Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Snare of Arguments

How often do you get into arguments? With your kids, your spouse, roommate, co-workers, or family members? Well here is a verse that could improve your relationships and maybe even save one....

"It is to one's honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel." ~Proverbs 20:3 (NIV)

Getting into petty arguments (strife) is an easy thing to do; Proverbs says that fools are quick to quarrel. Fools are often mentioned in the book of Proverbs and in many of those references it says that fools will come to ruin. In other words, their actions and ways don't achieve for them success. Being quick to enter into petty arguments (or even not-so-petty arguments) generally doesn't achieve for us success. So, is there a better way?

Well, consider the first part of Proverbs 20:3, "It is to one's honor to avoid strife...." Think about that statement for a moment. To whom do we normally give honor? Whom do we generally esteem? As you think through the list of people you have great respect for, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that they probably aren't known for getting into arguments. In some way they have learned to stay away from arguments and yet they are still successful - in fact, they have your respect.

To be clear, arguments and confrontation aren't necessarily the same thing. Sometimes we need to confront someone who is on the wrong path or who is acting in destructive ways (destructive to either themselves or to those around them or to the organization of which they are a part). Jesus made this point very clear in Matthew 18:15-17. There are times when it is right to - in fact God expects us to - confront people.

But generally our strife/arguments don't come from those kinds of situations. If you find yourself getting into arguments on a regular basis, you need to ask yourself, "Why do I do that?" Also, consider the end result of those arguments. Are they really achieving for you a better life? Are they really improving your relationships? Do they change the people with whom you argue? Once you start to drill down on these kinds of questions, you'll begin to see things more clearly, and when you see more clearly you'll be able to make better choices.

Think on these things and you'll be glad you did.

No comments: