“Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so stop before a dispute breaks out.” Proverbs 17:14 NLT
I don’t know about you, but I have never opened a floodgates. I have however, watched what happened in Houston a couple of years back when they did just that. Certainly not intended, but the result was damage that exceeded anyone’s expectation. Actions have consequences. The consequences came from tension, rising pressure, and then an uncontrolled release. There has been a few disputes on the handling of the release, but few would argue that the best time to prevent consequences is before the pressure builds. What is true for floodgates, is true in arguments as well. When the pressure is released, things get messy.
I have not opened a flood gate, but I have opened a soda can after it has been mishandled. The pressure release leaves a mess and the mess affects everyone that is nearby. Starting an argument is like shaking a soda can before you give it to an unsuspecting friend. Someone is going to get messy and often someone is going to get hurt.
Arguments seldom produce a winner, and like releasing a floodgate, often produce unintended consequences that affect everyone that is nearby. There is little to be gained from conquering in an argument and much to be gained from preventing it in the first place. How many arguments can you look back on and feel really good that you won? How many can look back on and feel really bad about causing hurt? My guess is that the wins are few and the hurts are many.
When it comes to arguments the fuel is pressure, tension, and emotion which nearly always leaves a mess. Paul encourages us to guard ourselves and: “Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” Philippians 2:14-15 NLT
This week, extinguish arguments before the pressure builds with the fruit of the Spirit; love, gentleness, and self control.
In His Hands,