Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Learning To Avoid Conflict

In review of Proverbs 20:3 it says, “Any fool can start arguments; the honorable thing is to stay out of them.”

Bottom Line:
Don’t be foolish, do what you can to stay out of a fight.

What this means to me:
It would be foolish for me to go looking for a fight or to initiate a quarrel. It is much more honorable for me to stay out of a fight, and bring peace to a situation. What I’m learning is that the character of a wise person is to be a peacemaker and not stir up trouble. Furthermore a wise person won’t carry a grudge, and they won’t go looking for a fight or a way to antagonize someone. When I’m around anybody for any length of time, I can usually figure out what that person does that irritates me, and file that information in the back of my mind as a tool to use when we get in an argument. It becomes my personal weapon of mass destruction! If an argument comes, and that person says something that hurts, offends, or slights me in any way, then I’m tempted to pull out the big gun and push the hot button. What this verse is telling me is that’s stupid! As I will not getting any closer to the resolution and furthermore I’m not doing the right thing to help the relationship. In fact, I’m doing the opposite; I’m hurting it. According to scripture, this is not wise.

Proverbs 20:3 says this, “Any fool can start arguments; the honorable thing is to stay out of them” (TEV).

I think that everyone uses these tools, tricks of the trade, and counter productive skills in relationships. They end up being hurtful, harmful, and really never get us what we’d want out of relationships. In fact, they would get us the exact opposite behavior. However, when I’m not careful and I let anger take over my thoughts, I use them anyway.

Here is a list of three things that I need to watch out for:

1. Comparing. I should never compare my spouse, my daughter, my boss, or anybody else, because everybody is unique. Comparing only antagonizes anger.
2. Condemning. If I start laying on the guilt in a relationship, all I’m going to do is get the exact opposite of what I’d expect. It doesn’t work. It’s foolish.
3. Contradicting. Wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook. There’s just some stuff I just need to look past and not dwell on.

Proverbs 14:29 says, “A wise man controls his temper. He knows that anger causes mistakes” (LB). I know from experience that I’ve said and done stupid things out of anger. When I get angry, my intelligence goes out the window. When I get angry, I say and do stupid things that become self-defeating.

Here’s something to ponder today. There is only one letter difference between “anger” and “danger” When I get angry, I’m in dangerous territory. I’m about to hurt others, and myself with my own anger.

I need to consider someway to quickly recognize when anger starts to build, so that I can shut it down quickly.  Today, I ask you God to help me see the warning signs and to quickly gain wisdom so that I can serve and love rather than destroy and conquer.