Based on the writings of David Berg
A boy once asked his father, “Dad, how do wars begin?”
“Well, take the First World War,” said his father. “That got started when Germany invaded Belgium.”
Immediately his wife interrupted him, “Tell the boy the truth! It began because somebody was assassinated!”
The husband drew himself up with an air of superiority and snapped back, “Are you answering the question or am I?”
Turning her back upon him in a huff, the wife stormed out the room and slammed the door as hard as she could! When the dishes stopped rattling in the cupboard an uneasy silence followed, broken at length by the boy: “Daddy, you don’t have to tell me how wars begin; I KNOW now!”
Arguing! We all do it sometimes! We all know what it is to walk away from an argument with the mouth dry, tummy in a knot, head hot and spinning, and heart sick–wishing that it had never happened, deeply regretting the unkind words that were said! Believe it or not, more homes are destroyed by arguments than by fires or funerals!
We all know that arguing for the sake of arguing is a pointless waste of time! We have absolutely NOTHING to gain, and our time, energy and someone’s friendship to LOSE! It’s said that the only people who really LISTEN to an argument are the neighbors! What do you get out of an argument? Exactly what you put into it–a lot of hot air! So what can we do to avoid them? Or, once an argument has started, what can we do to stop it? Or if already over, what can we do to make amends? We’re going to explore these questions!
- 1 THE BENEFITS OF NOT ARGUING!
- 2 YOU CAN’T WIN AN ARGUMENT!
- 3 HOW TO WIN PEOPLE TO YOUR WAY OF THINKING WITHOUT HAVING AN ARGUMENT!
- 4 11 WAYS HOW NOT TO START AN ARGUMENT!
- 5 7 WAYS HOW TO STOP THE OTHER PERSON ARGUING WITH YOU!
- 6 HOW TO STOP AN ARGUMENT!–ONCE IT’S ALREADY STARTED!
- 7 HOW TO MAKE UP AFTER AN ARGUMENT!
- 8 ARGUMENTS IN MARRIAGE!
- 9 “WHAT CAUSES FIGHTS AND QUARRELS AMONG YOU?” (JAMES 4:1)
THE BENEFITS OF NOT ARGUING!
Some people love to argue, and will do anything to prove a point! They’d rather lose a friend than an argument! For others, arguing has become a HABIT, an automatic reaction of saying something contradictory to whatever is being said!
One compulsive arguer was the early American statesman, philosopher and author, Benjamin Franklin. As a youth he loved nothing more than a good argument until a close friend took him aside and said, “Ben, you are impossible! Your opinions have a slap in them for everyone who differs with you! Your friends enjoy themselves better when you are not around! You think you KNOW so much that no one can TELL you anything. Indeed, no one is going to try, for the effort would only lead to discomfort and hard work! So you are not likely ever to know any more than you do now–which is actually very LITTLE!”
Ben Franklin was BIG enough and WISE enough to accept these stinging truths, and to realise that he was headed for failure and social disaster! So he immediately began to change his bigoted, argumentative ways! He became one of the best loved, wisest and most diplomatic men in American history, and was actually remembered for saying:
“If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a victory sometimes. But it will be an empty victory, because you will never get your opponent’s good will!”
YOU CAN’T WIN AN ARGUMENT!
NO ONE ever really wins an argument! You can shout and scream and argue until you’re blue in the face, but people are not going to believe that you are right unless they WANT to believe it! And even if they would LIKE to agree with you, your tone may have put them so much on the defensive that it would be like an utter humiliation, defeat on the battlefield, for them to confess you’re right or even partly right! And remember, no amount of logic or argument will make anyone change his mind if he doesn’t want to! Nine times out of ten, an argument ends with each side more firmly convinced than ever that he is absolutely right!
You can’t win an argument, because if you lose it, you lose it!–And if you WIN it, you LOSE it! Why? Well, suppose you triumph over the other person and shoot his argument full of holes and prove that he’s an absolute idiot. Then what? You’ll feel fine, smug and satisfied. But what about him? You’ll have made him feel inferior. You’ve hurt his pride. He may resent your triumph, and–“A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still!”
The “Boston Transcript” once printed this little poem:
“Here lies the body of William Jay,
Who died maintaining his right of way!
He was right, dead right, as he sped along,
But he’s just as dead as if he were wrong!”
