Then he sent his brothers away, and as they were leaving he said to them, “Don’t quarrel on the way!”
And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” Exodus 17:7
Quarreling draws the line and says, “I’m right, you’re wrong.”
Quarreling leaves the Creator out of the picture altogether, and forgets that He is listening.
Quarreling births empty words – ripe with hurt – and leads to confusion and doubt.
We are not instructed to agree.
… we are instructed to shut up and stop quarreling!
If I don’t take captive every word, before it exits my mouth,
If I don’t wrestle it, hog tie it and walk away,
If I don’t first take my complaint to God and place all my ‘rightness’ on the altar
… then quite simply I have failed. Sinned.
The enemy is looking for us to fall flat on our faces – cheering us on to “speak our minds”
Arguing which “side” is right,
Arguing which anointing is real,
Arguing which truth is more true…
But ultimately, at the heart of it all, our quarrel is not with man at all but with God.
“Is the Lord among us or not?”
This question is not inherently wrong – no question is – when asked with sincerity and humility and brought straight to the God of all truth and comfort and love.
But, on the flip side, I can take this question – with all its impatience and arrogance reeking to high heaven – and spit it out to the world. In the end, all that is accomplished is testing God with sarcasm, doubt and misguided truth.
I have a choice.
Lord, help shut my mouth. Change my heart and forgive me. You are so above any stupid quarrel or point of argument. If I cannot speak the Truth in love that is real and grounded in relationship, then I better shut up.
It is never about being right…
it is always about love wrapped in grace and mercy.