Argument is the worst sort of conversation. Jonathan Swift
Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. Jonathan Kozol
Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute. Josh Billings
Very seldom does anyone ever really win an argument. Once two individuals engage in an argument concerning any issue, the more likely it is each will become even more entrenched in their original beliefs. They rarely change their mind and can get heated and emotional. People say things they later regret. Arguments can get really out of control and physicality results. General speaking nothing ever good comes from an argument.
When we argue, we are not really listening to the other person. We only hear ourselves and are defending our ‘turf’, see our position and consider nothing else. Arguing can be one of the stupidest things we do and a big waste of time. The classic example is the classic battle between the baseball coach and the umpire. The coach always loses. The umpire always wins.
Granted people have disagreements that have to be resolved for life to function in a civilized manner. The use of argumentation is often not the best alternative. Instead we should choose a more efficient and controlled format for settling differences. We should engage in discussions. The intent should be to sit down and agree to communicate sincerely and open-mindedly. We should commit to listening, empathizing and desire a ‘win/win’ outcome whenever possible. No one likes to be ‘put down”, “turned down,’ ‘laughed at’ or ridiculed. Each party should show respect for the other person’s position at all times. There should be a sincere commitment to coming to an amicable and acceptable solution. It may be necessary to engage an arbitrator to act as a referee or as a go-between. Sometimes compromising is the only way to come to agreement.
Arguments should be avoided whenever possible. They are not won; waste time, are counter-productive, and can have negative effects on relationships. It takes two to argue. We can always refuse to engage in a process that usually is a waste of our time. If the storm clouds of an argument start appearing we should try to defuse the situation. Impending arguments can be time-bombs waiting to explode. A spark can set off a terrible explosion of emotions. Leave the ego out of it. Someone needs to really be responsible and mature.
Everyone benefits from improving their communication skills. We always need to listen and care about the other person’s point of view. Having improved communications is always worth our time and attention.
Challenge: You will sometimes find yourself in arguments. Often it is with those you care about. You should learn to see the signs of an impending storm. Avoid the temptation to jump into one. Be open-minded, willingly to compromise if necessary and committed to not losing your temper or composure. Be prepared to walk away from escalating confrontations. A good discussion is always preferable to a heated and out of control argument.
Wisdom: Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument an exchange of ignorance. Robert Quillen
The Lord is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and rich in love. Psalm 145:8
A quick-tempered person does foolish things. Proverbs 14:7
A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. Proverbs 15:18
When empowered by a spirit of love, it is more difficult to engage in arguing. To win or dominate does not have to be the goal. Our ego is not at stake. The right attitude can make a big difference. The more secure we are on the inside the more we can have this type of maturity. The more we are empowered by God’s strength and love; the more we will have the inner strength and well-being to not succumb to these weaknesses. God can help us.
Prayer: Help me to have the strength and security that can only come from You.