You may be right, dead right, as you speed along in your argument, but as far as changing someone else’s mind, it will probably be just as futile as if you were wrong! So which would you rather have?–An academic, theoretical victory or a person’s good will? You can seldom have both!
HOW TO WIN PEOPLE TO YOUR WAY OF THINKING WITHOUT HAVING AN ARGUMENT!
In Aesop’s fables there’s a story about the sun and the wind. In the story the argumentative wind boasted to the sun that he was the stronger. The sun maintained that he was. So the wind said, “I’ll prove I am! See the old man down there with the coat? I’ll bet I can get his coat off of him quicker than you can!”
So the sun went behind a cloud, and the wind blew and blew until it was almost a tornado! But the HARDER it blew, the TIGHTER the old man clutched his coat to him! Finally the wind calmed down and gave up!
Then the sun came out from behind the cloud and SMILED KINDLY on the old man! And after awhile he mopped his brow and pulled off his coat! The sun had shown the wind that GENTLENESS and FRIENDLINESS are stronger than FURY and FORCE!
So, scolding parents, domineering bosses, husbands and nagging wives ought to realise that people usually don’t want to change their minds! They can’t be FORCED or driven to agree! But they may possibly be LED to, if we are gentle and friendly! Showing love and consideration can make people change their minds far more easily than all the bluster and storming in the World! The best way to get somebody to do something is by making them WANT to do it!
In his famous book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, Dale Carnegie tells this story:
“Years ago Patrick J. O’Haire joined one of my classes. He had little education, and how he loved a scrap! He came to me because he had been trying, without much success, to sell trucks. A little questioning brought out the fact that he was continually scrapping with and antagonising the very people he was trying to do business with. If a person said anything derogatory about the trucks he was selling, Pat saw red and was right at the customer’s throat. Pat “won” a lot of arguments in those days. As he said to me afterward, `I often walked out of an office saying, I told that bird something. Sure, I had told him something, but I hadn’t sold him anything.’
“My first problem was not to teach Patrick J. O’Haire to talk. My immediate task was to train him to REFRAIN from talking and to avoid verbal fights.
“Mr. O’Haire eventually became a star salesmen for the White Motor Company in New York. How did he do it?–Here is his story:
`If I walk into a buyer’s office now & he says, `What? A White truck? They’re no good! I wouldn’t take one of those if you gave it to me. I’m going to buy the Whose-It truck.’ I say, `The Whose-It is a good truck. If you buy the Whose-It, you’ll never make a mistake. The Whose-Its are made by a fine company and sold by good people.’
“`He is speechless then. There is no room for argument. If he says the Whose-It is best and I say sure it is, he has to stop. He can’t keep on saying, `It’s the best’, when I’m agreeing with him. We then get off the subject of Whose-It and I begin to talk about the good points of the White truck.
“`Before, a remark like his first one would have made me see scarlet and red and orange. I would start arguing against the Whose-It; and the more I argued against it, the more my customer argued in favor of it; and the more he argued, the more he sold himself on my competitor’s product.
“`As I look back now, I wonder how I was ever able to sell anything. I lost years of my life in scrapping and arguing. I keep my mouth shut now. It pays.'” So remember that if you want to convert someone to your way of thinking: Obnoxious arguing will often make the other person cling more firmly to his old position. You must first be willing to LISTEN to him and try to understand HIS point of view, before he will consider listening to YOURS! Then you must indirectly guide him towards discovering your point of view, rather than taking a bossy “THAT’S the way it is, take it or leave it” approach! As the great French mathematician, writer and Christian, Blaise Pascal, pointed out, “People are usually more convinced by reasons they discover themselves, than by those found by others!”
11 WAYS HOW NOT TO START AN ARGUMENT!
“Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.”–Proverbs 17:14.
It’s been said that there’s only one way to get the best of an argument–to AVOID it! But how? How can we ensure that we ourselves are not the instigators of any unnecessary disputes?
(1) REALISE THAT YOU MAY NOT ALWAYS BE RIGHT. It’s POSSIBLE you might be wrong! Remember, there are three sides to every story!–YOUR side, MY side, and the whole TRUTH!–Which neither you nor I may FULLY see! As the Apostle Paul said, “We know that we ALL have knowledge. But knowledge (merely) puffs up, while love edifies. And if any man THINKS that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he OUGHT to know.”–1Corinthians 8:1-2.
