Debate VS Discussion
Damn you English language for once again making things to hard on simple minded people like myself. Last week while attending a marriage seminar in San Antonio Texas, Danielle and I for a better word got in an argument about whether we consistently have debates or discussions. Which in turn led into a debatable discussion about the two terms.
Dictionary.com defines debate as something that is open to discussion or argument. Where discussion is defined as the action or process of talking about something, typically in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas. After doing some more research using thesauruses and dictionaries I concluded that a discussion normally is centered on a particular topic. Typically two or more people are trying to establish the validity of the topic and reach a conclusion. On the other hand debate takes place to oppose certain points regarding a topic. The main intent is to prove their own correctness by engaging in arguments to prove the other wrong. In other words a debate is verbal “fight.” It’s about winning an argument. Discussions are the “breaking apart” of issues. It’s about finding an agreed upon solution or answer.
My wife and I don’t agree about everything, so we discuss the matters. Some things we’ll probably never agree on, but we can understand why the other person thinks as they do even without agreeing with their conclusion. This is an important part of a DISCUSSION and trying to understand the other person’s view and reasons. You can’t have a civil discussion without first understanding the other person and their feelings towards the subject. What needs to change in me is my need to always be right and to take offense when I am wrong. Not only was Danielle right about what I was arguing about, but she was also right about the differences between debates and discussion.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4)
We live in a society of ‘I’ and ‘me’. We are groomed to be selfish and entitled. Ultimately if we don’t look good we take offense. If we think somebody may have been referring to us in a general conversation, we take offense. If somebody (Danielle) lovingly tells the truth regarding something I am involved in, I take offense. During this situation I did not ‘take every thought captive nor did I cast it away and ‘demolish every argument and every pretention that sets itself up against the knowledge of God (2 Cor10:5). To take control of my emotions I need to be able to apply 2 Corinthians 10:5 to my life. Only than can I start transforming and renewing my mind.
How easily do you take offense? Have you ever thought about it? Do you allow yourself to take offense, as if you are entitled to it? Do you pridefully argue that the context of what somebody said was blatantly aimed at you? Do you feel that you have to ‘defend’ yourself when somebody says something and you take offense?
p.s. Here is picture of our “Date Night” in San Antonio. We went to Biga on the Banks and it was crazy good. We highly recommend this venue!