Tag Archives: Conversation

Lazy Arguments

The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason. -Proverbs 26:16, KJV

While I work on projects during the day, I like to listen to podcasts or YouTube videos.

Recently, I saw two videos in a row showing people outside of abortion clinics, and in both the pro-life groups were confronted by a single person each time who had to tell them why they were “wrong for being anti-abortion.”

The difference between the two pro-abortion advocated and the two groups of pro-life advocates was striking.

(Quick disclaimer: this is not calling all who are pro-abortion are sluggards or unthinking, nor all who are pro-life as loving or logical in discourse. Lazy argumentation can go both ways!)

In both instances, the individuals were so convinced that they were right that they never responded to the pro-life arguments, merely falling back on emotional appeals and ad hominem (basically, personal) attacks. There was no logic nor appeals to evidence, and their opponents were evil and uncaring.

Conversely, the two groups remained respectful, grace-filled, and logical.

The whole point here is that it is lazy to only appeal to emotions and unverified facts. It is lazy to attack the person instead reasoning through facts and logical arguments.

Whether or not you support abortion, this is how all people (Christians in particular) should interact with others. It is a biblical expectation. (Isaiah 43:26, 1 Peter 3:15)

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Trying Not To Be Fools With His Words

Many readers of Proverbial Thought may enjoy the thoughts we share each day.

Maybe you do not understand some our thought process.

I for one do enjoy writing out these devotional thoughts for others to enjoy, but it weighs heavy on my heart.

For starters, read Proverbs 26. It will only take a few minutes. What really strikes me is the number of verses about the wastefulness, follies, and even dangers of fools speaking proverbs.

We are basically putting it put there that we are responsible for affecting the way people think!

In fact, when I was a new believer of Jesus Christ, I knew I should “do my part” and read at least something in the Bible. I chose James, for “not being too long and possibly boring me, nor too short and making me look lazy.”

Ouch. This was the first thing that stood out to me (in my NIV Bible at the time):

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
James 3:1

I understood that to teach others means I would be scrutinized myself, both by other people and by God.

That terrified little 16-year-old me! (Even at six feet tall at that time …)

Honestly, it should be intimidating to all of us.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15

God has an expectation. If you teach others about the Word of God – which all believers should in some way – you are expected to know what it says and how to explain it adequately.

This is the struggle we deal with every day for Proverbial Thought, and for many of us, who are pastors and ministry leaders, as a daily concern.

Therefore, we write to help others (you, dear reader!) to be better equipped to share your faith, even if mostly about the Proverbs.

If you are a follower of the Lord, you should be able to share the reason for your faith. Use any tool available to you to grow, starting with regular Bible study, researching what others have said, and meeting with fellow believers (by going to church, attending Bible studies, meeting together just to talk, and serving togwther).

Hopefully, we have played a role in your growth and not written foolishly.


Be an Earring? Yep.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear. -Proverbs 25:11‭-‬12, KJV

We must be willing to hear the truth.

If you are willing to hear that you are a sinner in need of a Savior, you can be saved. If you can hear that you have messed up and that there is hope for change, that becomes good news. (This is what verse 12 means.)

If you are struggling with something – whether a sin, a discomfort, a pain, or a problem – it can be difficult to listen.

A fitly spoken word is one that cuts through the pain and worry, it cuts through the distractions, and touches the humanity of the hearer. How many times have we been hurting, and that one person comes alongside, comforts us, and we feel safe to trust listen?

Now Apply It

There are many things wrong in our world today. They lead to pain, discomfort, and problems, and frequently they come from sin.

Now, who would you rather listen to:

  1. The person who attacks your intentions, character, and way of life, or
  2. The person who can connect with you, offer hope, and then points out your part?

Obviously, we would all listen to the second person more readily. Both point out the problem and the sin, but only one treats you with respect.

Which person are you?

Do you vilify those you disagree with or who cause problems, or do you seek to resolve things peacefully?

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18‭-‬19 KJV

We are to be peace-makers.

And remember, do not take attacks from others personally. Just like us, they need to be washed in Christ’s atoning blood and forgiveness. Show grace. They are hurting, too.

Let them see Christ. You are the gold earring they will see as they whisper in His ear. You are the gold necklace they find when resting on His shoulder.


Too Excited or a Babbler?

A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.Proverbs 20:19 NIV

Innocent Excitement

Growing up we knew not to tell my sister exciting news that needed to be kept secret (like presents for people). Likewise, my wife hates secrets and surprises, because she wants to tell others. They just love seeing people get excited.

The verse today is not about people like them, who innocently want to bring people joy. (But if you want to surprise someone, you might have to surprise people like my sister and wife, as well!)

Babblers

Other translations use the word “babbler” instead of “anyone who talks too much.”

These are the people who simply have no filter, feel the need to incessantly talk, or, worse, like causing trouble or even harm.

It tends to be easy to find them. They may be the only person you told something to, like the coworker you told you might be getting a raise, and now everyone knows (and may be jealous). It could be at church, when someone reveals “dirt” or offers a “prayer request” that takes five minutes to explain the nitty-gritty details.

As for you, simply be someone that can be trusted. Be the crying shoulder and listening ear, the confidante that others rely on.

Which type of person are you?

Do you get too excited sometimes?

Do you blab and undermine?

Or do you know how to hold your tongue and maintain confidence and trust?


Are my conversations pleasant and beautiful?

Hot Air

Hot Air

God’s goal for me is that my conversations are pleasant. Arguing and fights aren’t what God has in mind.

  • Love is the key.
  • Respect is imperative.
  • My conversations can be beautiful.
  • Imagine that is what people say after I leave them. “What a beautiful conversation that was.”

If people aren’t courteous to me, I don’t have to get angry, I can just walk away. I can withdraw from confrontation.

Jesus challenges me with the following: “When you knock on a door, be courteous in your greeting. If they welcome you, be gentle in your conversation. If they don’t welcome you, quietly withdraw. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way. You can be sure that on Judgment Day they’ll be mighty sorry—but it’s no concern of yours now.”

Congenial conversation — what a pleasure! The right word at the right time — beautiful! ~King Solomon | Source: Proverbs 15:23


Your Answers Matter

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. -Proverbs 15:1, ESV

We see evidence of what this verse is saying all over the world in the middle of 2018.

Several nations are at odds with each other over words being said.

People groups within nations are at odds with each other, fighting over the meanings of words or how they are said.

A major issue?

Most people are using harsh words and refusing to listen. Everyone is a racist or a bigot or a Nazi or stupid or ignorant …

No one is apparently an image-bearer of God. But they are.

And most people just want to be understood and given assurances they will be okay. We may disagree, but we can gently discuss things.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Romans 12:18, ESV


Know the Witness

A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies. -Proverbs 14:5, KJV

Yep.

Okay, this verse may be rather obvious, but there really is more to say.

For example, this is a reminder that you can trust people to be who they are. So, do you keep company with those who will tell you the truth, even when it hurts, or with “Yes Men” and chronic liars, those who are always only in it for themselves.

Another line of thinking: how do you respond to each of these people?

Do you lash out at the faithful witness or accept their words?

Do you treat the liar with contempt and hatred or with enough respect for the image of God in them to help protect both of you from the effects of their lies?

If you know their character, it is easier to respond. Always fall back on truth and God’s word, holding yourself and others to that standard.

There is no easy answer for how this is done, and it can depend on each instance with each person, but trusting in our Faithful Father to guide us by His Holy Spirit will be our protection and salvation.