Debate- arguing especially in a formal manner.

I don’t like debating. But somehow in many circumstances I find myself arguing for my position. My highschool classmate thought I was going to be a lawyer since we debated often (did you win Ninang? “He said, always 😋”). But I want to believe I argue to find out the truth. Though I can’t deny that truth hurts when it’s against my views or position. So I say, it takes humility to debate. But some will claim it’s because of pride that many do. (Are you debating yourself Ninang? 😬)

My two older daughters are in the debating team of their respective schools for years now. And this is probably because I lost in asserting they should quit (debating against debating Ninang?). Having the opportunity to talk to one of their coaches, I said, “you know, one problem I have with debate is that you’re not after the truth but just victory in defending any position”. And of course I regretted making this argument (against debate) with a debate coach (“hellloooooo”). “Win with Honor” is their motto he said– To get as close to the truth as possible, without fabricating facts. I chose to accept instead of discuss.

That is the “Bait” of debate- to keep arguing regardless if another’s view is acceptable enough. It’s not having any body of evidence acceptable enough. There is always a reasonable doubt. Or should I say, unreasonable doubt. One can in fact argue everything (that’s why lawyers thrive Ninang!). Contend to the death (!)- that’s the bait of debate. Without seeking resolution, without value for relationships, you insist. Don’t get hooked.

We should eventually abate when we debate. Otherwise, you can never test the truth. (Because your mind is closed to it!). Objective evidence, an unbiased third party (an adjudicator Ninang?), or simply TIME, can (eventually) prove who is right or wrong, or you’re both right.. and wrong. Resolve to stop arguing at some point. Resolve within yourself. And watch the truth unfold. Abating amidst any argument is submitting to what is truth.. even if it hurts..your pride. And it takes a confident person to swallow his pride. You may nevertheless be right– please don’t be proud. (God opposes the proud Ninang! “Yup!”).

Debate is a bait, so (at a point) Abate. Jesus, faced with his accusers, chose to be mostly silent. What strength, what love, what power emanates from a mighty God who did not defend Himself amidst unimaginable slander and physical pain. What is my pride?  What am I to be proud of? (That Jesus died for our sins Ninang..).

I’m not at all saying debate is bad. It’s fun sometimes. I get my daughters now. It sharpens the mind. It enhances critical thinking and hones organization of thoughts and effective communication. And yes, it’s one way of finding out the truth or the best decision. Just don’t get caught up in perpetrating the process, more than getting clarity on the matter, or coming up with a palatable solution. And always prioritize keeping harmonious relationships. You can debate. But don’t take its bait. Resolve to abate. And that’s (a wrap Ninang?).. a rhyme! 😊 (Hear-hear Ninang!)

*’Di – shortcut for filipino “hindi”, “no” “not” in English)

– Ninang “argumentative” thoughts

“But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

“For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.” (Mark 4:22)





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