by Brandy Webb
Okay, I have a confession, this week’s blog is a lesson that I am trying to learn. I really need to work on keeping my mouth shut even if I know I’m right. Nothing major happened this week. It is just that I’m raising a teenage daughter who is very strong-willed, and we tend to not always see “eye to eye.” I love my daughter and she loves me, but we both have a tendency on trying to have the last word. My problem is I have yet to master the skill of letting my daughter figure out that she is wrong on her own. I tend to just keep trying to force her to realize it by continuing the argument. Yet, the truth is, regardless if I am right, when I act in a quarrelsome way, I am wrong.
It was brought to my attention that the best thing I can do is to close my mouth, and let my daughter figure out whether or not I am correct on her own. It is hard, though, as a parent to not step in and try to intervene when we see our child making a mistake, but if it isn’t life threatening, sometimes the best way for our children to learn is to learn from their mistakes.
The point is, I realized, in many situations when we get in disagreements with anyone, sometimes the best thing to do is to stop talking. It really isn’t important who gets the last word. The best way to stop an argument is to close your own mouth, even if you are right. It takes humility to step back, quit talking, to be patient, and give the situation to God.
We are not to quarrel (2 Tim 2:24 & Titus 3:2). The world is very quarrelsome. There are many people with different opinions trying to have the last word, to get their point across, and trying to force others to accept their opinions as truth. It is rather frustrating and hard to not counter with our own opinion, but “he who spares his words has knowledge” (Prov 17: 27a).
We are to be different. We are to be “swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger” (James 1:19). We are to be wise, to think before we speak, and sometimes the best thing to do is to conceal knowledge (Prov 15:28 and Prov 12:23). Sometimes the best answer is to say nothing at all. We don’t want to behave foolishly. A fool only wants to reveal his or her own opinion (Prov 18:2).
Since we are supposed to strive in building people up and to “follow after things which make for peace,” we better work hard on ending the act of arguing (Rom 14:19). Therefore, I am going to work on training the facial muscles that are used in keeping my mouth shut, and practice what I preach. I know there will be days where I may not accomplish my goal, but at least I have acknowledged something that I need to work on, for that is the first step to change. I must remember, having the last word is not always the best policy.