Have you ever been in an argument? Of course you have. Have you ever been in an argument where you lost track of what the argument was about and noticed everyone just running on emotion and aggression? I have been there too, but I have never actually seen one of those arguments achieve much.
Disagreements are a result of people being what they are — different. God gave us each an identity and a personality, and some conflict all the time, but they all conflict at one time or another. So what in the world is God doing there? Does God want us to argue, or is there another purpose? I believe in the latter statement.
Jay taught me something (hear that Jay?) that now that I have it in my thick head, I observe it in situations all the time when I see a disagreement. For whatever reason, people argue with each other. Duh, you say — but hang on just a sec before you judge my words. Most of the time, the source of the argument is some issue somewhere that has come between the people. What makes the most sense is to make the target of your emotion the issue or problem, not the person on the other side of it. How do you do that? You look at the problem, put it between you and say, "WE have a problem", not "YOU have a problem". Once WE have a problem, we can direct our emotions at it as a team, not at each other. I see this all the time, and if you look around, you will see it also I think. Oh — and guess what? It is Biblical:
Ephesians 6:12 (New International Version) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
The problem is the evil, not the person. I know it seems like an oversimplification, but it really isn’t. Try it yourself. When you disagree with someone, look at the source, not the other person. I think you will find yourself using less emotion, more humility and having a lot more fun problem solving than arguing.
So go ahead — argue with a problem, not a person. You’ll have a better day!