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;
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.
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
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
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.
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 behavior, can be
very disastrous for 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
One of the devil’s favorite tricks is...
stirring the pot... causing misunderstandings.
“The thief comes only to steal,
kill, and destroy."
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.
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
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
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
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
All of us have to admit that we have no
sure way of knowing what is going on inside
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
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"
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.