A scene from the movie, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, depicts Peter, Susan, Lucy, and beaver friends crossing a frozen river in an attempt to reach Aslan. The White Witch’s wolves block the way when a frozen waterfall above the river begins to thaw. A burst of water sends them careening down the now raging river.
One moment, ice—solid and firm. The next, a flood of water.
Solomon gives a similar picture:
“Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.”(Proverbs 17:14)
What caused the breached dam and ensuing flood?
Someone started a quarrel.
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”(James 4:1)
James tells us we have desires that battle within.Unchecked, battles within lead to battles that get out. Quarrels–which may lead to an unexpected flood.
How do we avoid such a disaster?
“ . . .so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.”(Proverbs 17:14b)
Dropping the matter means I drop my weapons, those desires battling within me. Desires like:
- The desire to be right
- The desire to have the last word (and the first)
- The desire to defend myself
- The desire to have my own way
But I’m a fighter and self-defense is justified, right?
Hardly. God is not impressed with my warrior spirit. He prefers I lay down my weapons and leave any unfinished business to Him. My job is to love my enemies, whether the enemy of the moment is a spouse, a sibling, or a stranger.
So drop it and practice some flood prevention.
Do you know someone who likes to start quarrels?
If someone starts a quarrel, do you have to accept the invitation to the bickering party?
Give your top three reasons for quarrelling.
What are your weapons when you quarrel? (The desires you battle)
How can you drop your weapons?