Words of Worth

“And in This Corner…”

November 5, 2010

Proverbs 20: 3
It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” (NIV)

Fred Flintstone, a popular cartoon character in the early 60’s, operated a dinosaur crane in a quarry at the Slate Rock and Gravel Company in a suburb named Bedrock. Married to Wilma, a modern stone aged wife, they often quarreled –mostly she about his laziness or unwise decisions. The opening credits of the cartoon have Fred sliding down the tail of his dino-crane at quitting time, picking up Wilma and the pets, and driving to the movies (where “The Monster” is playing). The closing sequence has them leave the movies, order giant ribs (which tip over the car) at a drive-in restaurant, and go home, where Fred attempts to put out the cat but gets put out himself instead. (“WILLLLLL-MA!”). Could it have been that Wilma was just “put out” by some of Fred’s tom-foolery? Often Wilma would vent her disgruntled feelings with her best friend and neighbor, Betty. And many times Betty would involve Wilma with her disappointments about her husband Barney.

Once I had a neighbor who worked in a quarry. I never knew a real life quarry worker and actually thought that was just for cartoons. And he was married to a woman, not named Wilma, but they quarreled a lot, in public, and usually about the foolish things he did. And when they quarreled in public, they often did this very unique thing—they would invite any neighbor who happened to be within earshot to “referee” their argument. Occasionally there were takers, but most of us chose to avoid their strife and scurry back inside our homes. It was more honorable to walk away than to get in the middle of the private fights they chose to make public.

The common denominators between Fred Flintstone and my neighbor were their occupations—quarry workers—and their preoccupations-quarreling. But is quarreling something only quarry workers do? Probably not. Quarreling is something that Scripture says fools, or unwise people do and that the better part of wisdom is to avoid the strife at all costs.

With the growing popularity of Facebook, bickering and squabbling can take place “in public” from the privacy of our own homes. And wouldn’t you know that the number one thing people quarrel about on this social network is other people meddling in their business???

The devil even attempted to meddle in Jesus’ business. In Matthew 4, Satan tried to tempt Jesus in three different ways, but each time, Jesus warded off the attacks by quoting the wisdom and truth of God’s word beginning with three words, “It is written”! By giving the wisest response and refusing to engage in Satan’s tactics Jesus gave us the ultimate example of how to refuse to be drawn into a match with an unworthy opponent. It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife…..

Looking for more words? Read 2 Timothy 2:22-26 and note the actions we should take instead of being quarrelsome. What then might be the result? (SV)

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