This week I have put a ban on in our house. It is a ban on arguing! With six children, five of whom still live at home there is unfortunately usually no shortage of arguments. Nobody in our house has an issue expressing themselves and some members are what I would term “feisty”.

But this week I had quite enough. The disagreements were over ridiculous things and I decided that sometimes people just want to argue and be disagreeable with one another.

Perhaps it’s because we get bored, feel grumpy within ourselves, or need some entertainment. We know who will react most so we “needle” them for some sort of reaction.

All of us can be guilty of “needling” as I call it. We put out a “throw away” comment, and sit back to watch for who will snap up the bait and respond.

My Dad was especially guilty of this trait. He would be sitting listening to a conversation, and then he would say something inflammatory and wait to see who would fire up first. Then he’d sit back, say nothing else and enjoy the “show”, with a naughty little smirk on his face. Why? Well I think for no other reason than that he was bored!

Now I am all for expression and people having a view point, because no one communicating is not healthy either. But when we get into arguments these only lead to strife and dissensions. Things get said that shouldn’t, and people can get hurt. I guess that’s why God warns us to stay out of arguments and to live in peace with others as much as possible.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:8)

Today if you know you have been “needling”, and causing arguments, make a decision to quit. It’s not worth the angst and hurt it causes. If we are feeling bored or unhappy ourselves then the best thing to do is examine our own hearts and deal with any unhappiness in our self first.

If you are needling just to get a reaction then try making some time to do things together with others. Where we feel connected we will communicate better and not just do or say things to get some attention or a reaction.

Make the effort to adopt a positive way to communicate: everyone communicates differently so try to find a way that works for you without the arguments.

The bible has this wisdom on staying out of arguments.

Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” (2 Timothy 2:23-24)

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)

Prayer: Lord please help me to stay out of silly arguments and to have self control over my tongue. Let peace be my goal. In Jesus Name Amen.