Book: Proverbs 20
“Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.”
There are times in a discussion when the best thing we can do is to keep our mouth shut and not throw further fuel on a fire. Although it is tough to do sometimes, holding one’s tongue is a mark of honor! It saves the one with self-control from getting further into an argument. Quarreling has a positive outcome for no one.
I was in a meeting once where a person dogmatically stated their point of view which in my mind was not only off the topic of the meeting but incorrect as well. It was tempting to rebuff the comment with truth but I realized two things: 1) that was not the reason I was in the meeting and 2) a reply to the statement would not have been received by that person but rather would have made them argue their point of view even stronger. I did not want to waste my time arguing with a person who was not interested in listening to any other point of view. The other people in the meeting would have felt very awkward.
When Paul wrote to Timothy he reminded him of this thought, “Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.” The fact that he wrote, “Again I say” shows the need to be reminded over and over again about this truth. How easy it is to get into such arguments.
God’s wisdom turns the Kingdom Builder towards honor – God’s type of honor. It is an honor that is respected and builds the Kingdom instead of tearing it down.
I have watched a man where another person has tried to draw them into a quarrel and they have resisted. Much self-control and patience was demonstrated. In the end, after the one who wanted to fight had finished their yelling and arguing, they looked foolish. The man who kept quiet and refused to be part of it seemed to be the real winner.
Another time, I watched as a person lower their voice and talked quietly and slowly to the person who was arguing. After several minutes the other person’s voice started to speak quieter and the argument quickly came to an end.
As you work with people, keep away from unnecessary arguments and instead give words of encouragement!