January 5 – I Beg To Differ


Debate your case with your neighbor, and do not disclose the secret to another; Proverbs 25:9

Fussing is not my thing. When I hear the slightest voice inflection or I see the eye brows rise, instinctively, I start shutting down.

Because of such practices, I’ve been labeled “non-confrontational.” And honestly, I felt such a designation was honorable. Not so.

Childhood is a funny thing sometimes. You see things or you experience events that cause you to feel powerless, and they leave indelible marks on your mind’s pre-conditions. Somewhere, I perceived it was easier to avoid potential conflict than to deliberate amiably toward a possible solution.

Today, as the father of some of the most precious people on the planet, husband to an amazing woman, and friend and brother to a host of dear souls, I have to argue…the right way!

That doesn’t mean fussing. That means problem solving through a myriad of ideas and healthy debates. But that requires a set of skills most of us have to develop through experience. One of the most important skills you need is the art of “don’t take it personally.” To keep sight on the main thing, and that is the issue at hand, this is key and vital to a healthy argument.

And when you find yourself conversing and deliberating with someone who may not be as proficient in keeping their cool, don’t go blabbing it; this is not a good strategy for conflict-type conversations needed in the future. In time, if they know you care and you are not out to make them look bad or run over them, they will see you care and more than likely begin to decipher the thin line between destructive fussing and constructive argumentation.

This is perfect timing for a sound New Year’s resolution. And even though the art of arguing can be a tricky business. . . I am willing to learn!