Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,
and quarreling and abuse will cease.
This is a proverb that has been proven many times in all kinds of settings. One person can sow discord throughout a team, a staff, a class, any group. He does not have to be openly rebellious. All he needs to do is consistently say a few words of discontent and disrespect, a few sarcastic remarks. At first others may shake off his words; they may quickly mark him as being a problem. But after a while the words begin to have their effect.
For there are always some things that are not right, that could be better. But whereas before, the others may have overlooked such problems, they begin to get bothered. "John may be a complainer, but he is right about Tom being too harsh sometimes." "I hadn't thought about it before, but John does have a point." "Maybe John is right; maybe I should file a complaint." "John is being too sarcastic, but that was funny the way he made Tom sound."
And then John leaves. As if a fresh wind had blown through a room and driven away a foul odor, so the atmosphere changes. Is there a scoffer in your team? Are you the scoffer? Christians can be just as guilty and actually worse because we cannot admit to ourselves that we are guilty. Do you have a complaining attitude? Does everyone in your workplace or class know what disgruntles you? Are you a person that other complainers are attracted to?
Better to change than to have to leave for peace to come.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org