Wrangling, quarreling, contending with another because of enmity. One Hebrew verb rendered “engage in strife” is also rendered “stir up” and “excite oneself.” Among the causes for strife alluded to in the Scriptures are hatred (Pr 10:12), rage (Pr 15:18; 29:22), intrigues (Pr 16:28), ridicule (Pr 22:10), heavy drinking (Pr 23:29, 30), slander (Pr 26:20), arrogance or pride, and lack of right teaching (Pr 28:25; 1Ti 6:3, 4). Strife destroys peace and happiness. Its unpleasant and repelling effect on other persons is repeatedly highlighted in the book of Proverbs. (Pr 19:13; 21:9, 19; 25:24; 27:15) Contentions between those who at one time enjoyed a brotherly relationship may present an almost insurmountable barrier to reconciliation. “A brother who is transgressed against is more than a strong town; and there are contentions that are like the bar of a dwelling tower.”—Pr 18:19.
As one of the works of the flesh that is hated by Jehovah (Ga 5:19, 20; compare Pr 6:19; Ro 1:28, 29, 32; Jas 3:14-16), strife or contention has no place in the Christian congregation. (Ro 13:13; 1Co 3:3; 2Co 12:20; Php 2:3; Tit 3:9) One of the qualifications for a Christian overseer is that he be a nonbelligerent man. (1Ti 3:1, 3) Therefore, persons persisting in contention or strife are among those to receive God’s adverse judgment.—Ro 2:6, 8.
In the first century C.E., the apostle Paul had to contend with persons who were given to strife. Some were declaring the good news out of contentiousness, probably with a view to making themselves prominent and undermining Paul’s authority and influence. But Paul did not permit this to take away his joy in seeing that Christ was being publicized.—Php 1:15-18.