Tag Archive: argue


Proverbs 17 verse 1 says, ‘Better a dry crust with peace and quiet, than a house full of feasting, with strife.’

i’m hoping there is a feasting with no strife option, but in the meantime i think i will reach for the dry crust. to Answer without Arguing feels like it belongs hand in hand with Speak without Accusing. and perhaps if person 1 speaks without accusing, then person 2 will be more inclined to answer without arguing.

i find the statement ‘answer without arguing’ a little vague without context. are we in a fight? are we just talking generally? because i think there might be some subtle differences depending on what we’re talking about.

and i definitely think this can be a tendency thing – some people simply tend towards arguing. you probably know someone like that. a person who almost does not have the ability to say the word “Yes” without following it up with a juicy “But…” [if that person is you, then i definitely think this is something you can work at and change, but i imagine you would need strong accountability and really invite people who love you to call you out when you are doing this, so it might be a bit of a bumpy road, but well worth it]

one of the dangers of arguing when i answer, is the possibility that i have been busy constructing my ‘really great argument’ while you have been making your point and so i probably have not fully listened to your point completely in the first place which is both a little rude and also increasing the possibility of my argument not fully relating to what you said.

possibly a great way forward in this would be to change the title to ‘Answer without arguing in the moment’ which encourages listening fully to what the person is saying to you, and then if you feel differently, choosing to take some time to think more about it and then if you still feel differently, to perhaps bring it up at a different time. [very easy to type…]

people like to know that they have been heard. maybe even less than they ‘need to be right’. and so one way to Love people in conversations that feel like they might be heading towards an argument or a differing of opinion is to make sure you are vocal and clear about having heard the other person. one way to do this [and to help avoid confusion] is to repeat back to them a summary of what you think you have heard them say [this invites them to correct you if for some reason you heard something different to what they intended which can help avoid unnecessary argument] and give that time to settle before launching into your “But…”

another way of showing Love in a conversation that might have a differing of opinion is to be careful of the words you choose so that your opinion is expressed more as ‘this is what i think/feel/believe’ and less as ‘this is an Almighty God declared Truth’ [which is a lot harder to argue back against, or even feel okay about thinking differently on]. take a stance that leaves space for you to be wrong [i mean, i know you’re not, of course, cos that would never happen, right?] but invites the other person to consider your point of view [but still feel free to hold on to theirs if they do]

as i seek to answer without arguing, may both my conversations and my relationships with people become richer as i realise and live out the fact that loving a person well is better than winning an argument or appearing right.

how do you do on this one?

[to move to the next one on Sharing without Pretending, click here]

i have seen this video around on FB for the last long while and wanted to check it out but not enough to actually do so and so i didn’t til today – it’s called ‘Why I hate religion, but love Jesus’ and it’s a spoken word piece by a young guy called jeff bethke.

i didn’t watch it til i started skim reading this really good but really too long for me to read in its entirety blog by a guy called mike morrell which seems to give it and peoples’ response to it a fair commentary.

this blog isn’t so much about what jeff said [which i largely agree with] or what mike responded with [cos even though he looks at both sides of it i largely agree with a lot of what both sides say – think there is often a lot of semanticals floating around that debate] but more about this.

some people [and i hope i am not guilty of this, but i am really scared i probly am sometimes, if so, please punch me on the nose, cos it’s silly] focus too much on the peripherals than the actual point… and it manifests in many different ways…

for example, i started a podcast a while ago [and stopped it after a few cos it never really got going] and this one on forgiveness got 57 comments which i think is the most comments i have had on any post…

only this the first comment was by someone asking me to get involved and save ‘the world of birds’ as it was about to close down and when i said that i wouldn’t it descended rather dramatically into character assassination because i hate birds, i hate all animals, all christians hate animals and so on… you can go read them, i am sure they are quite humour-flled – in fact i could be wrong but i don’t think a single comment related to forgiveness [the original podcast intent] until my humour-filled friends started chiming in semi-sarcastically with ‘great audio thort on forgiveness, brett’ and of course my personal favourite from my friend Mj, “What an audio blog on forgiveness Brett. Thing of champions. Especially that part where you talk about sponsoring the World of Birds as a way of showing retribution for all the atrocities that Christians have committed (Dodo killing and Theatresports advertising to name a few).”

i posted a cartoon recently and someone went off at me for the title of the cartoon site [which i hadn’t noticed in small print on the bottom of the cartoon and which contained a bad word] and someone went off at me for a bunch of comments that people had made on the original cartoon which i hadn’t even noticed as i just hit share.

and so on. a spelling mistake halfway down the blog or the colour of the background or the fact that they posted it at 2am and what were they doing up so late? and so on.

ha, this blog has been so interrupted [supper with housemates, games, shopping lists] that i can’t remember the signficance of writing it any more and it seems so silly and it’s not like a huge gripe i have anyways so i should just delete it except MJ’s comment is too worth reading plus people having the opportunity to be alerted to my bird-hating ways.

but the bottom line point is that often we miss the message and get caught up in the peripherals, oh and my other point was we can get so caught up in arguing [the video on Jesus vs religion] and then arguing about the arguing [the article] and arguing about the arguing about arguing [comments on article] that by the time we have felt good about getting our say in, no-one can quite remember what the point is.

i find Christianity can get hard and confusing and complicated and contradictory and difficult to understand and a whole lot more UNTIL i do this magical thing – i start doing it. When i start actually just loving God, when i start loving people, when i do something that lifts up someone considered ‘the least of these’, when i reach out and intentionally do something that disciples a young oke nearby, when i forgive someone or refuse to be drawn into a fight, when i stand up for justice or stand against injustice, when i stop and talk to a homeless woman and walk away with her name and story, when i give some money, time or energy away, when i recycle, when i encourage someone, when i don’t fight for my position or recognition or place, when i love someone who maybe doesn’t show love to me, it all becomes SO INCREDIBLY EASY.

so maybe some of us need to argue, correct, debate, post, re-post, block, link less and be living it more.i think there is some kind of answer in there.

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