A group of Believers working together in faith and love, operating with the gifts of the Spirit, revelation knowledge, and moving in the power of God have the potential to destroy satan’s efforts. In order to stop the move of God among them, he could send a demon to oppose each of these spiritual elements but that is not necessary. He attacks the one force that all those powerful elements rest upon which is love. Satan’s strategy is to keep God’s people from living in love and harmony by using strife. To live in love and harmony requires that we refuse strife, discord, and disharmony. This is also applicable to interaction on social media.
The word for strife comes from the Greek, “erethizo,” which means to stimulate (especially to anger). The root word this word comes from is “erithia” which means causing a faction or division. Sowing strife is saying things and doing things that stimulate (or provoke) people’s anger resulting in heated conflict, bitter contention, division, and unresolved differences between two Believers.
Strife is a devouring and consuming weapon of satan (Galatians 5:14, 15) that stops the flow of revelation knowledge, the gifts of the Spirit, and God’s wisdom from flowing in our life and reduces our walk to a mere natural one instead of supernatural (1 Corinthians 3:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:23-26; James 3:15, 16). The Bible says it is an honor for a man to cease from strife not win a fight (Proverb 20:3). Proverb 17:20 says, “The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.” The Amplified Bible version of this verse makes it more clear, “The beginning of strife is as when water first trickles [from a crack in a dam]; therefore stop contention before it becomes worse and quarreling breaks out.” We need to learn to avoid retaliation at the first word, or trickle, for strife begins at the first word of discord not after the full blown argument. Learn to appease it with a soft answer (Proverb 15:1, 18). If we don’t add fuel to the fire it will eventually go out (Proverb 26:20).
Strife is different than disagreement and when we disagree we are not hating as some like to spin it. Disagreement, at times, is permissible but destructive attitudes are not. We can disagree without being disagreeable. Disagreement can teach us tolerance for differing views. Do not confuse conflict with mere difference of opinion or conviction. To disagree means to have or express a different opinion. Conflict always involves hostility, ill-will, revenge, vengeance, and grudges. Conflict always creates an unreconciled situation or something between you and the other person (you become closed, withdrawn, judgmental, critical, and go out of your way to avoid). We can disagree without slandering, undermining, causing dissension, sowing discord, or offering our opinions to others covertly to rally a faction to our side against a person.