It Always Takes Two to Quarrel

Years ago, Leslie Flynn penned a book called, Great Church Fights. In it he chronicled the way people in different churches would go after each other - all in the name of Jesus Christ. A young father heard a commotion out in his backyard, he looked outside and saw his daugh … More


When you stop putting wood on a fire it will go out. The same thing will happen when you stop adding fuel to a quarrel (v. 20). Remember that it always takes two to quarrel. When one person ceases to argue the strife will end. However, when coals are added to burning coals it only causes a fire to be revived that would  have soon gone out. The same is true of a contentious man who keeps people inflamed with dissension and hatred (v. 21). It is really sad to see a gossiper going around stirring up unholy passions and making unhappy matters all the more difficult to solve.

The words of a whisperer can inflict deadly wounds (v. 22). One who pretends to be very loving and gracious, while all the time his heart is bent on evil, is like a cheap earthen vessel that has been coated with a veneer of silver (v. 23). The pleasant talk of an enemy hides more evil plans than can be counted, so don’t believe a word (vv. 24-25)! This person with his fair speech may fool people for a time but eventually his true character will come out (v. 26).

In time the person who has dug a pit for others will fall into the pit himself. He is like a man who is rolling up a steep hill and thinks he has it under control. Then all at once he slips and the stone breaks loose and crushes him to death (v.27). An example of this was Haman who hanged on the gallows he had made for Mordecai. Watch out for anyone who tells lies and flatters, they are out to get you (v. 28). Proverbs shows how sin often boomerangs and the person who tries to destroy others will be destroyed himself.


Have you ever been guilty of arguing with someone and determined to win your point? Remember that arguing leads to hatred if it is continued.

Proverbs 26:20-28 (English Standard Version)

For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases. As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body. Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel are fervent lips with an evil heart. Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart; when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart; though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling. A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin.

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