Sometimes I mean to do the right thing, but fail miserably. I try to keep my mouth shut when someone else is being argumentative, but end up blurting out my defense. I desire to save my money and use it for ministry, but instead I spend it on something frivolous. I want to speak graciously and only words that edify, but fall into the common trap of gossip and criticism instead. I mean to spend the day working hard, but then I hardly work.
I have good intentions, but…
We all know where the path paved with good intentions leads, right? Nowhere! Or at least not very far.
There has to be a better path to take. And indeed, there is. The Bible tells us that when we walk by the Spirit we habitually choose the things of the Spirit, the things of God. But when we yield to our flesh — our want-to’s and feelings and urges — we end up detouring to the dark side…almost every time.
Not only that, but the Bible serves as a guide book full of directions and warning signs that help keep us on the right path…and off the beaten path, where most people end up living in defeat, unfortunately.
For the next couple of weeks we’ll look at some very basic biblical principles and truths, as well as a few practical applications that can surely help us resist the urge to…
- argue back
- waste our time with laziness or distraction
- participate in gossip and critical talk
- defend ourselves to others
- lose our temper
- talk too much and spew our opinions
- waste our money on frivolous things
- over eat
- and more…
- Humble yourself in the presence of the Lord. It’s an act of the will which means to intentionally align yourself under the Lord’s protection and His authority. There He can defend you, so you don’t have to.
- Stay away from argumentative people, and when you have to be in their presence, realize the danger ahead of time so you can “humble yourself in the presence of the Lord” as stated above. (Proverbs 23:9)
- Respond with gentleness when someone tries to pick a fight. (Proverbs 15:1)
- Take your time and think carefully before you respond, not so you can respond with a calculated defense, but so you can speak in a respectful and honorable way. (Proverbs 15:28 & Proverbs 18:13)
- Consider humbly that the other person may be right. Allow others to correct you without become defensive. (Proverbs 15:31-32)
- Refuse to quarrel or take sides. Try to come to a compromise or meeting of the minds instead. Dwell on what you and the other person have in common rather than that which divides you. (Proverbs 18:1-2)
- Get plenty of rest and exercise, and eat healthy. When you feel better physically you are less prone to be argumentative and grumpy. (Proverbs 31:17)