Among the works of the flesh listed in Galatians 5:19-21, sandwiched between “hatred” and “jealousy,” is a little word, “contentions.” A little word, but a great sin. A child I know once asked his mother to tell him what an “image” was so that he would never bow down before one. In like manner, it behooves us to define—or rather, to allow the Holy Spirit to define—this “contention” so that we may not fall prey to it, “for we are not ignorant of [Satan’s] devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11).
We should note that the word translated “contentions” (and also “strife” ) in the NKJV is the greek word eris, and the dictionary definition is:
- Strife, quarrel, contention
1.Battle-strife 2.Quarrel, strife, discord; wordy wrangling or disputation 3.Eris, a goddess who excites to war (sister of Ares) 4.Contention, rivalry (Liddell & Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon)
Specifically, we should note that the word has a military origin, indicating a spirit of war or rivalry—even infighting. This much secular input is useful, but we must go to the New Testament to get a true understanding of the meaning and application the Holy Spirit intended. Continue reading » Works of the Flesh: Contentions (Variance, Strife)