Wisdom for Handling Disagreements

I just started teaching a new series on the book of Proverbs. One of the things I appreciate about my students (many are pastors in India) is that they ask good questions. More on that in a moment. Most of Proverbs is the work of King Solomon. He was a wise man, and even Jesus noted his wisdom and glory in Matthew 6:29 and 12:42.

The question from one pastor in India was for clarification about the meanings of the words “understanding, wisdom, and knowledge” in Proverbs 1:1-7. I’m putting together a more thorough response to his question, but a short answer is that “knowledge is truthful facts”, “understanding is recognizing the value of the truthful facts”, and “wisdom is putting the results to work in life.” When it comes to disagreements, which involve words, Solomon wisely recommends the following careful speaking:

“When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” Proverbs 10:19

“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18

“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Proverbs 16:24

“Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.” Proverbs 17:27

Even the wise Apostle Paul and the encouraging Barnabas were known to have sharp disagreements that caused some temporary separation. “Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.” Acts 15:37-40

Culver’s Custard – the choice is clear: Chocolate

As I said in a comment on another blog post this morning, “One of the great things about being a follower of Jesus is that if we agree with God, then it is likely we will at least agree on the most important issues and important decisions. I might like chocolate Culver’s custard, and others might like vanilla. That is just a preference. But when it comes to truth, there is only one choice.” Her blog is well-written. If you want to see it, here is a link: HOPEHEARTHOME

Five Minute Friday

This post is part of the weekly Five-Minute Friday link-up.

All scripture passages are from the English Standard Version except as otherwise noted.