I like being right. I may like knowing that you know I’m right even more than I like being right. It’s hard to tell. That comes from pride, of course. It’s something I have to consciously push past in my relationship with God, with other people, in my job, etc. Having a predisposition to pride doesn’t excuse living pridefully any more than being predisposed to any other sin excuses it. We all have choices to make.
Because I am naturally prideful and like to be right, I used to find myself always ready to be in an argument where I could exercise being right. It didn’t matter if it was a major issue or not. I was ready to argue my case in any situation.
I would keep my eyes and ears out for foolish people to argue. For a while, this made me happy. It’s not like I won every argument, but I won my fair share, and each time stroked my ego. After a while, though, I got tired. It ceased to bring me joy. It only brought me aggravation.
The thing about arguing with fools is that, even if you win, you’ve still spent your time with openly foolish people. That’ll wear you down after a while. Not only will it wear you down, but it will also rub off on you. We tend to assimilate to what we are exposed to often. That’s why the Bible says that bad company corrupts good morals. When I was always looking to argue, it’s safe to say that I was also being a fool.
The Bible tells us to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us. That means we need to be prepared to share the Gospel and maybe even defend it at times. It doesn’t tell us to always have an answer for everything and be ready to argue with anyone who wants to argue.
I have found arguing with fools to be a lose-lose proposition. Proverbs supports this. If you don’t answer him he will think he has won, that you’re afraid of him, and he is smarter than you. He may even share that with other people. But if you do answer him, you may have to sink to his level, and other people will see that, too. There’s no way to win with an argumentative lifestyle. The only way to win when it comes to argumentative, foolish people is to make sure that you are primarily spending your time with other people.