I  appeal to you, brothers, 

to watch out for those who cause divisions

 and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine 

that you have been taught;

 avoid them.

Proverbs 6:16-19

We might try to come across in a certain way 

to others, but people often perceive us in an 

altogether different way. This is one of the 

primary issues of being human.

Most of the time, people don’t realize they are

 not coming across the way they think they are. 

There is sometimes a big breach between how 

other people see us and how we see ourselves.

Is There A Pink Elephant

In The Living Room?

Misunderstandings and differences of opinion 

happen amongst the best of us; however, they 

can create major conflicts and/or damage 

relationships if not squashed immediately

 and effectively.

Misunderstandings come in many different 

forms... such as: a look, a comment someone 

thought they heard someone make, and now 

they are angry. It could have been a failure

 to speak or perhaps someone could not 

comprehend or see another's vision.

Sometimes, we react angrily to innocent

 comments because we’re hearing another

 voice in our heads.

Social conflicts often involve some 

misunderstanding. Parties in conflicts 

communicate by what they say, do, or

not say, and how they behave toward 

each other. Even normal interaction may 

involve faulty communication, but 

conflicts seems to worsen the problem. 

When two people are in conflict, they 

often make negative assumptions about

 "the other." Consequently, a statement 

that might have seemed innocuous when 

two parties were friends might seem 

hostile or threatening when the same 

parties are in conflict.

Perhaps someone misheard something 

you said, and now they are angry with you. 

Perhaps they heard your words correctly

 but comprehended them in a manner that 

did not align with your intent. Or perhaps 

they interpreted your silence in a way that 

was inconsistent with the message you 

wanted to send

It would be naive to think that when we

have Spiritual emergencies and there is 

confusion, temptation, division, 

accusations, misunderstandings, and lies... 

that Satan and his diabolical destroying

 agency, with their voices of

condemnation... are not on the scene

trying to wreak havoc.

Satan is a master craftsman of misunderstandings.


Satan will snatch our words out of the air and put 

an evil spin on them, and hurl them to their intended 

target, with his foul distorted twist... there is no 

clear communication... the original message is 


Misinterpretations turn into accusations and

 arguments, and triggers war! The sender has a 

message they intend to transmit, and they put it in 

words, which, to them, best reflect what they are 

thinking, but many things can intervene to prevent 

the intended message from being received 


Every way of a man is right in his 

own eyes, but God ponders the heart.

Proverbs 21:2

Only God knows what’s in our hearts, but 

He would be more than glad to tell us if we 

would ask.

When we listen to others’ opinions with an 

open mind, we gain an understanding of what 

motivates them. And that breeds mutual

 respect, even if we don’t agree in the end.

Many times we speak up before 

our brains can get the cease and

 desist order to our tongues. And

 we usually regret it. 

Once words are out of our mouths, there’s no

way to recall them... they are out there, they cannot 

be taken back. Sometimes, especially in times of 

unrest and uncertainty, it is easy to allow our 

emotions to flare up. We are quick to anger and 

speak... and slow to really listen to another's 

perspective. As a result, we let our frustrations 

become a part of our conversations and before 

you know it... it is on social media. 

Taking matters into our own hands, before asking 

God to help us to pursue right behaviorcan be 

very disastroufor everyone. Once those words 

are vented in the air, the "prince of the air," 

Satan... uses those powerful weapons against

 us. Satan knows just what to do to stir the pot. 

Satan, the adversary, tries to overwhelm us 

with his irrational, accusing spirit. His influence

 on the recipients could create major conflicts! 

Misunderstandings can be a powerful weapon

 that Satan uses to divide people. Many quarrels

are foolish... not necessarily because people are 

foolish, but because Satan will pit us against 

each other. 

 One of the devil’s favorite tricks is...

stirring the pot... causing misunderstandings. 

“The thief comes only to steal,

kill, and destroy."

Satan has power over some people; it is a 

corrupting influence that deliberately stirs up 

trouble. He uses hearsay to set others off! He 

will make people destroy and/or kill each other. 

He is cunning and extremely divisive. 

