Why are we arguing?
Pride is the fuel that keeps an argument burning.
Pride leads to arguments; those who take advice are wise.
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Why are we arguing?
Today’s verse tells us very simply that pride leads to arguments. Our verse includes a second statement, but this verse could easily be separated by an exclamation point rather than a semi-colon. There has never been an argument that did not include pride on at least one side of the conversation; usually it is on both sides. Pride is the fuel that keeps an argument burning. An argument is a conversation between two people or groups who have differing viewpoints. Not every conversation between people that differ becomes an argument. It is possible to discuss something from two different viewpoints and not argue. An argument is a conversation in which one or both parties believe they must ‘win’ the conversation. It is usually filled with emotion on both sides and very little logic or reason.
Our verse tells us that it is pride that leads to arguments. Pride is when we see ourselves or our position as superior to others. Pride is an ugly thing and it is one of the things the Bible tells us that God hates. Not only that but pride is something that He resists. The Bible also tells us that pride precedes problems in our lives.
This verse should be a warning to anyone who has a tendency to argue with others. You probably have a problem with pride. And if you have a problem with pride, then you have a problem with God. The first step to dealing with an argumentative heart or person is to humble yourself before God and others. The second half of our verse tells us that the wise are willing to take advice. When we are discussing things with others, are we willing to learn from them? If not, we are not very wise. This doesn’t mean we agree with everyone who disagrees with us – it just means we are willing to learn from them. At the very least we should be willing to learn about them.
An argument requires two people to keep it alive. If one person refuses to argue, an argument cannot keep burning. This doesn’t mean that we do not discuss things with people who have differing viewpoints. Some of the most interesting and exciting conversations I engage in are with people who disagree with me. I love the way it challenges my mind and helps me to examine the way that I think on certain matters.
When I find myself facing a person who wants to engage me in an argument, I pray. I ask God to humble my heart before Him and the person. I ask God to keep a check on my heart and on my tongue. I try to keep my mind open to hearing the other side, just in case God wants to teach me something. This is where the gift of self-control is very useful. As a young man I learned that arguing was useless. As a Christian I learned that it is sinful. If you are around me you will find that I refuse to argue, but I love to talk to anyone about anything. Jesus, teach us to love wisdom.