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Word for Today / How to Argue Constructively

Staff Member
How to Argue Constructively

‘As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.’ Proverbs 27:17 NLT

Arguments can be either constructive or destructive; it all depends on how you handle them. Many times our relationships fall apart or develop into unending chapters of misery because we either fail to recognise or are unwilling to face our problems before they escalate into emergencies. Rather than discuss what’s not working between us, we get into a conflict and argue about whose fault it is. In contrast to discussion that constructively airs the issues, arguments bring charges and appoint blame, which is destructive. They provoke hurt, anger, defensiveness, aggressive feelings, bitterness, and other strong emotions. That’s why the Bible says, ‘It is to a man’s honour to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.’ (Proverbs 20:3 NIV)

Now let’s get real for a second! This side of Heaven none of us will live without differences of opinion and disagreements. Even in the best of relationships you’ll have them. And you must realise that not all conflict stems from wilful behaviour; it often arises through innocent mistakes and simple neglect.

Entering into an honest discussion that details the reasons for the conflict helps bring clarity, understanding and appreciation for the other person’s position. Above all, never go deaf! Pay attention to what the other person is saying. There’s nothing worse than having somebody think you’re not listening to them. It’s through open, loving discussion that our opinions about our relationships are honed and clarified. Indeed, the things you refuse to deal with can hurt your relationship more than anything else you do. That’s why the Bible says, ‘As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.’

written by Bob Gass
[for me anyway] the Holy Spirit of Truth speaking through the Apostle Paul tells us exactly to avoid complaining and arguing for the purpose of being blameless and harmless the children of God in the midst of this present evil world which only knows murmurings and disputings; whereas we that follow the Lord Jesus Christ are not to be imposing or intrusive.

"Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world."
(Philippians 2:14-15)
"And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."
(2 Timothy 2:24-26)

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