35@35 #15: Arguing

loving divorceTC's Rules and Principles for Life #15: "Never argue with people who aren't listening." You ever get into an argument with somebody who just refuses to see any logic or reasoning whatsoever?

You get increasingly frustrated, annoyed and angry and then you leave in a huff having a terrible mood.

I'm going to help you stop losing those arguments. You ready? Here you go: stop having them.

Seriously. Have you ever resolved anything by getting loud or belligerent, or harsher?

Here's what you're doing - harming a relationship in the hopes of being told you're right.

But guess what you hate doing for somebody who you don't have a good relationship with? Admitting they're right.

So you're creating an impossible situation. "I'm making you angry, now admit I'm right!"

If you find yourself in this situation, the best thing to do is stop arguing. And then stop getting into arguments.

Conversations? Discussions? Great. But not arguments.

If there's somebody in your life with whom you cannot converse without it becoming an argument, then stop getting into conversations until you have fixed the underlying relationship problem.

Here's how the Bible says it in Proverbs 26:4: "Don't answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are."

You will not change another person through arguing. You might change them through love and mercy and grace and acceptance.

I often relay the quote from Martin Luther King Jr: "Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that."

When people stop shouting at one another, it creates space for relationship to form, and genuine relationship fixes a lot of problems.


35@35 is a blog series by Thomas Christianson which involves 35 blog posts in 2014 on 35 things he has learned at the age of 35.


rejectionI was reading John chapter 12 today in the Message translation when I got to verses 47-48, where Jesus says this: “If anyone hears what I am saying and doesn’t take it seriously, I don’t reject him. I didn’t come to reject the world; I came to save the world. But you need to know that whoever puts me off, refusing to take in what I’m saying, is willfully choosing rejection.”

Jesus says that he doesn’t reject anybody. But some people reject him.

I look at the infinite patience Jesus had for people who were leading corrupt or broken lives. I wondered how Jesus did that. How could he show such mercy and grace to people that were living in a manner completely opposite to what God had called them to?

I think it’s because they never rejected him. You never see a prostitute or thief or leper that Jesus forgives or heals telling him off; questioning whether he is sent by God.

The people who rejected him were the ones who didn’t think Jesus had the right to forgive and even heal. They didn’t take him seriously. Those were the ones who Jesus had to confront and combat regularly.

It’s very easy to see fault in other people’s lives. But when our response stops being compassion and acceptance, I think we become people who don’t take Jesus seriously.