Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 20
Verse 3: “It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel.”
Usually it's best to finish what you started, but there is an exception. There have been instances where I have either started or contributed to a quarrel, and then realize how immature and foolish I have behaved. Whether you started the quarrel or not, a peacemaker makes efforts to end the quarrel. Whether or not you were in the right, a wise person recognizes when to end the strife. Sometimes it's prudent to acknowledge when you see no surrender by your opponent. Too often, your foolish actions become sealed in foolish pride. In our minds, backing down now would be conceding to the other's position.
Consider one of our previous devotions, "The Best Defense is to not be an Offense" we are reminded that once you have started down the wrong path and engaged in ungodly behavior, you can still demonstrate good Christian character by exercising repentance. Remember what it means to repent; to repent simply means to turn away from your present course. If you have started or contributed to a quarrel you, have shown poor Christian character, but you still can repent (turn away from your present course) and "stop striving". This is the honorable thing. As we often find as believers, we must humble our pride and repent.
Lord, reveal to me my patterns of initiating or contributing to strife. I want to remember your words that tell me to avoid strife. If I do start to contribute to strife, give me the strength to turn away from it. Amen
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