“Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised [is] wisdom.”
I know I’m right
Have you ever listened to a parent talking with a teenager? It can be fun, to say the least.
You see, a teenager has “seen it all” and “knows about everything” now that they have lived on this earth as long as they have. A teenager “understands what the world is all about” and is “always in perfect control” of his or her life.
But you know, a parent has been through “everything” that a teenager is going through, “knows all about everything” going on, and how to solve every situation.
A parent “has to control” the family and everything that affects them; a teen thinks he can handle things himself.
Both sides know and can.
The problem that always comes in is that, sorry, teenager, you have not been around as long as your parents, and they have been through a lot more than you may ever know.
The problem that always comes in is that, sorry, parent, teens actually do go through different circumstances and know more than you may realize.
In other words, the reason so many fights break out between parents and teens is that both know everything going on and think they can control it. This usually includes not hearing what the other is saying, because each side is so sure that the other does not understand as much as they think.
And usually they are both right.
And usually they are both wrong.
Just like in any relationship – from parents and children to friends to spouses to complete strangers – contention arises because we fail to listen.
The wise choice is … wait for it … TO LISTEN!
Much contention, fights, and hatred could be avoided if we would just listen to each other, hear each side. Then, find your common ground and dialogue.
If you can not do it, get another person to help, but be willing to hear that person tell you that you are wrong (Matthew 18:15-17). Pride will tell you to fight it.
If you listen to pride, go back to the beginning of this little devotional.
Lord, teach us humility, even though it may hurt to get to it. Give us a heart to listen and hear and to admit when we are wrong. Give us the wisdom to listen to others and know when it is okay to speak (James 1:19)