Any Fool Can Start a Quarrel (Proverbs 20)


Pro 20:3-5 NKJV [It is] honorable for a man to stop striving, Since any fool can start a quarrel. (4) The lazy [man] will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and [have] nothing. (5) Counsel in the heart of man [is like] deep water, But a man of understanding will draw it out.

Dear Son, It’s easier to start a fight than it is to walk away. I know because I started too many and walked away from too few growing up. The middle knuckle on my right hand hold a scar left by the tooth of one of my friends. A fool told me that my friend had pushed me into my locker on purpose. I chased him down the hall to ask why he pushed me and another fool said the word, “Fight!” By the time I caught my friend it seems like the whole school crowded around and chanted that word, “Fight! Fight! Fight!”... I should have walked away at that moment because there was no real reason to fight. That would have been the honorable thing to do, or perhaps not even walk down that hallway. But I didn’t do the honorable thing that day. I struck my friend in the mouth, cut my knuckle, was sent home, got suspended, and still carry the scar to this day.

Fights aren’t just physical. Some folks can create tension in regular work environments by what they say. They offer verbal jousts trying to get a rise out of others. They pick at you and pick at you and should you give into your baser instincts you’d punch them back, but you may have enough resolve to want to keep your job that you don’t physically retaliate, but you offer your own verbal jousts in return. Any fool can enter into such a war of words or picking, but it takes a man with character to walk away when he is being verbally assaulted.

Sometimes you’ll be the one who in your heart of hearts wants to start a quarrel over a minor issue. Maybe someone else left a project incomplete or has made your job harder. You’ll be tempted to curse their name loudly, to gossip about their irresponsibility, or malign their character with your words. You’d do well to remember that any fool can start a fight, but it takes a man to walk away from one. These fights are best avoided when they are never started.

Sometimes its actually harder for fight for peace by walking away than it is to punch someone or say something. The ultimate model we have of a man of peace like this is Jesus who even though he was reviled and mocked willingly went to the cross for our sins. My prayer is that you grow to be more like Jesus every day.

Father, thank you for the grace of speaking to my children. I pray that you will cause them to be a men and women of peace. Let them be so filled with character that when I fight comes to their doorstep they are able to pursue peace. I pray that you give them cooler head and a greater perspective. I ask for a character of godliness to be developed in each child. May your grace ever be present in their lives. In Jesus name, Amen.

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