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Happy New Year to all of you, and now back to wrapping up Proverbs!

verses 20-21: “For lack of wood the fire goes out, And where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down. Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife.”

I first heard of Conrad Dobler as a child. A little research on Wikipedia, and I discovered what a storied career this NFL defensive player had. However, it wasn’t of Conrad Dobler the football player that I first heard of him…it was of Conrad Dobler, professional troublemaker. Apparently, Dobler had a reputation in his career for dirty play. He capitalized on that reputation in a TV advertisement for a certain beer as part of its “fun bunch”.

The plot would have Dobler sit himself down in the middle of a cheering football crowd, talking about the beer product he was hawking. He’d turn to Fan A on his right and get him to agree that the beer did “taste great”. He’d then to turn to Fan B on his left and get him to agree that the beer was “less filling”. Turning back to Fan A, he’d say, “Are you going to take that from him?” Fan A, indignant, would again repeat his stance; Fan B countered with his stance. The next thing you know, the stands of people are arguing with each other. Dobler would smile at the camera, duck out of the crowd, and exit. His job was done.

That’s what contentious troublemakers do…they stir up trouble. The devil loves to do that; after all, he is behind it. He can still cause trouble for Christians by getting us to bicker among ourselves over trifles. By arguing like that, we’re wasting energy and attention that we could be using to do God’s work. As you go about life on the dawn of this new year, remember to ask Jesus to help you know what is worth arguing about. Keep your mind in the game!

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

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