“…her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.”(1 Samuel 1:6)
What moves us to provoke others? Even when we are so richly blessed, why do we feel the need to grind others down?
Perhaps it is a lack of thankfulness, we fail to remember and acknowledge God as the provider of everything we need. Our lack of gratitude hardens our heart to the troubles others face.
Perhaps it is a fear of loosing what we have, and and since we lack a sense of control we lash out and exercise our power.
Perhaps it is greed, and we can’t stand the reality that others may possess what we also have. We see God’s blessings as limited and feel if others are blessed, we will somehow miss out on what we may gain.
Perhaps it is a lack of contentment, we refuse to be satisfied with what we have and so we tear down others because we lack peace. If we are not content, why should others be?
Perhaps it is a lack of joy and in our misery we seek to ruin the happiness of others.
Perhaps it is a lack of confidence, and in our insecurity we think that we make ourselves strong when we shine a light on the weaknesses of others.
The human heart is complex, a maze with constantly shifting walls. We act poorly, and because we don’t take the time to examine our motivations, we easily justify and rationalize our terrible deeds.
What a difficult challenge from Jesus: blessed are the peacemakers! It is so much easier to cause discord than sow peace. We ought to help carry the burdens of others, not add to them. When we live in biblical fellowship, we fulfill the law of Christ.