I used to take pride in my ability to win an argument. Sometimes I wonder, as I look back at all the time I wasted debating, arguing and just downright being contrary, if I ever really won anything at all. I’m pretty sure that in most arguments, the only winner is the one wise enough to stay out of it.
Of course, I always had a really good reason for arguing. When someone’s opinion differs from mine, they clearly need me to make sure they understand the right opinion (that would be mine for you keeping score out there).
Actually, there is no prize for convincing someone else that I am right. I don’t know why I always put such a high premium on me being right. When I insist on being right, quite often, I refuse to stop being wrong.
I’ve always heard that, “You can’t argue with stupid.”
I’ve seen stupid in action and that is true. In fact, I have been stupid.
Sometimes I am right. That doesn’t mean I can talk till I am blue in the face and make the self-absorbed, self-centered, self-sufficient person across the table see it. In fact, the more the guy across the table thinks he is right, in spite of giant holes in his logic are, it is less likely I will teach him anything at all.
Things are likely to be reduced to a playground session of name-calling.
There are times that I need to teach someone. But I have to make sure that none of that pride and ignorance from my life as a great arguing fool creeps into it. I need to humbly speak truth. Some people will listen and some people won’t. In fact, the ones that won’t might call me a fool.
Proverbs 9:7 Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return.
Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.
8 So don’t bother correcting mockers;
they will only hate you.
But correct the wise,
and they will love you.
I need to be sure that when I correct or teach, that my goal is to make someone else’s life better, not to make me right. If I am the only person being bothered by what someone else is doing, well, then I had better see what I need to learn.
I need to be willing to speak truth and move on when it isn’t received. An argument turns one fool into two.