Kevin DeYoung recently posted on his blog Distinguishing Marks of a Quarrelsome Person. This is great stuff for prayerful self-examination. DeYoung says,
Quarrels, at least in Proverbs, are unnecessary arguments, the kind that honorable men stay away from (17:14; 20:3). These fights aren’t the product of a loving rebuke or a principled conviction. These quarrels arise because people are quarrelsome. Some Christians have a lifeline to Speedway and love to pour gasoline on every tiny spark of conflict.
You don’t have to be a card-carrying member of the nice Nazis to believe that quarreling is wrong. We are not talking about awkward folks or those who disagree with us. We are talking about quarrelsome Christians–habitually disagreeable, divisive, hot-headed church people.
He then lists 12 distinguishing marks of such people. These include:
- You are quick to speak and slow to listen. You rarely ask questions and when you do it is to accuse or to continue prosecuting your case. You are not looking to learn, you are looking to defend, dominate, and destroy.
- You never give the benefit of the doubt. You do not try to read arguments in context. You put the worst possible construct on other’s motives and the meaning of their words.
- You have no unarticulated opinions.
- You are unable to sympathize with your opponents.
- Your first instinct is to criticize. Your last is to encourage.
- You have never changed your mind on an important matter.