(2) ADMIT VERBALLY AT THE START THAT YOU DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING AND MAY BE WRONG! That’s one sure way to avoid an argument and inspire the other fellow to be just as fair and open and broad-minded as you are! It will make him want to admit that he, too, may be wrong! Jesus said, “Agree with thine adversary quickly.”–Matthew 5:25. In other words, don’t argue needlessly! Use a little LOVE and consideration and diplomacy!
So if someone makes a statement that you think is wrong–even that you KNOW is wrong–isn’t it better to begin by saying, “Well, now, look! I thought otherwise, but I am often wrong.–And if I’m wrong, I want to be put right. Let’s examine the facts.” No one in the whole wide World will ever object to your saying a magic phrase like, “I may be wrong. Let’s examine the facts!”
(3) NEVER TELL A PERSON STRAIGHT OUT YOU DON’T AGREE WITH HIM. Instead say, “Do you think it might be better done this way?” “Do you feel this would save you more time?” This way you’re telling a person in a COURTEOUS way what you think, and at the same time asking him to respond with his opinion or idea! Try it! It gets much better results than saying, “Do it THIS way, period!”
(4) SHOW RESPECT FOR THE OTHER PERSON’S OPINIONS. Try to see his point of view and understand his reasons for the views he holds! Never just bluntly, flat-out tell a man, “You’re wrong!”–And you can tell people that they are wrong by a look or an intonation or a gesture just as emphatically as you can in words. And if you tell them that they are wrong, do you make them want to agree with you? No! For you have struck a direct blow at their judgement, their pride and their self-respect! That will make them want to strike back. But it will never make them want to change their minds! As Lord Chesterfield said to his son, “Be wiser than other people, if you can. But do not tell THEM that you are!”
(5) NEVER BEGIN A DISCUSSION BY ANNOUNCING, “I’M GOING TO PROVE SO-AND-SO TO YOU.” That’s the same as saying, “I’M smarter than you are! I’m going to tell you a thing or two and make you change your mind!” That is a challenge. That arouses opposition and makes the listener want to battle with you before you even start! You can avoid arguments by not embarrassing people or belittling people, and always letting them have the benefit of the doubt!
(6) AVOID ARGUMENT-STARTING WORDS! Stop using phrases such as: “Is that so?”-“That’s ridiculous!”–“You and who else?”-“That’s a lot of baloney!”–“Where did you get that crazy idea?”
Any such expressions BEG for an argument! Cut them from your vocabulary, and you’ll cut down the time you spend arguing if you do! “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”-Proverbs 15:1.
(7) AVOID SWEEPING GENERALIZATIONS such as: “You’re never on time!”–“You always say things like that!”–“All women are emotional!”–“All men are like that!”–“Everyone thinks you are that way, and so do I!”
(8) DON’T EXAGGERATE OR INSINUATE! “Speak the truth in love.”–Ephesians 4:15. It pays to PRAY before you SAY! If you don’t say it, you won’t have to UNSAY it!
(9) AVOID FRIVOLOUS TALK ABOUT SENSITIVE SUBJECTS. If you voice unnecessary opinions to others who don’t have similar views, it’s a sure way to start an argument!
(10) NEVER TELL SOMEONE, “YOU SHOULD NOT FEEL THAT WAY!” Everyone has feelings that are uniquely their own, and they DO feel that way, or they wouldn’t have said it! Instead, ask them to tell you WHY they feel the way they do, or simply say, “I understand.” This will avoid argument and keep the conversation rolling.
(11) A GOOD MOTTO TO AVOID STARTING AN ARGUMENT: “If I am wrong I will say so. I if I am right I will shut up!” There ARE, of course, matters that ARE important to set straight, but if you must point out someone’s error, make sure you do it in a humble, courteous spirit.
Also, right at that moment may not be the very best time to tell them. Wait until they are in a receptive frame of mind. “A fool utters all his mind (immediately), but a wise man keeps it in till AFTERWARDS.”–Proverbs 29:11. So be discerning and sensitive to others’ feelings! “A wise man’s heart discerns both TIME and JUDGMENT.”–Ecclesiastes 8:5.
7 WAYS HOW TO STOP THE OTHER PERSON ARGUING WITH YOU!
“As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.”–Proverbs 26:21.
When Voltaire arrived in England in 1727 he found the French were so unpopular, that he was in great danger when he walked the streets of London! One day during a walk, a crowd of angry citizens shouted, “Kill him! Hang the Frenchman!” Voltaire stopped, faced the furious crowd and cried, “My friends, have mercy! Am I not punished enough that I was not born an Englishman!” The crowd cheered wildly, and gave him safe escort back to his hotel!
