As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
Have you ever watched the TV show, “My Wife and Kids?” One thing that strikes me about that show is the constant arguing between the husband and wife. Think of how each response adds to hostility between the couple. No doubt, every spousal abuse had its beginning with sharp and harsh words toward the other. Contention and anger breed division.
In Proverbs 26:21 we are given a second type of person who disturbs the peace. In verse 20 we learned that one who gossips disturbs the peace; now in verse 21 we learn that one who seeks arguments is doing the same thing. Notice how this is the case.
This verse speaks of one who argues, one apt to put the worst spin upon everything, or one who picks a quarrel upon the least incident. These people are quick and hot tempered, similar to one adding coals to already burning coals (they get hotter!). Of course we may have differences and should discuss them with one another, but this is different. Are these the people you or I would want to be around? Absolutely not, and yet we face these people in life. We like to have little to do with them, for we often end up quarreling with those who are quarrelsome.
If we don’t want to be around these them, let’s make sure that we are not them. Let’s all examine our own hearts and spirits in our dealings with our spouses, children, fellow workers, parents, and friends. The Spirit himself needs to temper our hearts and keep us for the master’s use.
Avoid quarrels and see that peace is maintained.