Satan, the enemy, wants to access our minds and

hearts and get a foothold in our affairs so that he 

can keep people separated by misunderstandings, 

blown way out of proportion. He loves to see 

misunderstandings snowball into gossip,

jealousy, envy, greed, all kinds of dogma and

 religious issues. 

Satan wants to control all aspects of people's lives.

 He tells willing souls what to think and how to 

think. Satan positions himself in such a way as to 

appeal to or appease both left-wing and right-wing

 standpoints. He will use devious power-plays and

 purposely mis-characterize others in an attempt to

 kill the spirit, kill the truth, assassinate one's 

character or outright kill another. 

Satan is a diabolical liar and instigator. He thrives 

on the negative energies of others. He is poisonous, 

emotionally destructive and so subtle that he will 

pretend to kindly guide people where he wants

 them to go and have people thinking that they 

are guiding themselves. 

The devil is a well rehearsed agitator. He is 

notorious for driving a wedge between and 

severing ties that bind families. He loves 

causing blow-outs and separating close 

friends and communities, and seems to 

have a great time inciting violence. 

He loves trying to make fools of people and 

then he sits back and laughs. Satan loves to stir 

the pot by constantly hitting the replay button. 

Back to James 1:20 The writer tells us to be 

“Slow to become angry because human anger 

does not produce the righteousness that God 


We all get angry. But if we make it a habit to

 cool off before we respond, we are less likely

 to say something that damages a relationship. 

All of these things require intention. We have 

to determine ahead of time to do them.

We must guard ourselves against anyone who is 

an instigating false witness. We should also make 

sure that our mouths don't move faster than our 

brains. Let us be reminded: certain figures of 

speech may mean different things to different 


Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, 

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, 

do good to them that hate you, and pray for them 

which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
Being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow

 to anger makes for a peaceful existence.

We are in an invisible spiritual battle 

with a cruel enemy. He is crafty,

cunning, rude, controlling, subtle, 

malicious, and dangerous. 

Satan is a real enemy who prowls 

around seeking someone to devour. 

He is evil and will stop at nothing to

gain new ground so that he can 

profoundly influence the human 

sphere by leading God's people astray. 

So, why do godly people quarrel?

The simple answer is... none of us are 

perfect, and the devil is working night 

and day to try and cause us to quarrel 

and even have people fighting, killing 

and bathing in their own blood... that's

 Satan's job and he is working... 


Many of the problems we face with one another

 stems from having different perspectives 

and a lack of mutual understanding of those 


 In order to get past this, there needs to be clear 

understanding on both sides. We should first 

try to understand the other person’s perspective.

 One way of accomplishing this is by paying 

attention and genuinely trying to understand 

their concerns. 

Pretending to listen while dismissing what

 they say, in our heads, will only add insult 

to the injury. Quarrels can cause division... 

they can separate us. 

Satan is very divisive, and one of the 

oldest tricks in the book is to... 

"Divide and conquer."

Satan knows that he can keep us in 

a perpetual state of conflict... as long

as he can keep us divided.

One of the biggest threats

 to Satan is God fearing people 

united... on one accord.

From a Biblical perspective we know that 

no one is perfect; yet, we are so quick

 to misconstrue a single action

 to the detriment of our very soul.

More often than not, we are the prosecutor,

 judge, and jury when we think that another  

has committed a wrong toward us.


Some quarrels arise because people complain

that others are not doing... what "they" are 


Jesus compared people to children playing in 

the street and demanding that others should 

do as they did...

dance when they danced... 

and mourn when they mourned.


In other words, what some may see in others

shadows the unconscious parts of themselves 

that their ego is not aware of or doesn't care 

to acknowledge

Some people think that what they do is the right

 thing and how they do it is the right way, and 

anyone who does it differently from them is 


Is that right?

Controlling people are everywhere. We 

see them at work, social gatherings, in our 

families and in personal relationships. In far 

too many instances, controlling people can 

have a much bigger impact than they should.

Controlling people often assume that they 

understand how another thinks, even when

 they actually don't.

If we can't even understand ourselves fully,

 how can we think that we can understand 

the who, what, when, where, how, and why 

of others?

 All of us have to admit that we have no 

sure way of knowing what is going on inside 

anothers’ mind.

