Wise People Avoid Arguments by Rick Warren

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17 NIV).

Have you ever met someone who is always arguing and looking for a fight? I heard about one guy who was so argumentative he would only eat food that disagreed with him.

Wise people work at maintaining harmony. James 3:17 says that true wisdom is peace-loving. If you’re wise, you don’t antagonize people’s anger.

The Bible also says in Proverbs 20:3, “Any fool can start arguments; the honorable thing is to stay out of them” (GNT). You can only avoid arguments when you know what leads to them in the first place.

Here are three causes of arguments:

  1. Comparing. Do you ever use phrases like, “You’re just like . . .” or “Why can’t you be like . . .” or “When I was your age . . .”? You’re only asking for a fight when you do.
  2. Condemning. This is where you lay on the guilt: “It’s all your fault,” “You should be ashamed,” “You always” or“You never,” “You ought to . . .” or “You shouldn’t . . .” are all unhelpful phrases. Someone said, “You can bury a marriage with a lot of little digs.” The same can be said for any other relationship.
  3. Contradicting. William James once said, “The secret of wisdom is knowing what to overlook.” You have to learn to let it go!

Some things are just not worth the fight. If you want to be wise in your relationships, don’t antagonize others’ anger. “A wise man controls his temper. He knows that anger causes
mistakes” (Proverbs 14:29 TLB)

Feed Your Focus

Distracted is when you are unable to concentrate because you are preoccupied by something worrying or unpleasant. No one can accomplish anything if you become distracted by every buzzing mosquito.

When you are working on an assignment – your phone can become a distraction…invitations to lunch and dinner can be distractions…chatter can be a distraction…sleeping in late can be a distraction. You must stay focus regardless of what’s going on around you. It’s very possible to lose focus from time to time…but not coming back to your task is a dream killer.

Could it be true that we try too hard to please others, take on too many responsibilities, and fight too many battles that have absolutely nothing to do with our goal at hand?

Sometimes we are diligently working on an assignment and a phone call interrupts our day and a friend says to us, ‘Come and meet us’. Will we be comfortable to say, “I’m doing a great work and I can’t come.” Why do we feel obligated to accept every invitation at the cost of our dream. We can’t accomplish much if we let small unproductive things distract our attention repeatedly.
Nothing in life just happens. Whatever you invest in …. you will reap the harvest and the harvest will eventually bring the right people into your life. If we allow distractions…we will lose focus on what’s really important. It’s no fun walking around in circles…you will eventually quit, and quitters never win.

There have been times while driving I’ve missed my exit either because I was preoccupied by a thought, music or someone distracted me. In either scenario I have to take full responsibility for missing my exit … sometimes I have to drive three more kilometers before the next exit that will take me back to the exit ramp of my comfort zone.

When we want to reach our goal, the struggle to get to it depends on our determination to push past those things that so easily diverts our attention. Determination is when you decide to do something and you will not allow anyone or anything to stop you from doing it. I must confess, it takes a lot of courage, will power and determination to stay focus, or to own up and take responsibility to get back to a task after having many good reasons why it wasn’t done. The choice is ours.

Our runway in life gets shortened each and every day…then the days turn to months and the months turn to years….and before you know it, we missed our season for success. One day we were 25 years, then before long we are 40…then 55…then 65 years…time waits on no one to get their act together.

To feel a sense of accomplishment, we must remain motivated and disciplined at all times. We fall seven times but we get back up the eight time. We were born to win but winning doesn’t come without a challenge. Overcoming makes winning SWEET. 2019 goals are still worth fighting for….push back on every excuse to quit.

#LiveToWin

The Promise

Whether we watch the news, read the papers or listen to each other’s problems … the wickedness and evil that surrounds us has created fear and instability in our hearts. All over the world people are scared and angry. There’s a blaming game as to who’s at fault … be it a family member who didn’t do what they were supposed to do, or the government who is failing to govern, or ourselves who have failed in one way or the other.

Families are being pulled apart by the evils of our society. Businesses are crumbling under the strains of the poor economy. Hospitals are struggling to cope with the demand of people requiring urgent medical care. Schools are in disarray as caseworkers struggle with the rising delinquencies. Marriages are facing divorce or separations. And the chaos goes on and on.

Is there anyone who has a positive report? The doom and gloom reports have made our hearts lose faith in God and believe that we have no help. Would we be the generation that will die in hopelessness or would we be the generation that will come back with a good report believing that God can help us to prosper in all areas during the difficult times?

Many times in our own personal lives we feel surrounded by evil. We sometimes feel that the evil is stronger than the good. We feel like grasshoppers in the face of the evil in our society. We feel convinced that there’s nothing we could do. We murmur and grumble to God and call that praying.

Here’s the good report: We can believe God in spite of all we may see, hear or believe. We will NOT be the generation that dies without seeing the promises of God fulfilled. The children God has given to us – are ours even if they run far away from us…they will come back to God. Our home will be a place of rest for all those who are weary. The material blessings we possess will bring hope to the hopeless. God has promised us victory, so victory belongs to us, and the generations after us. We simply have to hold on to our faith and walk in obedience to God.

God will never lead us where His grace cannot keep us and His power cannot protect us. Yes, He SEES the mess. Yes, He is the silent LISTENER to EVERY conversation. Yes, He is the UNSEEN guest at every meal. And He STILL promises us that He will make a way out of nowhere.

Without FAITH … it’s IMPOSSIBLE to please God. We will NOT allow the chaos and confusion to distract us from believing God that can turn things around.

We will walk in peace and confuse those who assumed that we will die in the desert. God is The Restorer of everything that has come to destroy us. His love surrounds those who have faith in Him.

