Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, But any fool will quarrel. Proverbs 20:3 NASB
Is it possible to get better at avoiding conflict? As an adult have you mentally resigned yourself to accept “angry outbursts” as just the way you are? Do you believe that most of the arguments with others, like your spouse, coworkers, or friends, would diminish if the other person would stop “starting it first”?
Keeping away is actually the Hebrew word Shabbat which you would recognize as sabbath. This word was first used when God rested from His work of creation on the 7th day. The word is not just taking a time out or catching your breath, but rather it means cessation. God quit all of His working. He brought it to an end or to a conclusion.
With this definition in mind, our verse takes on a little different nuance. It is to one’s glory to bring strife to an end. What tools do you have at your disposal to reduce quarreling?
- Silence. Sometimes, just don’t respond out loud. That cutting remark that is swirling around in your head looking for the perfect “gotcha” moment, doesn’t have to be voiced.
- Volume of you voice. Yelling and shouting the other person down is not the right way to bring peace into the relationship. Are you speaking with a soft voice to channel the argument back into a discussion range?
- Tone. No one likes to be on the receiving end of sarcasm or an arrogant attitude. If whatever you are saying smells of a haughtiness, you are spewing forth conversation toxins.
- Give up your rights to be right. Humility begins with a bending. Yield the argument as a win for the other person.
- Video your actions. If you are brave enough, try video recording yourself during and argument. A different viewpoint can shed light on a whole new perspective to how you truly “look” during an argument
- Deploy the golden rule. Take a moment to observe yourself. Would you like someone to address you in the way that you are speaking to another?
- Ask God for help. God doesn’t allow negative circumstances to come you way so that you can fail. He wants you to draw your strength from him, and not depend on how much you can change yourself.
- Put on your love filter. Memorize 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Visualize that passage over the person in which you struggle with quarreling. Are YOU exhibiting loving actions toward them?
Take a Shabbat from your quarreling. You can be a peace-maker. You will benefit from the experience and so will all of the others that you love
Blessings Love y’all