Proverbs 6:19

Sowing Discord

What would cause a person to want to sow discord?

a. Pride – a proud heart stirs up strife (28:25)

• If a person can sow discord and make others look bad, then they make themselves look good!
• Note that the sower of discord is linked together with a false witness… one who speaks lies.
• In order to make one party look bad, it is often helpful to twist the truth a bit… stretch the truth… spice it up…
• The uglier the picture you paint of your victim, the sweeter you smell—self always comes out smelling like a rose!
• Pride is often behind those who stir up strife among friends and sow discord.
• III John 9-10 = Diotrephes – he loved the preeminence. In order to maintain his preeminence, he was evidently putting down the apostles… trying to turn the people against them… in order to exalt himself!

b. Anger – an angry man stirs up strife (29:22)
• Another reason for sowing discord is anger.
• When anger is not dealt with right away, it can fester and result in all kinds of residual sins.
• Jesus said that anger is at the heart of murder!
• But most believers would never commit murder… but we might try to hurt someone by less drastic means. (After all—we’re too respectable to commit murder!
• We love ourselves too much to want to sit in jail for 50 years! Thus, we come up with other ways to hurt.
• Thus, instead of assassinating the person, we assassinate their character!
• We poison their friendships… by sowing discord…
• What is often at the core of this kind of sowing of strife and discord? Anger! A person who is angry will invent ways of retaliating… of getting even… getting back… inflicting pain and suffering…
• Hatred – hatred stirs up strife (10:12) If an angry man sows strife, hatred will cause a man to stir up strife—but on a grander scale!

c. Froward man sows strife (16:28) – (froward: turned or twisted; perversity, a perverse thing; crooked—used several times of Sodom and Gomorrah)
• This term indicates a perversity in the thinking of the one stirring up strife… sowing discord.
• There is something unnatural about their behavior… like the unnatural perversity in Sodom…
• Brethren ought to be like family… there is something perverse about trying to break up a family.
• Friends ought to be friendly… there is something perverse about the one who attempts to break up friendships… but that is exactly what Solomon says of this kind of person. (Prov. 16:28)

d. Earthly, sensual, and demonic! (James 3:14-16)
• James says that behind this kind of strife is a worldly, earthly kind of thinking… that is sensual (feelings oriented) and is influenced by demons!
• I Cor. 3:3 – carnality—wherever there is this kind of strife—and division—caused by the sower of discord—there is carnality—the opposite of spirituality.

e. A love of transgression – Prov. 17:19 – “He loveth transgression that loveth strife”.
• Some men just love sin… and they especially love this sin of sowing strife.
• They are not happy unless they are involved in some controversy… strife… argument… etc.
• They hate to see a good argument die down!

f. What is behind the sowing of discord among brethren?
• A proud, angry, worldly person who is motivated by his carnal nature, a love for sin and strife, and influenced by demons!
• That makes me want to think twice before sowing any discord among brethren!

What are the results of sowing discord?

1. Separate chief friends. (16:28; 17:9)

a. Two times Solomon warns us of this danger.

b. A third party—for various reasons (pride; anger; love of strife) can become a wedge between others…

c. Like a boat in a small pond, some people leave a string of broken relationships in their wake…

d. Like a boat—you only begin to feel the ripples after it has done its work.

e. Some believe that all seven of the things the Lord hates in Prov. 6:16-18 are related to the sowing of discord.
• A proud look; lying tongue; a heart that devises wicked imaginations; feet that are swift in running to mischief… all aimed at sowing discord!
• The fine art of sowing discord involves the whole person… the look… the words…the whispering… the clever plots… the body language… the crafty twisting of words…

f. Anyone can separate chief friends. It’s easy. All you have to do is be willing to sow discord… innuendoes… stretch the truth… roll the eyes at times… throw in a little gossip… put down one of the friends… emphasize every unkind thing they’ve ever done… and a few little white lies and VOILA! Friends are no longer friends!

g. I’ve seen it happen over the years… it’s happened to me… I’ve watched the wake of broken relationships… I’ve had to deal with the aftermath…

h.) All I can say is, “No wonder God hates it! It is mean spirited… hurtful… destructive… and sometimes irreversible!”
• Prov. 18:19 – “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.”

2. Divisions in the church (I Cor. 3:3)

a. A divisive person can not only break up friendships, but can cause divisions and splits in churches!

b. I’ve seen that happen too.

c. Sometimes division in the church is good and needful—if it is over the truth… doctrine. But normally, church splits are NOT over important issues.

d. The issue in I Cor. 3 – was over personality and style… not doctrine!

e. That was a sinful kind of division… Paul rebukes those involved.

f. It doesn’t take much to cause people to polarize either… just one or two sowers of discord… and the work of God can be destroyed.

g. I Cor. 3:17 – no wonder the severe warning!
• Anyone who interferes with that sacred unity will have to answer to God!
• You don’t step in and stir up trouble in another person’s family… or between husband and wife. They are sacred unions…
• The church is God’s family too… it is His bride… He is the groom. He takes very seriously those who sow discord and seek to harm His family!
• Confusion and every evil work. Jas. 3:16. There is no end of the trouble that can be caused by a sower of discord.

h.) Ps. 133:1 – Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
• God loves peacemakers… but God hates sowers of discord!
• This is especially so with BRETHREN!

3. People will get hurt (26:17)

a. This verse gives us a graphic picture of a meddler… a busybody… one who steps into the business of others when they shouldn’t… a trouble maker!

b. The point is that someone is going to get bit! People are going to get hurt!

c. The person who meddles in the affairs of others is like a man picking up a dog by the ears. That dog is going to bite!

d. The person himself may get hurt too!

e. Prov. 11:27 – the one who seeks mischief—it will come to HIM!

f. This is not karma… this is divine justice. It often comes in this life—but justice will certainly be meted out in the life to come. (See 11:6)

Several years after inventing radar, Sir Robert Watson Watt was arrested in Canada for speeding. He’d been caught in a radar trap. He wrote this poem:

Pity Sir Robert Watson Watt,
Strange target of his radar plot,
And this, with others I could mention,
A victim of his own invention.

g. That’s why we don’t have to retaliate against the sowers of discord. God knows what they have done and God will deal with each one.

h.) Prov. 12:13 – time will tell… time exposes all. The wicked is snared and the just come out of trouble.

How do you handle it?

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

• Prov. 26:20-21 – As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
• Where no wood is, the fire goes out! So does the discord!

2. We are commanded NOT to be a busybody in another person’s matters (I Pet. 4:15)

a. This is a sower of discord among brethren—one who feels he has to put his two cents into every argument, just to stir things up.

b. God hates this—and so should we!

3. How much BETTER to be a peacemaker—a sower of peace rather than a sower of discord! A sower of harmony!

a. God loves one and hates the other.