Controlling people may become frustrated 

because their constructed image of another 

is at odds with what the other person 

consistently says and who that other person 

really is.

Even when we think our intention is pure 

and good, there may be things there... that 

we're unable to see. If we see this, we can 

be teachable and merciful to others.

People so easily get caught up in quarrels 

even without really understanding 

what they're quarreling about!

This is especially true when we have 

a prejudice towards someone. 

Then whatever he or she says or does

 is seen in a bad light.

Some people can rage on and on 

even when the other party does not respond 

in kind, but it takes two people to quarrel. 

Perhaps it's more correct to say 

that if one man tries to quarrel

 and the other man doesn't respond in a 

similar way the quarrel will lack the 

necessary fuel to get fanned up.

The more mature we are... the more we 

can help in bringing peace by responding 

in a gentle and merciful manner.

"When a wise man has a controversy with a

 foolish man,there will be ranting and ridicule 

and no satisfaction"

 (Proverbs 29:9).

One of the greatest reasons we have for 

quarrels is that it is extremely difficult 

for us humans to see our own faults. 

When we deal with others we see their 

faults, but hardly any of our own. If only

 we could see our own faults, and stop getting 

worked up about the faults of others!

The bottom line is... 

only God has the right to judge.

 He knows everything about us.

 He knows what we've done, 

and what we've not done.

 God knows the particular handicaps each of us 

lives with, the specific temptations we find 

difficult, our special tendencies, the strengths 

He has given us, and the damage the devil 

has caused us.

The one who has seen himself in God’s 

light becomes a different person. 

He loses confidence in his own 

assessment of things and becomes 

slow in passing opinions.

 He recognizes that there could be

 other ways of looking at things and 

other ways of doing things than what 

he is used to. 

He tries to put himself in other 

people’s shoes to understand how 

they feel. 

May we always remember 

and never forget...

He makes room for the others to be 

different from him. The devil loves to see 

us quarreling with one another. He's the

one whispering into our ears about

 what the other person is like... and why 

he or she is doing... or not doing something. 

Let us not be gullible

 before Satan!

When we have difficulties with others... 

let us remember that we may have 

misunderstood the whole situation. 

Also we can be merciful to others 

when we feel they've misunderstood 



In the eighteenth chapter of Matthew, 

Jesus talks directly to His followers to 

tell us what our fellowship and friendships

are to be like. 

If a brother or sister in the faith hurts us, 

angers us, saddens us, or does us wrong in 

any way…we are to go and talk to them 

about it directly, one on one.

Not only does this manner of working 

out difficulties lead to forgiveness, 

it also works things out in a graceful 


 The talk can be done quietly…

lovingly... and gracefully.

One may ask... 

why is the matter to be first kept private 

between the two? Because our love for our 

brother requires it. 

If we are sincerely committed to love

for our brethren as Jesus commands 

(John 13:34)then even if a brother has 

sinned against us or has done us wrong, we 

will not want to maliciously injure that 

brother's credibility within the body — 

that might hinder his restoration. 

If this person's transgression against the

 offended is circulated within the body, 

but later he repents, many in the body 

will have already judged this brother 

and the accusations will have damaged

 their opinion of him. 

By spreading our accusations against

 an offending party, it builds a consensus 

against them and makes it difficult, 

if not nearly impossible, to restore

 that person to the body should they 

repent and desire to make things 


Also, many alleged trespasses 

between brethren are a result of 


We need to first investigate the facts and 

find out for sure whether a trespass has 

really occurred. 

This is another reason why we're to first...

 go privately to the brother or sister in

 question... to confront them with the 

alleged offense and hear their side of 

the story. 

If we disclose the offense to friends

in the body, we may later discover that 

the matter was only a misunderstanding. 

But by then, their reputation will have

 been damaged by our allegations.

When we make the mistake of telling a

 third party first… misunderstandings 

can fester, and souls may be lost... and

 Satan triumphs. 

Let us try to understand the accusing

 nature and history of Satan, the evil one,

 the first con man. 

Satan is always on the prowl trying to 

sell us a product that he knows he could

 never provide.

Satan continues to lie to people by 

promising them that if they follow his 

lead…they will be happy or whatever 

else they want to hear.

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