Love More Than Win
Honor belongs to the person who ends a dispute, but any fool can get himself into a quarrel. (PROVERBS 20:3)
Taking the verbal challenge – oh, how easy it is. All it takes is a fraction of a second, and any one of us can spew a string of hateful words without taking a breath or giving it a though. And when we’re around other people – family, coworkers, a boss, even other believers at church – we’re challenged every single day. It is especially easy to “blast off” now that we have social media and text messaging. Seeing the shock or pain on a person’s face from our hurtful words is often enough incentive to hold one’s tongue. But technology makes it so we don’t have to see or hear the damage we do. We can log off and go about business as usual with no clue as to the extent of the destruction we’ve caused.
I think we can all agree that it’s much more difficult to end a dispute than it is to feed it. It takes discipline of the tongue and God’s strength in us to stop and filter words that will resolve and heal. Sometimes the loudest thing we can say is nothing at all. When Jesus was falsely accused in front of the Sanhedrin, He didn’t burst out expletives and put on a dramatic spin. He kept silent. (See Matthew 26:63.) It’s difficult to display such discipline, but it is possible.
Initiating or accepting a quarrel always leads to trouble. Always. It can also lead to cut ties with people we’ve cared about for years, even our whole lives. Sometimes all the damage control we know to do isn’t enough to repair relationships back to the way they were. There must come a point in time that we purpose to love more than we want to win. That’s the way Jesus would have it, and His way is best for all of humanity.
Let us all commit to bringing honor, not just to ourselves but to God in the way we speak and the words we say. Many we strive to listen more and talk less. And may grace abound through our efforts.
Forgive me the times I’ve spoken without thinking. I want Your strength to hold my tongue and Your wisdom to pray before speaking. Please be my mouthpiece to speak words of healing, or to stay silent as Jesus did.
Thank You for Your grace. Amen.
This is an excerpt from God’s Truth for Troubled Times by Lisa Stilwell - a devotional book now available from DaySpring publishing. Learn more about this book, or shop other books & devotionals from DaySpring.