14 “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.”
Proverbs 17:14 (NIV)
Have you ever said something you couldn’t take back? Have you ever had a fight with someone about one thing and had it turn into a completely different issue?
Sometimes when we start speaking, fiery emotional momentum takes over our hearts and minds, and angry words tumble out. Even if we have good intentions, we can get swept up in the moment.
God knows our hearts. Jesus knew what it was to be human and to face difficulties in the surrounding world. Maybe He didn’t play basketball on wooden courts or have an iPhone, but the Lord grew up subjected to the same peer pressures we experience today.
Athlete, look to the Bible for guidance to deal with issues that arise. Address problems with maturity and calmness before troubles reach a boiling point. Once we utter bad-tempered words, we cannot take them back.
Many times we see the world through the lens of our own entitlement instead of walking in the other person’s shoes. Sometimes making the Christ-like choice may not seem obvious to you.
Before getting into an argument or letting bad feelings fester, take a moment to do a few things:
Pray. God knows you and your struggles. Appeal to Him for help.
Reflect. Take a minute to imagine what the situation might be like for the other person. Don’t excuse an individual’s poor behavior, but look at the situation from a different angle.
Breathe. Don’t speak to someone when emotions are high. Take time for things to calm down before addressing the situation to ensure the highest level of productivity from the discussion.
How does this play out in real life?
If you are having struggles with a schoolmate hurting your feelings, pull them aside and ask if they are okay. Many times people who hurt others are experiencing their own hurts.
If you feel you’re not getting the chance to play that you deserve, meet with your coach and discuss ways you can improve.
If your parents are tough on you at home, ask how you can help them around the house as they may be experiencing outside stressors.
Life and interpersonal relationships can be trying at times, but God is with you through the journey and growth. Take a step back when emotions run high, and reflect before starting a quarrel.