it when they witness controversy even if they are not involved. Indeed, fallen men love controversy. For the fool, it is fun and it is entertaining. I suspect that is why fools love to gossip and slander. They love that expression of strife because they love to stir the pot and cause friction between people. God says you’re a fool if you engage in that behavior. Of course, it is a heart issue, and if you find yourself drawn to these things, heart surgery is required.
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