Wise People Avoid Arguments
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17 NIV).
Have you ever met someone who is always arguing and looking for a fight? I heard about one guy who was so argumentative he would only eat food that disagreed with him.
Wise people work at maintaining harmony. James 3:17 says that true wisdom is peace-loving. If you’re wise, you don’t antagonize people’s anger. The Bible also says in Proverbs 20:3, “Any fool can start arguments; the honorable thing is to stay out of them” (GNT).
You can only avoid arguments when you know what leads to them in the first place. Here are three causes of arguments:
- Comparing. Do you ever use phrases like, “You’re just like . . .” or “Why can’t you be like . . .” or “When I was your age . . .”? You’re only asking for a fight when you do.
- Condemning. This is where you lay on the guilt: “It’s all your fault,” “You should be ashamed,” “You always” or “You never,” “You ought to . . .” or “You shouldn’t . . .” are all unhelpful phrases. Someone said, “You can bury a marriage with a lot of little digs.” The same can be said for any other relationship.
- Contradicting. William James once said, “The secret of wisdom is knowing what to overlook.” You have to learn to let it go! Some things are just not worth the fight.
If you want to be wise in your relationships, don’t antagonize others’ anger. “A wise man controls his temper. He knows that anger causes mistakes” (Proverbs 14:29 TLB).
Talk It Over
When was the last time you used one of the phrases mentioned in today’s devotional? What was the result?
What is a small grievance that you could choose to overlook in one of your relationships?
In addition to avoiding the three causes of arguments, how can you actively work to maintain harmony in your relationships?
This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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