I’ve blogged twice recently about conflict and some its causes. The first of those two posts was a direct result of simultaneously reading through the Proverbs, and being humbled by my own failure, at times, to guard my speech.
Today, Kevin DeYoung posted a portion of a sermon on conflict based on Proverbs. It’s outstanding, as you might expect. Here’s a sample of his list of the distinguishing marks of a quarrelsome person:
1. You defend every conviction with the same degree of intensity. You don’t talk about secondary issues, because there are no secondary issues.
2. You are quick to speak and slow to listen. You rarely ask questions and when you do it is to accuse or to continue prosecuting your case. You are not looking to learn, you are looking to defend, dominate, and destroy.
3. Your only model for ministry and faithfulness is the showdown on Mount Carmel. There is a place for sarcasm, but when Elijah with the prophets of Baal is your spiritual hero you may end up mocking people instead of making arguments.
4. You are incapable of seeing nuances and you do not believe in qualifying statements.
5. You never give the benefit of the doubt. You do not try to read arguments in context. You put the worst possible construct on other’s motives and the meaning of their words.
There are more, and some are even more convicting than these! Read them all. Ouch…