Avoiding All Those Arguments

We argue because of our human pride. We argue because someone — usually someone very close to us — has violated our personal laws of convenience and preference. We argue because we want to control the situation so that our individual, self-centered needs are met. God’s Word warns us about anger, impatience, arguing because God, who made us in His image, knows we flourish better as His children when we are humble, and patient, and forgiving. We cannot do this on our own, but, with Him, we can do all things.

It is honorable for a man to resolve a dispute, but any fool can get himself into a quarrel. (Proverbs 20:3 HCSB)

A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1 NASB)

WHY DO WE ARGUE?

People argue. We know that. God knows that. That’s why He put so many verses in the Bible reminding us to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. He tells us that in our anger, we should not sin nor should we let the sun set while we are still angry (Ephesians 4:26 NIV).

To make it clear to us, He tells us that he is a loving God and that He models what He wants us to do: “But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love” (Nehemiah 9:17 NIV).

menarguingatworkWe know what the antidote to anger is. It is love. In one of the most poetic chapters of the Bible (1 Corinthians 13), the apostle Paul reminds us that among love’s many attributes is this one: love “is not easily angered” (v. 5 NIV).

We get angry as a tool to get our way in a broken world, and so we lash out at the people who stand in our way, you know, the ones standing right there in front of us who express their needs — legitimate needs — that conflict with our needs.

Here’s the dilemma: Those people who most often stand in our way are the ones we are with the most … and the ones we are with the most are the ones we love the most. Continue reading “Avoiding All Those Arguments”