Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
Pride causes fights! And it is the main cause of fights! Without pride, fighting and strife would quickly end. It is arrogant confidence and haughty self-importance that keeps contention – conflicts and quarrels – going. But wise men are humble and prudent to hear other opinions, avoid contentious men, and pass over offences. They are peacemakers.
If there is fighting in your life, family, business, or church, it is because of pride. Is it your adversary’s pride, your pride, or both? A wise man will do what he can to end war and wrangling. He will use soft words (Pr 15:1), gifts (Pr 21:14), love (Pr 10:12), or slow responses (Pr 15:18) to pacify anger and gain peace. He would rather be defrauded or offended than to fight, so he will pass over offences (Pr 19:11; I Cor 6:7).
Men quarrel and war for many reasons, but pride is the trigger or the fuel that initiates, sustains, and escalates fighting (Pr 28:25; 21:24). Believe it! Solomon wrote this about proud fools: “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him” (Pr 26:12). It is impossible to deal with a proud man, for there is no way to convince him of anything against the arrogant conceit of his own thoughts and desires.
James asked these questions, “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members (Jas 4:1)? Then he answered with a question and statement, “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (Jas 4:5-6). The root cause of fighting is pride. Solomon and James wrote the same thing, inspired by one Author.
If covetousness, envy, passion, and revenge have roles in conflicts, pride has the lead role. Pride makes men impatient, angry over slights, resentful of contradiction, envious of advantage, angry at competition, scornful of correction, revengeful of offences, conceited of opinion, domineering of conversation, critical of weaknesses, and void of forgiveness. Pride causes these and other perversities of the human soul. God, have mercy and help!
A well-advised man is knowledgeable, wise, and prudent. He asks and receives advice, for he knows safety is in many counselors (Pr 24:6). He is slow to speak, knowing haste exalts folly and does not produce true righteousness (Pr 14:29; Jas 1:20). He ends conflicts by passing over offences (Pr 19:11), fleeing angry men (Pr 22:24-25; 29:22), and cutting off backbiting tongues (Pr 25:23). He hates pride in himself and others (Pr 8:13)! He knows getting down is both wise and Christ-like (Pr 11:2; Rom 12:16).
Peacemakers are the great ones in the kingdom of God (Matt 5:9), for His kingdom is a kingdom of peace (Rom 14:17-19). You should use all your power toward this goal (Rom 12:18; Eph 4:3). If you want to prosper with a happy and long life, then be a peacemaker (Ps 34:12-16). Where can you make peace today? Do it! Let nothing hinder you.
It is the hellish wisdom of the devil that leads to bitterness and fighting, and you should never think or say that such contention is good or acceptable. It also leads to further confusion and corruption in your life (Jas 3:14-16). But the heavenly wisdom of God is peaceable, gentle, full of mercy, and makes peace (Jas 3:17-18). This passage by James is worth its weight in gold. Get familiar with these verses and obey them always.
There is no place for pride or contention among believers (I Cor 11:16). Pride is not of the Father, but of the world (I Jn 2:16). Pride was the sin of the devil (I Tim 3:6). Reader, humble yourself beneath the mighty hand of God, that He might exalt you in due time (I Pet 5:6). If there is any conflict, cold war, quarrel, or strife in which you have any role at all, end it immediately, lest it corrupt your worship in God’s sight (Matt 5:21-26).