Avoiding Strife

Avoiding Strife

There are walks of life where one is required to argue.

N1605P70001CLawyers, politicians and teachers are frequently in positions where they must argue persuasively for one position or another. That is part and parcel of their job, and arguing serves the valuable service of allowing the truth to stand out in contrast to error or ignorance. In many areas of life, however, arguing serves no useful purpose and just creates needless strife and division. When people are making casual conversation it is easy to find things to disagree with, but such disagreements rarely foster peace and harmony. It is tedious to be around someone who is always correcting us. With family, friends, and co-workers it is usually better to find areas of mutual agreement rather than disagreement. And even when there is disagreement, sometimes the way to resolve the issue is to start with what you agree on and see if you can move on from there. When we must argue, it can usually be done calmly and with civility. Sometimes we find ourselves drifting into argument without realizing how this even happened. Someone may have said something that we feel must be challenged. As the discussion turns from mild difference of opinion to angry disagreement, our tempers flare and we often say things we will regret. By being less argumentative you will probably find that you get along with others much better.                          – Christopher Simon

“It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.”

—Proverbs 20:3 NIV

The Least of Your Brothers

The Least of Your Brothers

N1605P70003CIt can be tempting to judge ourselves by how we respond to those who treat us well.

It’s easy to be kind to those who are kind to us. But perhaps a more accurate moral assessment can be made by looking at how we respond to those who treat us poorly. There are many ways in which people can mistreat us, from lying to us, to insulting us, to ignoring us, to stealing from us, and even to abusing us physically or emotionally. How we respond to these insults is probably the best measure of our character. How we behave in times of health and prosperity says very little about us. How we behave in times of sickness and adversity speaks volumes about our character. Courage stands out on the
battlefield when bullets are flying and not during target practice. So perhaps at the end of each day we should reflect on how we treated those difficult co-workers or clients, and how we dealt with the people we consider unworthy of our kindness. Thank God for the opportunity to test your mettle by giving you difficult people in your daily life. They truly are the least of your brothers.
– Christopher Simon

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

—Matthew 25:40 NIV

Three Words To Live By

Three Words To Live By

Silence is GoldenSouthern Maryland Words to live by:
If you want to live and be well, then you should be generous, calm, and virtuous.

Being generous can be difficult for those of us who have the virtues of the squirrel, storing up food for the winter by burying our acorns. It’s good to save some of what we earn, but it’s also important to be generous with what we have. It can be difficult to be calm in the noisy, jangling disarray of modern life. We live in a technological pandemonium of buzzers and bells that
seem designed to sabotage our equanimity. There are many ways to cultivate calmness, from prayer and meditation, to time management and a firm resolve to practice patience. And while we have to cultivate and practice that inner quietude of spirit in order to be truly calm, it really does help to quiet the outer bells and whistles. Turn off the television and silence the cell phone, and you will begin to understand why
“silence is golden.” Finally, the surest
and most direct route to living well and truly being well is by living virtuously. Only those who are kind, and generous, and genuinely trying to be the best that they can be are truly living well.                                    – Christopher Simon

“One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

—Proverbs 11: 24-25 NIV