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Being Right Doesn't Give You the Right

Being Right Doesn't Give You the Right

Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin. — Proverbs 17:19

I just love to have the last word. Especially in my marriage.

And my insistence on being the last one to speak is fueled by my desire to be “right.” I not only want to be right; I want to make sure that my husband knows that he’s wrong! Because I have a great memory — and my husband does not — this can be a setup for marital conflict. The poor guy just can’t win. I push and push and insist I know how something went down. He feels trapped and just wants us to drop it already.

But people who love to be right never want to drop it. That takes all the fun away! And, yes, we somehow think it’s fun to verbally back someone into a corner with our “I am right and I will have the last word” mind-set.

Oh, sisters, this should not be!

Proverbs 17:19 says, without giving us any wiggle room, “Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin.”

Double ouch!

This verse sure slaps me upside my stubborn head. A good verbal joust is something I rather enjoy. My flesh eats up the feeling of being right and having the last word. But then I see this Scripture staring me in the face, telling me that a person who loves quarreling actually loves to sin. Oh my! I don’t want to love sin. Seeing it put this way snaps my soul to attention in the most serious of ways.

So, what are we last-word-and-always-right people to do? We must be mindful of the flaws in our own strengths. You see, many strengths, carried to extremes, can become weaknesses. Some of us have good memories. Some of us are verbally articulate. Some of us place a high value on truth and accuracy. However, any of these strengths can become a weakness when we also mix in a little of our flesh — the part of us that loves to quarrel.

Let’s guard our strengths and not let them morph into weaknesses — especially when it comes to a verbal exchange that might escalate into an all-out quarrel.

The next time we want to be right — and to have the last word—let’s remember God’s word to us in Proverbs 17:19 and stop a brawl before it even starts.

Father, please gently remind me, when I feel the desire to argue welling up inside of me, that I need to love Your Word and hate sin. Please keep my lips from quarrelling. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Have you ever thought before about the concept of loving a quarrel being the same as loving sin? How will this scriptural truth change how you interact with others today?

Is there one person in particular this brings to mind? How will you speak differently with him or her the next time you converse?


Excerpted with permission from Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with Jesus by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk, copyright Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk.

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Your Turn

Do you love to get the last word in with your spouse, your children, your friends, or with the cranky person at the grocery store? Before those words shoot out of your mouth stop and pray Psalm 141:3, “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Come share your thoughts on changing the way we interact with others when we’d rather let words fly. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily