“It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.”
~ Proverbs 25:27 (NIV)
I’ll be honest and say this particular devo had me stumped for several days on how to respond. The devo itself focused a lot on not arguing about things that don’t matter, not stirring up trouble, and just leaving well enough alone sometimes. It wasn’t until I looked up other translations for this verse that I finally got a clue. For most translations, the second half of the verse focuses on avoiding self-seeking glory:
“… or to seek glory after glory.”(HCSB)
“… so for men to seek glory, their own glory, causes suffering and is not glory.” (AMP)
“… and so is trying to win too much praise.” (GNB)
“… nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.” (ESV)
Combine the original commentary about not arguing with this other concept of not seeking out one’s own glory, and my own version of the verse came to light:
It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to arguably “persuade” someone into my own way of thinking or insist my way is the only way all the time.
But I really LIKE being right…
Most of the time, I put a lot of time, energy, and thought into the decisions I make. I hate being wrong, and I go to great lengths to avoid it. So, when someone challenges my hard-fought opinions, I immediately set out to prove that I am right and will readily outline the reasons why. In my family, that behavior is expected. It’s just part of “being a Stufflebam.” But, with those not so familiar with our ways, it comes off as argumentative, arrogant, and stubborn.
Learning to pick my battles
It wouldn’t be so bad if I only argued about being right on big, life-altering issues. But often, I find myself debating about things that just don’t matter in the long run. Who cares if the bed gets made sloppily? Who cares how the towels get folded? Yes, if those things were done the way I usually do them, it would mean less work for me later on because I wouldn’t have to remake the bed every single day or restack the towels because they fell off the shelf. (Again.) But, is it going to kill me? Probably not. (Though getting hit on the head by a stack of 6 poorly folded, falling towels is enough to give anyone a headache for a while!)
This verse seems to be reminding me to count the cost before disagreeing and belaboring a point. It’s a good thing for me to think through the way I do things and the decisions I make. It’s a strength for me and those around me most of the time. But, too much of a good thing is still too much. If arguing is going to cause a rift between another person and me, I need to take a step back and decide if it’s worth losing the relationship just to be right. For some big ticket items, it might be necessary to stand up for what I believe and walk away. But in most cases, it’s okay to inwardly agree to disagree and move on in order to preserve the relationship.
How do you handle it when others challenge your way of thinking or behaving?
Do you have any tricks to help yourself not argue?
As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.