We will not walk based on what we see or hear. Keep all negative reports far from your hearing. It produces fear and unbelief. We have read the Bible and we will NOT panic every time the Devil flips the scripts.

We believe what God has said. And we will see those promises come to pass. The MESS is simply our MESSAGE. GET ON WITH LIFE and give it your ALL.

Smile It’s Friday

It’s the last day of the working week and the beginning of the weekend. There’s definitely something magical about the weekends. It’s like having a mini vacation doing whatever we want after a stressful week.

Let’s purpose in our heart to laugh a little louder and to take time to smell the roses.

Here’s my kick off to a great week…hope it will make you smile.

A hearty thank you to everyone for being a part of my reading audience. Without YOU, there’s no ME. THANK YOU!

I’m looking forward to sharing my deeper thoughts with you on Monday. In the meantime, take time to laugh and to hug your loved ones.

HAPPY WEEKEND!

Snap Out Of It!

We waste so many years hating our jobs, our neighbors, friends, family members….our physical features, our weight, where we live, who we married, etc because competition is the root of all our unhappiness.

As there are many makes and models of vehicles….humans too come with many makes and models. To want to be like someone else is like a car thinking, “Today, I no longer want to be a car, I want to be an airplane because I can go faster and visit more exciting places.”

Is it time for us as women to snap out of the pressure of secretly competing with each other and withholding love … and begin to hug each other a little more?

I heard a woman said once ….”For a woman to compliment another woman is like using a toothpick to remove a tooth from a rhinoceros.” It’s never going to happen. It’s totally impossible. That is how difficult it is for some women to compliment another woman.

The truth is, when you hold back on expressing love to others … pride steps in and breeds criticism. Pride makes you see the faults in others while you turn a blind eye to yourself.

Always leave people feeling better about themselves because you never know what that person is dealing with at that particular moment.

You can never lose by lighting someone else’s candle. Our stories are different…so everyone can leave a little sparkle wherever we go and still have enough sparkle left to brighten our own corner.

Our story and lifestyles must represent who we are without the urge to compete. Don’t stop until you straighten someone else’s crown. When you are loved the right way, loving others becomes easy.

The Environment

The surroundings we live in and the people we react with makes us who we are today. We quickly adapt to our environment and the longer we stay in it, is the more clueless we become of how our character is being formed …either positively or negatively.

There was a good man who had a beautiful wife. They both went to a foreign land because their country was experiencing a famine. They both knew that she was stunningly beautiful….and there was a big risk that he might be murdered if the reigning king fell in love with his wife.

So he plotted with his wife that if anyone asks, they will say that she’s his sister, and favor will come to him.

Sure enough everyone thought his wife was stunningly beautiful and the king did fall in love with her and took her to live in the palace.

As for the husband, he is getting along well as his wife vanishes under disguise as his sister and favorable gifts are flooding into his life.

The environment of moving from a country of lack to a foreign country with an abundance of resources created a plot to change their status from being a married couple to being the brother of a stunningly beautiful woman who caught the King’s adoration.

Your environment can create unrealistic fears that drives you to compromise in order to survive.

Our environment influences our behavior and choices. It’s unfortunate when our legacy, goals, and purpose are ruined because of the environment we find ourselves in.

Our environment can make good girls into bad girls. Bad guys into good guys. Sinners into saints. Priests into sinners. Kings into paupers. Good husbands into cheaters. Wives into queens. Pain into pulpits. Stress into rest. Happy kids into sad kids. Weddings into funerals. Enemies into friends. Prisoners into presidents. Presidents into prisoners ..etc

You’ve got to be picky in choosing your environment as you are picky with your meals.

Why? Because it takes a forever long time to rebuild your character, trust, integrity and your reputation. Life rarely gives you a second chance without putting up a good fight.

It’s easy to detect one’s environment just by watching their lifestyle. Your actions speak so loud that no one is listening anymore.

Are You Kidding Me?

Jesus had some serious personalities to work with while He was on earth. He had

  • fishermen
  • two brothers James and John known as ‘sons of thunder’ very interesting
  • Thomas known as ‘Doubting Thomas”
  • tax collector
  • Judas who is always last to be mentioned and he was most famous for betraying Jesus.

Now, what do I have to complain about in comparison to Jesus’ inner circle of friends? Oops…NOTHING.

Sometimes our ‘special friends’ wear masquerade masks that makes it very difficult to detect the fake from the real ones. Remain Calm: They can be found in every circle of friends and family… so don’t lose your peace and stop eating at the table with them.

I’m 100% convinced that Jesus knew all the personalities of His disciples …those with and without masks … and here’s the ‘mic drop’ moment … He personally handpicked each one of them. Oh what a Man! He taught us how to live with ‘special’ people when He chose His disciples.

Here’s how I rule my world — Wake up at the break of dawn and ask God to surprise me with sufficient love for those who require a little extra grace… the sons of thunder, the doubters, the fishermen, the tax collector, and the betrayer. Personally, they all have forced me to step up my game in life. I’m thankful for everyone of them.

We all could do with a heavy doze of sufficient love every hour on the hour, or take as needed. The kind of love that cures every attack of hatred, bitterness, or the feeling for revenge. Side effects – may leave you feeling like an Olympic Champion who runs through a troop and leaps over a wall.

God can make up for the bad times with some good times because we have seen enough bad times to last us a lifetime. God can reveal to us our inner strengths in order to stay focus on who we are in Christ.

Don’t waste another minute on negative energy. Jesus knew the personalities of the men He had chosen to do life with Him long before their masquerade masks fell off in the public. He uttered not a word but love them all the same.

Address all our ‘special friends’ issues with God, and increase doses of prescribed (PRAYER) love as needed. May our personal friend Jesus Christ develop maturity in each of us so that we get along well with each other and do not lose heart living with our ‘special friends’.