I don’t even remember what started the argument. It had escalated. Words were cutting, feelings were hurt and pride walls were built.
I laid in bed at night mulling over it all, playing back on repeat all that he said but having perfect amnesia over my own sinful words and attitudes. But as I nestled into my chair in the morning, Bible open, the ugliness of my own heart was gently revealed to me by the Holy Spirit.
Seems the root of most arguments stem from the same thing that Jesus caught His disciples arguing over in Luke 9:46-48. Who is the greatest?
When I allow my pride to rear it’s head and I defend and accuse and throw darts with my words, Jesus gets no glory and self gets more hurt than I care to admit.
A life without arguments is surely impossible. We, fallen sinners, live in a fallen world of injustices, stressors and pain. Hurt people hurt people, they say. And prideful people do too, for that matter! And in our core aren’t we mostly just a self-focused prideful people?
When we tend our lives and souls by His Word and we are consistently plucking the weeds and nourishing the good soil of our hearts, we can find a way to bear fruit even in the arguments.
Having had plenty of argument practice, due often to my own sin, I have found Psalm 4 to be mighty helpful and practical. The psalm has been an encouraging reminder to me for tending my soul in an argument and when I choose to yield to it (and His ways), then I find I bear fruit and God is glorified.
First of all, when an argument arises, according to the opening of this psalm, we can take it to the Lord knowing he hears. When my husband or myself (usually more him), can catch the argument before it escalates and invites the other to pause and pray together, then the argument can be diffused. Reminding our hearts and one another that God is listening, present and knowing the reasoning of our hearts (Luke 9:47) helps to shift things.
Secondly, Psalm 4:4 reminds us to be silent and ponder on our bed. Step away in an argument and shut thy mouth can be the best advice in the heat of the moment. We too easily (well I too easily) can say what we will regret when tensions rise and pride takes over. Pausing long enough to get on our bed, apart, alone and be silent can keep us from sin and further relationship destruction.
Finally, we can offer right sacrifices and put our trust in the LORD according to verse five. New Testament believers do not need to offer sacrifices of bulls and sheep, Jesus was our sacrifice. But Romans 12:1-2 calls us to be living sacrifices as our act of worship to the Lord.
When we are in the midst of an argument with someone it can be a sacrifice for us to choose to lay down our “rightness” and show preference towards the other person. It requires trusting God to make right what is wrong, in both of us. It is a sacrifice unto God to just lay it down and trust Him with it. But that is often where we actually “win” the argument because we have turned it over to the Lord and He gets the glory.
Trusting God and tending our way, even in an argument, is taking it to Him, being silent on our bed and laying down our perceived greatness. He is glorified when we choose to obey Him and walk in His ways, then it’s a win for us every time.
Fixing our eyes on Him can shift our focus in an argument. Drop your email below and get Tools for Tending your Soul in your inbox.