(1) REMEMBER, IT TAKES TWO TO MAKE AN ARGUMENT! Never answer an angry word WITH an angry word. It’s the SECOND one that produces a quarrel! As they say, “It takes two to tango!” Refuse to involve yourself in the games of the critic, moralist, cynic or whoever tries to needlessly waste your time and energy in an argument! Some people get in the hottest arguments about the smallest trivial things! But it takes TWO people to play these games, and if you refuse to play the role, they have no one to argue with!
(2) STAY OUT OF SUCH CONVERSATIONS AS: “No, I don’t!”–“Yes, you do!”–“No, I don’t!” Remember the proverb, “When an
argument flares up, the wise man quenches it with silence!”
(3) MAKE DELAY YOUR FIRST STRATEGY FOR AVOIDING A POTENTIAL CONFLICT. The first thing to do when someone acts negatively toward you or gets angry is to keep your cool! The best initial reaction you can give is to ask the other person what he means. You may not have heard or understood him correctly. Then, if you decide that you are indeed being attacked, ask yourself these questions: “Is it really in my own best interests to answer tit for tat? Is getting angry the most effective thing I can do? What will my anger accomplish?” If you take time to think and pray about a situation BEFORE you react to it, you will avoid many unnecessary skirmishes! “A man’s wisdom postpones his anger; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.”–Proverbs 19:11.
(4) FORM THE HABIT OF CLOSING YOUR MOUTH WHEN ANGRY. “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silence, & discerning if he holds his tongue.”–Proverbs 17:28. The best thing you can do is to listen. Then ask questions, so you can find out what the other person’s view is before replying. If you tell him what you think first and give him your opinion, you may suddenly find yourself at odds with him, and lose all possibilities of getting your point across! Give the other person a chance to talk, and let him finish. Don’t interrupt! Don’t start resisting, defending or debating. This only raises barriers! Try to build bridges of understanding!
(5) BE ENDLESSLY PATIENT WHEN FACED WITH AN ARGUMENT. Keep your emotions and impulses firmly under control! Control your temper. Remember, you can measure the size of a person by what makes him angry! “A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.”–Proverbs 15:18.
(6) WHEN ANOTHER PERSON IS ANGRY, THE WORSE THING YOU CAN DO IS TO SAY, “Now don’t get angry!” When you say this, it has just the OPPOSITE effect! Instead, try saying as gently as you can, “I’m sorry, something is making you angry? If it’s me, I apologise! What can I do to help?”
(7) REMEMBER ALSO THAT OUR SPIRITS ARE CONTAGIOUS! If we show the right spirit and the right attitude–peaceful, trusting, patient and restful, full of faith–this is how OTHERS will react. But if we get flustered and impatient and ranting and raving and sharp-tempered and sharp-tongued, this is apt to be the same way that others will also answer us, sad to say!
HOW TO STOP AN ARGUMENT!–ONCE IT’S ALREADY STARTED!
What do you do if you find yourself caught up in an argument? How do you take control of a heated discussion that is fast flaring up into an all-out brawl? Here are some tried and proven ways:
Carl Rogers, the famous psychologist, suggested the following technique for resolving misunderstandings: “Before either person can make a point, he must first repeat the opinion of the OTHER person, to that person’s satisfaction. This rule forces each person to LISTEN to the other party and have to try to understand his point of view! The discussion then tends to become less EMOTIONAL and the opponents find themselves doing more THINKING and LISTENING! The more rational people become, the greater are the chances for an agreeable solution!”
STAY ON THE SUBJECT! Always try to discover exactly what you are arguing about and STAY on that subject! Don’t bring in matters that are irrelevant or unimportant. At times you may have to say something like, “Let’s stop this conversation and really see WHAT it is we’re arguing about. YOU start again, and I will listen. Perhaps I have misunderstood something!”
WATCH YOUR VOLUME! Most of us tend to raise our voices during serious discussions! When we do this, we are really saying, “I can’t get through to you in a normal voice because you seem to be deaf to what I say. So I will turn up the volume!” Raising our voice puts others on the defense and can even convey that we have lost control of our temper or the situation.
