“For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.” (Proverbs 30:33, NIV 1984).
My Musings – If you catch 100 red fire ants as well as 100 large black ants, and put them in a jar, at first, nothing will happen. However, if you violently shake the jar and dump them back on the ground the ants will fight until they eventually kill each other. The thing is, the red ants think the black ants are the enemy and vice versa, when in reality, the real enemy is the person who shook the jar.
This is a cute story circulating on social media, erroneously (according to Snopes) attributed to naturalist David Attenborough in order to lend credence to the claim. Apparently there is no evidence that ants will react this way. Perhaps they are too smart for that.
I wish humans were as smart as ants. “Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!” (Proverbs 6:6, NIV 1984). Down through the ages, despite mountains of evidence that violence and enmity never solved anything, we continue to believe that we are each others enemies with endless fighting and killing. And Satan keeps “shaking the jar.” But “the devil made me do it” was not a valid excuse in the garden and it isn’t a valid excuse now. No matter how violently the “jar” is shaken, we are responsible for our choices and our actions.
My Advice – We cannot stop the “red ants” or “black ants” from attacking us and seeking to do us harm. We have very little control over that. What we can control is how we respond. “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:17–21, NIV 1984).
It may not be easy, but “our struggle is not against flesh [black ants] and blood [red ants], but against [the one shaking the jar]. (Ephesians 6:12, NIV 1984). Therefore, “we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3–5, NIV 1984).