In the 26th Proverb, there are a couple of topics covered, one of those being laziness. There is a lot that can be said about those who are lazy, but the fact is they are too lazy to read this so I will skip it. (That's sarcasm people, lighten up!) What I do want to cover is what is mentioned in Proverb 26:21 As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
What caught my eye in this verse is the example that Solomon uses of coal with strife and fighting. The weather here in MI is getting pretty warm, and it made me think of my smoker outside. I bought this smoker late last year, and it was a little too cold and windy to do much with it, so this will be our first summer smoking with it. I was looking and reading up on different techniques on how to keep the fire an smoke going with charcoal. BTW - my smoker is a horizontal unit that has the side burner. One of the techniques to use is to put unlit coals in the burner, then add a few pre-lit coals on top of those coals. What this does is keep a steady fire going with a steady stream of smoke. That is what you want for smoking meats - but not in our personal relationships.
Let's face the facts today - there are some who just like to fight. They are contentious by nature, and will do anything they can to keep the fire, or strife, burning. Matthew Henry makes a great point: Contention heats the spirit, and puts families and societies into a flame. And that fire is commonly kindled and kept burning by whisperers and backbiters. The proverb lets us know that strife is always there, and it is our responsibility to distance from it when all possible and not to fan the flame.