The heat of an argument always feels ugly. Hurtful words come out, voices raise, defenses flair and loving kindness takes a backseat. When we turn away, the waiting game begins. The clock ticks, and we wonder when the other will reach out. We really want to move past it, but in the meantime, pride grips our heart.
We know we shouldn’t argue.
Sometimes we catch it midstream; sometimes we lose control and end up sitting in a room alone. It’s hard to stop anything when chaos takes over. It can feel like an enormous challenge to seek resolve first.
Before I started reading the Bible I didn’t know how to move past an argument while feeling hurt. But by praying on the following verses, I noticed a major change for the better.
“He Must Increase, but I Must Decrease.”
John the Baptist said this to his followers (about Jesus) so they would know one much greater was in their midst. I cling to these words and repeat them over and over in my mind when I feel negativity rising. In fact, I pray every day that Jesus increases in my life, leaving less room for “my way” of doing things.
When we feel embroiled in emotion, especially negative emotions such as anger, hurt, jealousy or resentment, we can pray for God to take up more room. The NLT gives this version for John 3:30: “He must get greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”
As God moves in, less room remains for the negative forces trying to work within us. This takes faith because when we’re locked in a stronghold, we lose control.
We must trust God with the reigns; it is the first step to moving past an argument.
“Forgive as the Lord Forgave You.”
It’s easier for someone else to break the ice when tension fills the air. Going out on a limb could mean rejection. It could feel like “losing” the battle. But this “battle” is not against each other. It takes courage to make the first move toward peace, and we are commanded to do it. Do you have what it takes?
Paul says that God has forgiven us, and so we must forgive others. When I think about what God has forgiven in me, how can I not forgive another? When I think about how God has healed me, how can I not work toward healing with another?
In Colossians 3:13, Paul says clearly: “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
We can move past an argument when we forgive. If it’s true forgiveness, we won’t feel like holding on to right and wrong. We won’t recount the details. We get the courage from God to move forward and make the first move.
Jesus modeled this for us. He forgave while dying on a cross. God has forgiven us the most egregious of sins–we even ask him to forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And still it takes courage.
Thanks for a great post! You showed how to apply God’s Word to gain the victory over strong, negative emotions.
This is a great post! My husband and I try to live by the scripture: Don’t let the sun go down upon your wrath. If we are mad at each other, we talk about it before the day passes and we go to bed. Unforgiveness benefits no one and if God can forgive us for all the craziness we’ve done, certainly we can forgive others! 🙂
Lionel Valdellon says
Great post. It’s difficult to humble yourself in any situation, but especially in an argument where you’re convinced you’re right and the other person won’t budge. In the end however, no matter who is right, your proud behavior damages the relationship. And in the end if you love the other person, you apologize for the self-righteous behavior because you don’t want this to be a stumbling block for either of you.
And He truly must increase in order for us to do this.
Jennifer Johns says
@MommieKate — Thanks for your encouragement! God’s Word and guidance transforms our lives… and negative situations.
@Tonya– It’s so inspiring to hear how you and your husband communicate without going to bed angry. It’s so easy to hold a grudge– but why? Thanks for your uplifting comment.
@Lionel — I totally agree. Sometimes I wonder how it’s possible to argue with someone you love so much, and usually over something of little importance. That’s the most humbling part of all, because we know that should be acting in love and respect. We can see all the time how much we need God.
Michelle Johnson says
I don’t want my life to be defined by what’s hurt me . Decide, depend and obey, these three steps help in forgiving . Decide to let God help you forgive,depend on the Holy Spirit to help you do what u can’t and obey what you know God is telling you to do in your spirit. I think pride is a big factor in not forgiving , we all think we were right but who is right or wrong doesn’t matter forgiving and moving on does. Praying for self control in all Areas if our life helps a lot too that includes control over our mouth.
Jenn Johns says
Very well put Michelle, thank you! I agree that pride is a big factor when we struggle with forgiveness… pride, anger, all kinds of things not of God. That’s a red flag to our hearts right there.