13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.
not in strife [dissension or quarreling]
“Strife” and “envy” are social sins that go to church; they are acceptable within Christian circles. Yet this passage associates these sins closely with socially unacceptable sins such as orgies and shameless sex. Sins of relationship originate in darkness as much as the socially unacceptable sins. The last tandem of sins tears apart relationships.
“Strife” deals with personal advancement at the possible cost of personal relationship. Four of the six occurrences in the New Testament have to do with division in the local church (1 Co 1:11; 3:3; 2 Co 12:20).
For example, “strife” has to do with forming party attachments that cause infighting in a church. This person has such a spirit of competition that he becomes unbridled in his lust for power and prestige. He will not allow anyone to surpass him. If anyone does outstrip him, he takes it as an insult. He hates those who defeat him. The self must be in the forefront, and anyone else must take a back seat. Strife is the opposite of giving deference to others and thinking of their welfare first.
A striving attitude is a contentious temper of one who loves to have preeminence over others.
Strife is a state of mind toward other people. It is startling how many Christians are contentious. They could care less whether they divide a church or Christian organization. They are not satisfied unless they are in a fight with someone. The contentious person has no thought of another’s perspective and doesn’t care if his divisive attitude causes people to be upset with him or one another.