Another Source of Strife

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Another source of strife is an inability to see a disagreement from the other’s point of view. An ability to do this is not a concession that this other point of view is correct, but it does show the flexibility of heart that is necessary for avoidance of intractable strife.

Paul tells us that we are not to be wise in our own conceits (Rom. 12:16). A few moments before this, he said that we were not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think (Rom. 12:3). Being wise in our own conceits and thinking of ourselves (and our opinions) beyond the appropriate measure is an outstanding way to create conflict. We are completely dependent upon the grace of God here because a wise man and a foolish man are not an uncertain man and a certain man respectively. We all see the world through our own eyes, and are always convinced of our convictions. A wise man is one who is certain of his convictions a particular way, and a fool is certain in another way. When Paul said not to be wise in our own conceits, he was not being wise in his own conceits.

The kind of conceit that Paul forbids is that frame of mind which cannot grasp or understand the position it is rejecting. Wisdom knows the conceit it rejects better than its assured advocate himself does, and could do a better job representing it to the world.

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