2 Samuel 2:26
“Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren?”
A great question is asked in the verse above when it says, “Shall the sword devour for ever?” In essence, two families were fighting over the throne of Israel. Saul’s family was trying to keep their power, and David and his men were fighting to get what the LORD had given to them. After several men died, Abner realized the foolishness of their fighting. Abner understood that the sword was killing innocent people over something the LORD had established. Whether or not it was Abner’s spirituality that called a truce, it was the right thing to do so that more people wouldn’t die.
Sadly, many families find themselves in this situation where the sword has taken over the family instead of enjoying each other. Spouses, siblings, and parents and children find themselves fighting over things that are not worth fighting over. No, you may not be using an actual sword, but you are using the sword of your words to pierce other family members. The sword of words often destroys families needlessly all because of pride or the battle for superiority between family members. It is time to lay down the sword so that you can enjoy the peace that families are to enjoy. Let me give you several thoughts concerning the sword of words.
First, the sword of words is almost always caused by petty foolishness. It is amazing what families will fight over. You shouldn’t allow pettiness to be a sword that divides your ability to get along with other family members. Life is too short to allow pettiness to bring out the sword of words that destroys your relationship with others.
Second, the sword always leads to bitterness. Just like the actual sword leads to bitter people, so the sword of words leads to bitterness between family. Most of what you say about another family member could be resolved if you would stop using the sword of words to get at your family member. Bitterness is a cancer that destroys your ability to enjoy the people God meant for you to enjoy. Lay down the sword of words so that you can enjoy a sweet relationship with family.
Third, stop looking for reasons to take a jab at others. The worst thing you can do is to always look for a reason to take a jab at your family member. Pride is the only reason you would use the sword of words to try to one-up your family member. You are going to have to stop looking for reasons to take another jab with the sword of words. When you are tempted to take that stab with your sword, you must choose to lay down the sword.
Fourth, innocent people learn from your actions. Children often gain the grudges their parents have towards other family members. It is sad that many children hold learned grudges against others, and if you were to ask them why, they wouldn’t know why they have that grudge other than what their parents have told them. Don’t let the sword of words cause your children to lose the enjoyment of family.
Finally, someone needs to be the better Christian and call a truce to the infighting. My friend, you don’t have to win! Winning can often be a family member deciding to end the foolishness of words between other family members for the sake of enjoying family. If you want to be the winner, lay down the sword of words.