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People who think they know everything there is to know are sometimes defined as “know-it-alls.” I read a sticker once on the back of car that said, “People who think they know it all are especially annoying to those of us who do.” All of us have experienced and know someone who thinks they know everything about everything. It doesn’t matter what subject you engage with them about; they believe they are experts on the topic and thus a contentious argument pursues.

So, let’s say you don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. God said, “Humanity must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” Nothing is ever gained by being contentious with others because it can create an atmosphere that can poison and destroy the whole organization, be it a church, school, company or even a family.

Our experience is never at the mercy of someone else’s argument. It is only when our own contentious spirit that reveals our hurt has been healed can God use us to heal the hurts of others. Instead of trying to force your opinions on someone, simply say here is what I have discovered and here is the difference it has made in my life. There is no need to be hostile, demeaning or disagreeable with someone who doesn’t share your viewpoint.

To embrace and fulfill our covenant relationship with God and one another, we must stay clear of a contentious spirit. In fact, our relationship with God challenges us to be mindful to seek the good of all through the works of the spirit. A contentious spirit clouds sound reasoning with negative characteristics of pride and arrogance.

It is said that a contentious spirit breeds trouble. Contention is often manifested as a perverse and wearisome tendency to quarrel and dispute. If you are not careful the outcome can be discord, strife, resentment, and bitterness, all of which are bad behaviors that can be totally destructive within an organization and especially a relationship.

God challenges us to overcome our natural response and reactions to disagreements. He knows that we are human and many of our defense mechanisms are conditioned by experiences we encountered throughout our lifetime. So, try a new paradigm that is absent of contentiousness.  And Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Dr. Walter Ghosten