Don’t quarrel, and avoid people who do
2 Timothy 2:24 NIV
Let’s consider why some people are given to quarrelling: 1) They grew up in homes where it was a pattern so they think it’s normal. It may be normal, but it’s certainly not Christlike. The Bible says, ‘Avoiding a fight is a mark of honour; only fools insist on quarrelling’ (Proverbs 20:3 NLT). 2) To boost their self-worth. Some folks only feel good about themselves when they’re attacking the validity of somebody else’s opinions and beliefs, and manoeuvring that person into defending their position. The quarreller’s goal isn’t to add value to other people’s lives by showing them the error of their ways; it’s pure one-upmanship. Solomon says, ‘Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so stop before a dispute breaks out’ (Proverbs 17:14 NLT). Does that mean you shouldn’t stand up for what you believe? No, it means you must learn to disagree without being disagreeable! When you’re mean-spirited you do more harm than good. Benjamin Franklin was known to have remarked diplomatically, ‘On this point, I agree. But on the other, if you don’t mind, may I take exception?’. If you’ve a tendency to be argumentative, remember that it costs you absolutely nothing to respect someone’s opinion – especially on matters of no eternal consequence. That’s why Paul told Timothy, ‘The Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone’. Will Rogers put it this way: ‘People’s minds are changed through observation, not through argument’. So the word for you today is – don’t quarrel, and avoid people who do!