Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, But any fool will quarrel. Proverbs 20:3
Fighting, arguing, quarreling are addressed in this proverb for today. There are many who think that quarreling is fine - even a sign that a person will stick up for themselves. But according to this proverb - any fool will quarrel. The truly wise man is the one who keeps away from strife. He is the man who knows how to walk away from a fight. He knows when to keep his mouth shut - knowing that saying things at the wrong time can cause a situation to escalate quickly.
There are probably men and women who wind up in jail every weekend because they do not know how to walk away from a conflict. They wade into it - either speaking strife-causing statements or going further by swinging fists at someone else. This is a sure sign you are dealing with a fool. The fool thinks that he has to answer everything - he has to put down anyone who threatens him. Thus he is constantly arguing and fighting with others. This gains him great honor - the best seat in the jail cell or the most honored picture among the mug shots.
The honorable thing to do is to seek to keep away from strife. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that the peacemakers were the ones blessed - not those who can argue the best. It is not those who encourage and enter into strife that will bring peace - it is those who do their best to keep away from strife that fulfill this role. The truly wise man is the one who does not need to quarrel. He speaks the truth in love - he speaks it forcefully - but when things degenerate into strife and quarreling - he extricates himself from such a discussion quickly.
Quarreling has the idea of two people fighting over something to make it so. The believer does not have to enter into a quarrel because there is no need to quarrel over his point. When the believer speaks the truth - the Scriptures - he is standing on very firm - very solid ground. He has no need to quarrel over the matter. When the Word of God speaks something, it is the truth. One can argue against it - but all such arguing is pointless. God has spoken and thus the truth has been given. Those who want to quarrel over such matters actually weaken the biblical argument (if that were possible). Their quarreling only demonstrates that they think they have to win in the realm of human wisdom. The godly man - the wise man speaks God's Word and allows the authority of God Himself to bring it to bear on a man's heart. Thus the wise man can step away from a quarrel after speaking the truth. It is an honor for him to do so - and it shows he truly seeks to honor the Word of God.
Proverb a Day
Each day, we'll take a look at a verse from the chapter of Proverbs for the day. Our hope is to gain wisdom each day - and from that wisdom - to have understanding to make godly decisions in the throes of everyday life.
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