DON’T USE CRITICISM TO BE A COMEDIAN! While it’s true that a joke or a dry remark might relieve the tension in some disagreements, it’s always best to use humor with care. Questions to ask yourself before using humor are: “Will this increase tension, or relieve it?”–“Can I laugh at myself, or am I just trying to poke fun at the other person?”–“Am I trying to win points for my side with cute remarks?” Never try to be funny by criticising someone else.
DON’T EXAGGERATE. It’s very tempting to add more weight to our point of view by altering the facts or “dressing them up a little bit.” This will only exasperate the situation and make matters worse!–Especially if the other person KNOWS you are exaggerating! Then they’ll be CONVINCED you’re wrong about everything!
ATTACK THE PROBLEM, NOT EACH OTHER! Do your best to keep the discussion impersonal. Try to attack the problem instead of attacking each other with innuendos, slurs and “smart” remarks.
EMPHASISE THINGS YOU AGREE ON! Don’t emphasise the things on which you differ! Keep emphasising that you are BOTH striving for the SAME end and your only difference is one of METHOD and NOT purpose! Dwell on the positive, not the negative! Discuss the things you have in COMMON, not just your differences, and try to establish as many points in common as possible instead of picking out the flaws! Get the other person agreeing and saying, “yes, yes”, and immediately he’ll find it much harder to say “no”!
BE WILLING TO COMPROMISE! One of the most important trips a man can make is to meet the other fellow half-way! When the conversation is deadlocked, see if you can change the subject, or find a different way to approach the problem. Perhaps a COMPROMISE would work that recognises all points of view, or a way that lets someone give in and change his opinion without losing face!
HAVE THE HUMILITY TO BACK DOWN, even if you still think you’re right and the other person is wrong. The famous Swiss reformer, Zwingli, learned a lesson along this line from two goats he saw making their way over a narrow path on a steep mountain in the Alps. One was ascending the trail, the other descending. Zwingli noticed that they must pass at a point where the trail was so narrow that there was room for only one goat.
The animals rounded a turn in the path which brought them in full view of each other. They backed up, as though ready to charge one another, and then the most amazing thing happened! The goat on the trail below knelt down in the path, while the goat above him walked over his back. The first animal then arose and continued his journey up the trail.
The noblest thing you can do in an argument is to have the humility to be the one to back down. Don’t be afraid to say something like, “Let’s stop, because I’m saying things I don’t really mean and I don’t want this to happen!” “It is to a man’s honor to cease from strife, but a fool can’t stop quarreling.”–Proverbs 20:3.
IF YOU’RE WRONG, ADMIT IT! Say something like, “You know, I do think I am to blame here. I’m sorry that I said that, and that I hurt you! What can I do now to make up for this?” When you honestly own up to knowing that you’re wrong, and that the other person is right, you improve communication a thousandfold and deepen your relationship with that person! Anyone can try to DEFEND his or her mistakes, but it takes Godly humility to ADMIT your mistakes, “to confess your faults one to another”!–James 5:16. And if the other person wants to let off a last bit of steam and continue to chide you for a little while more–as sometimes happens–humbly agree or restate your error or keep silence, whatever is appropriate.–“YIELDING pacifies (even) great anger” (Ecclesiastes 10:4), and they’ll soon be won over and lose all their hard feelings towards you.
IF YOU FIND YOURSELF REFEREEING AN ARGUMENT, and you have to express an opinion, pray and think carefully, and before speaking ask yourself, “WHAT is right?”, not “WHO is right?” During the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln was asked whether he thought God was on his side. Lincoln replied that God was on the side of the right, and hopefully, so was the Union!
In almost every case, no side is always all right and the other all wrong. There’s almost always some good and bad on both sides!–But it takes wisdom, discernment and humility to be able to SEE that.
DON’T GET INVOLVED IN OTHER PEOPLE’S ARGUMENTS! Proverbs 26:17 says, “Like one who seizes a dog by the ears, so is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own!”
HOW TO MAKE UP AFTER AN ARGUMENT!
EVEN IF YOU WERE RIGHT, TAKE THE INITIATIVE TO FORGIVE AND FORGET! When it is appropriate, always ask for FORGIVENESS! In the Bible, we’re told to admit our faults to one another and pray for each other!–James 5:16. Also, when the OTHER person confesses THEIR faults and admits error, be sure to tell him or her of YOUR forgiveness! Proverbs 17:9 says, “He who covers over an offense, promotes love!”
