Stop and Wait! (Proverbs 17:14)

Conflict resolution.

I have sat through many counseling sessions, attended seminars addressing conflict resolution, even have counseled others regarding their conflicts! And yet, at times it seems that all this knowledge is for naught.

Too often, the worst conflicts are with those with whom I am closest, usually family members. The conflict may arise from a seemingly insignificant event. But conflicts have a way of taking on a life of their own and within a few seconds, the conflict may escalate to an argument. Old issues resurface and are piled on to the current argument. Body language changes, speech becomes pressured, and words are spoken with a sarcastic bent. The initial drops of the conflict have become a torrent. Rightly did the Bible speak of the dangers of conflict and strife.

The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
Proverbs 17:14

This is the best advice to anyone in conflict with another. Stop and quit before the quarrel breaks out. And it so fitting, that in a few verses later, the Holy Spirit reminds us of the importance of waiting on the Lord.

Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
Proverbs 17:27

These are God’s sage words of advice. When you feel obligated to answer or defend yourself during an argument, Stop! Wait! And let God take control by allowing His Spirit to empower you and give you peace and understanding. Sometimes, saying nothing at all is the best. How many conflicts and arguments could have been diffused with these simple actions?

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.