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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 25:8

Proverbs 25:8

"Do not go out hastily to argue your case; otherwise what will you do in the end, when your neighbor humiliates you?"

Clearly this is counsel not to respond to the emotionality of a situation and a wrong suffered. Give it some time so you can get past your immediate reaction. Abraham Lincoln, on more than one occasion, would write out his immediate response and feelings in a letter to the person. He would never send the letter, but it allowed him to get it all out.

The word hastily is the idea of before you have all the facts; before you have been able to assess the situation and the real importance of contending with this person. The Hebrew word is maher which means swiftly, haste, speedily. The idea in this case is in reaction to, rather than responding with planning and decorum.

In order to effectively contend a case, one must know what the other person is contending as well as what you are contending. It is also helpful if you take the time to think through how they will respond to what you are saying. What are the facts of the actual dispute? What would an objective person say about the conflict? Too often it is the emotional, hasty response that divides people in such a way that reconciliation is not possible without huge involvements. Avoid these entanglements by thinking through a contention from beginning to end and thereby examining whether it is even worth pursuing. According to the Proverbs, often contentions are not worth pursuing when assessed in this way and would be better off abandoned before they begin. (Proverbs 17:14)

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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