NEVER HOLD GRUDGES! Colossians 3:13 says that we should “be gentle and ready to FORGIVE; never hold grudges”! Some people “bury the hatchet” but never forget where! If you find it hard to forgive, remind yourself that it takes a lot of energy to hold a grudge, and that there is great freedom in forgiveness.
YOU CAN SUGGEST THAT YOU PRAY TOGETHER AFTER AN ARGUMENT. It is hard to hold bad feelings about someone you pray with!
ARGUMENTS IN MARRIAGE!
To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up!
Sadly, it’s human nature that we often hurt most the ones we love the most and are the closest to. People who are married often argue with their partner more than with anyone else! If you’re having problems with arguing in your marriage, then of course all the above pointers will apply.
But here are some extra tips:
Opera tenor Jan Pierce, after being married nearly 50 years, said: “My wife and I made an agreement long ago, and we’ve kept it no matter how angry we’ve grown with each other! When one is letting off steam, the other should listen–because when two people are peeved and trying to get their point across at the same time, there is no communication, just noise and bad vibrations!”
Do not walk out in the middle of an argument. And, “never let the sun go down upon your wrath!”–Ephesians 4:26.
Continually remind yourself of all the positive things about your partner! List all of their good qualities, the reasons for which you married him/her in the first place. Then put the list in your wallet or purse and go over it every time you get irritated with him/her!
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything has any virtue or is praiseworthy–think about THESE things!”–Philippians 4:8.
One wife who admitted that she constantly criticised her husband and caused almost daily quarrels, gives this advice: “After praying that God would stop our arguing, He showed me that HE is the Author of my husband’s personality, and that what I viewed as faults are really the means God uses to make me cling closer to Him for solutions! Since then I’ve begun to trust God, through my prayers, that He is able to make any alterations to my husband if they are needed!”
If you have a major discussion on an important topic coming up, try to arrange a time and place where you won’t be interrupted.–For instance, after the children have gone to bed, and not during dinner.
Parents do not usually succeed in hiding disagreements and arguments from their children. Let them know that you do disagree sometimes and that all family members will have times of disagreement. But it’s nothing that can’t be resolved through quiet discussion and prayer. Keep in mind that your children will learn their pattern for disagreeing and arguing from you!
Marriage should be as equal as possible, and as sharing as possible. You should talk together, pray together, love together, discuss together and then decide and agree together! But when it comes to having the last word, if he’s a Christian and is trying to serve the Lord and do what’s right, the husband is the boss when it comes to decisions about the home and family. God’s Word clearly says that women should obey their husbands.–Ephesians 5:22-24,33; 1Corinthians 11:3,8-9; 1Peter 3:1,5-6. If most Christian wives would do this, there would be a lot less fusses, disagreements and arguments! And if you can’t trust your husband, at least you can trust the Lord!
In fact, you BOTH have to trust the Lord if you’re going to have peace, unity and harmony in the home! If you can’t trust your wife or your husband, at least trust the Lord and HE’LL work things out somehow!
“WHAT CAUSES FIGHTS AND QUARRELS AMONG YOU?” (JAMES 4:1)
James goes on to say, “Don’t they come from your lusts and desires that battle within you? You want something, but don’t get it…so you quarrel and fight.”–James 4:1-2. So greediness and SELFISHNESS can be one of the root causes of arguing, trying to get the things you selfishly want.
Other arguments are caused by PRIDE. Proverbs 13:10 says, “Only by PRIDE come quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.”
Also, as we’ve clearly seen, many arguments are caused by SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS.–Pushing your point, thinking that you’re so right, putting yourself up and the other person down by contradicting them!
And what it all boils down to is a lack of LOVE! Arguing isn’t the real problem, it’s just a SYMPTOM!–A LACK OF LOVE is the REAL problem! That’s one of the major lessons that the Lord wants us to learn–how to LOVE people, how to work with them, how to treat them, how to give the other person the advantage and the benefit of the doubt, how to build them up unselfishly, instead of selfishly tearing them down through contention and argument! All this is a part of LEARNING TO LOVE, to put ourselves in other people’s shoes, to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”–Matthew 7:12.
So pray and ask Jesus to give you more LOVE, and help you to overcome the habit of arguing! It will help if you try to apply all the practical pointers that are covered in this article, but only JESUS can really give you the SPIRITUAL solutions and change your heart and spirit and fill you with His Spirit of Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.–Galatians 5:22. Only HE can give you the strength and grace to LOVE and NOT to argue!–So stay close to HIM!
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