“It is honorable to refrain from strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.”Proverbs 20:3
Solomon and the writers of Proverbs provide wise counsel those who pay attention. There are some folks, you see, who just won’t pay attention or seek “wisdom” and “understanding.” I think of a man in a former church who had a penchant for disagreeing. Often he was right, but his attitude just turned folks off, and much of the time meetings would devolve into “him” against the rest. One night we had some heavy matters to discuss at the board, and he came to me and asked what I wanted to happen. He went on, if you want this to pass I’ll oppose it, that way everyone will vote for it. My heart ached for him. He realized he had antagonized a lot of folks, and I simply said to him, “I really don’t care…whatever the board wants will be fine.” I recall he looked puzzled. My response was not what he expected. After all, he usually wanted things his way!
Christ calls the church to be a koinonia, a fellowship, in which each of us has a vital role to play. It doesn’t help anyone if seek our own way and seek to dominate others. Oh, we may be right. But if we impose our answers, sooner or later folks will just ignore us, or worse, drop out. Quarrels are not the way to build up the body of Christ, nor the way for us to have loving relationships. We need to build trust, we need to respect the opinions and viewpoints of others, and share solutions together. This is the honorable way to relate to our fellow journeyers on the way of salvation. It’s sometimes hard. But it’s almost always the better way!
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