June 18: “Quarrels and The Consequences”

5 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Kings 19: 1-21
Acts 12: 1-23
Psalm 136: 1-26
Proverbs 17: 14-15

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Proverbs 17:14 (NLT): “Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so stop before a dispute breaks out.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

I’m writing this as I sit in a terminal at the Nashville International Airport. My flight to Orlando will depart in a couple of hours. (I told my wife and youngest son to take the car and spend a little extra time with family and friends before they head back to the world of ministry.)

I’m here in Nashville because we attended the Southern Baptist Convention. The 2021 SBC was a bit contentious … and that is stating it mildly. There are a lot of issues outside and inside our convention of churches that need to be addressed. And as you can imagine, that created the possibility for a ton of arguments.

I’m so glad that the SBC crowd generally heeded the warning found in the verse I have chosen for today.

Proverbs 17:14 (NLT): “Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so stop before a dispute breaks out.”

It’s easy to get upset at people. It’s easy to feel justified in our opinions or feelings and then start a quarrel with the one we disagree with or who has hurt us. Yet, even though we see a lot of that these days, it may feel good at the moment, but it creates massive problems later.

I’ve known people who quarreled and didn’t talk to each other for a couple of years. In fact, I know of people who got into an argument and then never talked to each other again. Yet, they spoke to everyone else about it. It began to eat them alive, and they spread that toxin to people who weren’t even involved in the initial argument. One argument opened the floodgates for a lot of really bad things.

Proverbs 17:14 (NLT): “Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so stop before a dispute breaks out.”

So be really careful before you get into an argument. Consider praying about what you feel before you ever open your mouth. Consider venting your frustrations onto a piece of paper … and then tearing the paper up.

Friend, be so careful when you are tempted to argue with someone. I know from firsthand experience that it often brings on such pain, so much regret, and then shame as I feel the Holy Spirit’s promptings to apologize. 

So don’t argue. Don’t quarrel. If you refuse to do those things, the floodgates of terrible things will never be opened.


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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