“Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.”
At some point, everybody finds themselves in a contentious situation. Contention is due to a disagreement, and sadly, it often leads to strained or broken relationships. My friend, life is too short to let contention break up relationships. One day you will be a lonely person if you let your pride feed the contention. The Scriptures give several principles on how to remove the source of contention.
First, realize that contention happened because you have a relationship. You can’t have contention unless there is some type of relationship. Most likely, your relationship is more important than the source of your contention. You need to realize many people would love to have what you have when it comes to your relationship with the person with whom you disagree. You need to stop and realize that the contention with whomever is unneeded. Don’t allow your contention to end your relationship.
Second, step back from the disagreement so you can have a cooling down period. There are times when you just need to walk away so cooler minds and attitudes prevail. You don’t always have to respond at the initial point of disagreement. Sometimes, the best action is no action, so you can have time to cool down. Don’t be afraid to step away and cool down so you can settle your source of contention.
Third, determine to have a Christian conversation. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” You will never settle contentious relationships by using derogatory cliché’s to belittle the person with whom you disagree. Calling names and pointing fingers only cause contention to escalate. If you truly want to settle your differences, you are going to have to be willing to answer softly when you confront the individual about your disagreement.
Fourth, don’t be afraid to say you are wrong. The verse above says, “Only by pride cometh contention…” I have watched good people let their pride get in the way of mending their relationship with each other. Stop waiting for the other person to admit their wrong and swallow your pride and admit your wrong. It is your pride that is causing the contention. You can blame the other person for the rest of your life and lose a great relationship that you will one day wish you could have back. My friend, only pride says that you always have to be right. 1 John 2:16 reminds us, “…the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” You have a choice, let your pride get in the way and serve the world, or swallow your pride and admit your wrong; thereby, doing the works of the Father. What are you going to do?
Fifth, be willing to let others advise you. The verse above continues by saying, “…but with the well advised is wisdom.” There will be times when your contention is so great that you need an intermediary to settle the difference. When others try to step in to help settle your contention with someone, don’t push them away. When you can’t settle your differences yourselves, it is scriptural to get help from another person. Don’t be so lifted up with pride that you won’t allow others to mediate your differences. Christian, this world doesn’t need to see contention between Christian families or brothers and sisters in Christ. Settle your differences, and life will be more enjoyable, and relationships will be greatly enjoyed.