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Frowardness: Avoid Habitual Arguing

James 1:26

If any among you seem religious yet do not control their tongue, they deceive their own heart, and their religion is in vain.


I am led to believe that the Spirit seeks to instruct us today on an aspect of our communication, a facet of our discourse that often goes unnoticed but carries the potential to either build or demolish bridges among us. This concept is about 'not saying things for the sake of arguing.' Let us anchor our study in the Word of God, from the book of Proverbs 15:1: "A soft answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger."


In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, in our social interactions, discussions, and even within the sacred walls of our church during fellowship, we frequently encounter situations that spark debates. Often, we feel a compelling urge to assert our viewpoint, to make a statement, to be heard. However, today, I want us to delve deeper and ponder: should we always voice our opinions, even if they might lead to arguments?


As followers of Christ, we are called to promote peace and harmony. The Bible, in Romans 14:19, exhorts us, "Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification." Sowing seeds of discord through idle debate is not an embodiment of the Christ-like spirit. Instead, our words should be those of encouragement, love, understanding, and acceptance, fostering unity, not division.


It is essential to note that having an opinion is not inherently wrong, and healthy debates can stimulate growth, even in the church. However, when the goal of the conversation shifts from seeking enlightenment to merely arguing for the sake of it, then it becomes a tool of destruction rather than construction.


James 1:19 admonishes us: "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." In the heat of a conversation, it behoves us to exercise restraint, to be swift in processing the words of others, and slow in response, carefully choosing our words.


Why is this important? Because, as bearers of God's image, our words carry unparalleled power. Proverbs 18:21 tells us, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." What we say and how we say it can either build someone up or tear them down. Therefore, we need to be careful with our words, using them for godly purposes rather than for amplifying arguments.


To conclude, let us embrace the wisdom that God has given us through His Word. Instead of speaking just to feed the flames of argument, it is more prudent to practise silence or to speak words of love and peace. This is a mark of spiritual maturity and reflective of our identity as Christ's disciples. So, the next time we find ourselves on the brink of an unnecessary argument, let us remember Proverbs 15:1 - our soft answer could be the very tool God uses to turn away wrath.


May God give us the grace to practise this wisdom in our daily walk with Him. Let us pray for wisdom in our communication, for sensitivity to His Spirit, and for love to outshine all our words and actions. Let us take the warning and not be like the man warned about in Proverbs 6:14-15 Frowardness is in his heart, he devises mischief continually; he sows discord. Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.