The Great Debate

Have you ever experienced a good debate? I’m not talking about your playground squabble either. I’m talking about a civilized debate, where there are teams, a moderator, and time restraints given to each team.
I remember watching a movie some time ago called, The Great Debaters. In this movie there were several debates, but the most significant one was dealing with the issue of slavery. Now that is great debate! There’s a serious issue, two teams that have done extensive research, and there is an audience that is captivated by the results.
How many debates have you been involved in that consisted of these characteristics?
I know for me, most of my “debates” are one-on-one and usually uncivilized. There’s no previous research done, and a lot of the “facts” are really just opinions. Have you ever noticed that when you’re in the midst of a debate a few things are true?

  1. You are right
  2. The other person is wrong – about everything
  3. Nothing else in the world matters at that point

Yeah, it’s true. Debates take up time and ruin friendships (for at least 5 minutes).

This is what I’ve found:
In order to avoid complete embarrassment and loss of friendship, avoid arguments.

Check out the what the Life’s Manual says:

“Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” Proverbs 13:10 “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.” Proverbs 17:14 “He who loves a quarrel loves sin;” Proverbs 17:19a “It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” Proverbs 20:3

And my favorite:
“Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.” Proverbs 26:20

As I was writing this I thought about a time when I got in a pretty useless argument. A friend and myself were ‘discussing’ something that had been said two weeks prior. There’s problem number one: the comment that had been made had no relevance anymore, nothing was going to be accomplished from this discussion. The second issue came about when we started pointing out each other’s flaws. The flaws had nothing to do with the discussion, yet somehow we each managed to use them to back up our points. When it was all said and done, we wasted about a half hour, and accomplished nothing.
Next time you feel a debate brewing, think about 5 minutes into the future; is it worth it? Will a life be changed, positively? Chances are, probably not.
I’ll close with some thoughts from a guy named Paul:
“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels” 2 Timothy 2:23 “And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” 2 Timothy 2:24


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