Today’s Scripture: …let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Ephesians 4:26b, 27

There is a profound quote from Snoopy that I would like to share with you today. In one Peanuts cartoon, Snoopy had fallen off of his dog house and onto the cold, hard ground. The caption above him read, “Life is full of rude awakenings.” There are several people in the Bible that I am sure could share that sentiment. Adam went to sleep and woke up to find that he had undergone surgery, was now missing a rib, and was married. Jacob woke up after his wedding and realized that he was married to the wrong woman. Boaz was awakened in the middle of the night and found Ruth sleeping at his feet.

So what happens when your relationship deals you a very rude awakening? I want to give you a little wisdom. Not long ago, I visited with a man who had been married for 50 years. Sadly, he had recently lost his wife. He reminisced about all they had been through together.

At the end of our conversation, he gave me a piece of advice. When he and his wife were starting to date, she had a little bit of a temper. One time that it cropped up, he looked at her and said, “If you marry me, we are never going to have an argument right then and there. You have to stop and think about what you want to argue with me about. Most of the time it is going to be silliness.” Sure enough, as time went on her temper would flare up. He would simply smile at her. She would then stop and think. Within seconds they would both begin to laugh.

How exactly do you win an argument? You stop what you are saying. Drop the subject for long enough to think about the probable silliness of what you were going to argue about. It will become pretty clear that the subject in question was not worth arguing about at all. Whether it is a marriage, a friendship, or a business relationship, remember that any relationship involves two imperfect people.

Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.