Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.Proverbs 20:3 (NLT)
When our kids were younger, and still today to some degree, they used to bicker all the time. They would go back and forth about the silliest things. They would bicker about whether or not our dog liked one of them better than the other. They would bicker about whether or not they deserved a turn to pick a cartoon to watch. They would bicker about how much a car would cost (neither one of them were remotely close). They would bicker about whether or not it was going to rain. They would bicker about everything! And, when they couldn’t settle the quarrel among themselves, they’d bring my wife or me into the conversation. When one of us would provide the answer, the winning side would immediately gloat, while the losing side would say something like, “Well, you’re still wrong!” It was great fun.
Perhaps you know some teens or adults like this, too. They love to bicker about everything. They complain and they insist that they are right, even when they aren’t. They always seem to be looking for an argument. It sucks the life out of you.
King Solomon, who knew about bickering (remember the baby he ordered to be cut in half), penned these words of wisdom for us, “Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.” In other words, those who are always looking for an argument are fools.
In our churches across the world, Satan has given us plenty of issues to quarrel about. He’s smart – smarter than we give him credit for, I think. He knows that if he can get us Christians fighting among ourselves, then the real mission of the church – which is to make disciples and win souls for the Kingdom of God – will be put on the back burner. Unfortunately, it appears in many instances, he is succeeding.
Will we have disagreements? Yes. However, we must approach them with humility. There can be no name-calling, stereotyping, or calling out “heretic” when someone disagrees with you. Have a calm conversation that is more listening than talking. Seek to understand one another. And, if an agreement can’t be made, it is OK to agree to disagree. You can still love one another and treat each other with respect. Behaving like this is the “badge of honor” that Solomon tells us to live up to.
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