April 30, 2009

Messy Arguments

Written by Boyd Bailey

Messy Arguments… “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.” Proverbs 17:14

Messy arguments are the result of fighting in the flesh. It is relational suicide and can cause wounds that won’t easily be forgotten. Anger is the primary driver behind messy arguments. Hard feelings are unable to get past not being heard, or not getting its way. For productive discussions over disagreements, level heads must prevail.

Spirit-filled followers of Jesus have the capacity to not only fight fair, but disagree respectfully while seeking to understand the others’ point of view. If your mind is already made up, then there is little possibility for positive relational results. Your friendship does not have to be sacrificed to make a point. In fact, people grow deeper in love and respect when they first bring their disagreements to the Lord, and let Him lead their lives.

Ask, ‘What does God think?’ Because you do not argue with the Almighty, “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker…” (Isaiah 45:9). Bickering is marginalized when two people review God’s game plan for disagreements (Matthew 18:15-17). It may require involving an experienced, objective and godly third party. “Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom…” (Acts 6:3).

Lastly, once you make your point clearly, concisely and maturely you can trust the Lord and the responsible parties to do the right thing. Everyone is accountable, so the actions sown will reap consequences, good or bad. Therefore prayerfully ask, ‘Am I full of grace and truth in my communications?’ ‘Do I honor others, especially those with whom I disagree?’ A pure heart prevents messy arguments. “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (James 4:1)

Related Readings: Proverbs 13:10; Isaiah 58:4; 1 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Timothy 2:23-24

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