Proverbs 20:3 "It is an honor for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling."
The Strong's Concordance defines the word "strife" as it's used in this verse several ways: "Chiding," "contention", and "pleading." But the most interesting definition, to me, is "contest." The word "meddling," likewise, is defined as "obstinate." Often, when those closest to us, such as our spouses, make instigative remarks, the first thing we want to do is fight back. We see the impending argument as a contest that we are determined to win and we quickly become obstinate in our position. We may feel that we have a right to respond, especially when we perceive the remark as completely untrue. It's so easy to retaliate when someone hurts us or makes us angry, isn't it? How often do we respond in a godly manner and instead choose to turn the other cheek or bridle our tongues?
When we stand before the Lord in Heaven, He will not judge us on the actions of others, but He will judge us on our own responses. Do we "cease from strife" or are we "meddling"? Do we keep quiet and let the argument go or do we dig in our heels and try to prove ourselves right? God doesn't care who's right! He will not ask us who or what caused us to say harsh words. He will ask us why we responded in like manner. Take a moment to consider. Are you and honorable person, or a fool?
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