I was having a discussion with some friends about the virtue of giving in to stop an argument. I feel many friendships and even marriages would sustain less damage or even breakups if, instead of trying to win using physical force or the power of argument, we were to use the strength and power in the virtue of giving in.
Then someone asks me, “But aren’t you then incurring the risk of getting picked on all the time? Aren’t you then enabling people to push you around? Are we to be floor mats?
I thought about it. Whereas it seems that this could truly happen, there is a difference between the person who gives in out of cowardice, indifference, or timidness, and he who gives in because of a greater strength; a strength that doesn't indulge in imposing its will on the other through reasoning or force just because it can; a strength that prioritises winning over the opponent rather than merely winning the argument or the combat.
We command courage of a rare sort when we do not summon our physical strength or power of debate when we could. This is something that we see Jesus do in the Bible. If we win the fight or the argument at the price of losing the relationship, what have we won then?
I heard someone who taught about the use of guns one time say, “Real maturity with a gun is to know when not to use it!” I think it is the same with our ability to win.
There is a time when winning is actually losing and losing is actually winning. Wisdom is to know how to recognize these times.
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