Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
(Pro 22:24-25 ESV)
The message here is not that we should never associate with unpleasant people, but rather that we should be careful not to let negative influences become our close, personal friends. We cannot help but be influenced by those we are very close to. Another proverb (extra-Biblical) says that if you show me a man’s friends I’ll show you his future. Part of being the right kind of person involves being in the company of the right kind of people. Chose your friends wisely, and at the same time be a positive influence on somebody who may be using you as their means to self-improvement!
If you don’t want to be an angry kind of person then keep angry people at the level of acquaintance and gracious people at the level of friend.
The limited time offer of Arguing with Friends Kindle at $3 is just about over, but I’m only raising the price to $5; still cheaper than it was before. I’m also dropping the price of the paperback a bit to $6. I’ve made the changes at the different websites but it takes a few days for the changes to go. Technology isn’t always instantaneous.
Also, because of the required minimum prices set by Createspace and Amazon, don’t expect a significant drop to either of these prices again! To order, see the links at Get the Book. Enjoy.
Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarreling and abuse will cease.
(Pro 22:10 ESV)
The idea behind a scoffer is one who mocks, boasts, scorns (according to my Bible dictionary). Obviously this is not conducive to healthy conversation. With the scoffer out of the picture it’s no surprise we’ll lose the quarreling and abuse at the same time. If only, oh if only, the scoffer would just leave.
But here’s a thought… “drive out” the scoffer. Yes, be proactive, don’t just wait for the scoffer to suddenly grow some common sense and leave on his or her own. There are boundaries on this, obviously, but let us not forget that there is a time and a place to end the conversation and perhaps even ask somebody to leave if others in the group want to have a productive conversation. That’s a tough call to make, but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that option is not available to us!
On the heels of humility (the fear of the LORD) are riches and honor and life.
(Pro 22:4 GW)
Various translations seem to tie together humility and fear of the Lord though some seem to treat them as distinct concepts. It would make sense that understanding one’s rightful place before their maker would lead to an attitude of humility, yet it is possible even for those who do not have that understanding to exercise an attitude of humility.
And they ought to! Humility is said to bring about riches, honor and life. The riches intended here are almost certainly not material possessions, but honor and life. Life, again, not being reduced to mere physical existence but something more akin to fulfillment of essence.
Those who are able to think in the deeper terms of “true” riches and “true” life are also the type of people who are more likely to arrive at the conclusion that humility is the order of the day. How beneficial would that be for interpersonal relationships if we could all be rightly described as “humble.”
I have to break my blogging silence because I’m heartbroken today. I need to sort through my confusion. I feel sick to my stomach as I write this. Within a single day a friend I recently made on Facebook has “unfriended” me and some dear friends from out-of-town have all but disowned me. To be clear the names / details have been changed, but the following stories are true. If any readers recognize the situations I beg you to keep it to yourselves. Continue reading
It is better to be respected than to be rich. A good name is worth more than silver or gold.
(Pro 22:1 ERV)
Now I don’t for a second think that this verse is about being a people pleaser. Rather the intent is to make a name for yourself by being the kind of person who warrants respect. A people pleaser panders for respect, a person with a “good name” earns respect.
Earning respect is difficult. It requires work. It required consistent integrity. But earning respect will keep friends closer, and gives you leeway in dealing with them. Earn respect, not riches.
Just in time for the Be Ready 2013 conference (at which I get to speak!) Arguing with Friends – Kindle edition is temporarily offered at a significantly reduced price. Hurry, this offer is just for a limited time and only while supplies last.