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Today called for lots of time behind the snow-thrower and snow-shovel.  I think my snow-thrower’s mad at me; I worked it hard and put it away when it couldn’t handle the work anymore.   (poor thing).   So cleaning up after last night’s blizzard gave me good time to think, and today I settled on something I’d not seen before.

Do not go out hastily to argue your case; Otherwise, what will you do in the end when your neighbor puts you to shame?  (v8)

I remembered today a friend of mine who served with me for several years before they moved away.  We would get together and talk about worship and methods, and growth, and discipling. I usually came away from our conversations unfulfilled and sometimes frustrated while he drove home happy and satisfied as could be.  We took the time to talk about it one day —a sign that ours was a genuine friendship if you ask me— and I learned the difference.  He put everything on the table that came to mind, “even the stuff I think is probably wrong”  he said while I set only my best thoughts and ideas on the discussion table.

You can imagine what a revelation it was to discover we were looking at the same conversation through completely different lenses time after time.   He expected me to go after some -even most- of his ideas, take them apart, prove him wrong,  and he’d argue his point as part of making that happen, but when he’d do that to mine, I took it personally.  “Hey, Pal, that’s my best idea on the matter,  be careful now!”    It was a huge disconnect!  I wasn’t eager to argue my case, holding back all but the top few ideas, he was eager to put it all on the table.

Most would say this verse has to do with a person’s eagerness to go to court, and they’re right , but being one who does all he can to stay out of court, I thought I’d point to another application of this verse today.

Selah—

—PLR—

For more thoughts on Proverbs, click the Proverbs  tag to the right (for my stuff) or above (for wordpress-wide) entries.

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