Friday, December 2, 2011

Quarrelsome vs. Seeking Advice

Sometimes a person will mask their quarrelsome spirit under the guise of "seeking advice." How do we discern someone really seeking counsel from someone

What is a quarrelsome person? It is not just one who picks a fight but the one who shares stories in such a way that strife results and ‘discord’ is created.

ESV Proverbs 6:19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
NAU Proverbs 6:19 A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.

The word for ‘quarrelsome’ or ‘contentious’ is used most often to describe a kind of  wife in Scripture.
Proverbs 27:15 A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
Ever hear of a nagging wife? The one who “when are you going to mow the lawn? Why don’t you do the laundry? Why can’t you be like so-and-so’s husband? Why didn’t you do this for me?” Etc.

But now someone who comes to us may not be quarrelsome in the sense that they say “I hate X” but they might do the same kind of nagging: Do know what so-and-so didn’t do? Do you see this problem? Can you believe he acts that way? I think so-and-so has an agenda. People are leaving the church because of X. Why can’t we be like church Y.

Sometimes people seek us for counsel. There is sometimes a fine line between seeking counsel and someone coming to nag. Sometimes we can unwittingly be a party to gossip.

(a) People who seek counsel ask you to evaluate their heart. –People who gossip ask you to evaluate other people’s heart, motives and attitudes. 

(b) People who seek counsel do not have a bitter spirit—although they may be hurt. People who gossip are bitter and they often sow seeds of doubt and distrust in others. You start to wonder if there is really something secret and hidden going on.

(c) People who seek counsel are willing to go to great lengths to follow Godly advice and confront Biblical problems—i.e. with Matthew 18. etc. 

(d) People who seek counsel labor hard to not portray others in a bad light. People who gossip are ‘blowing off steam’ with an intent to see if something will catch on fire.

(e) People who are gossiping think they already know the solution. People seeking counsel are not sure what to do.

*This post simply reflects some devotional notes from a Bible study I did a few years back*

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