While arguing is to put forth reasons for or against, to debate, it also means to engage in a quarrel or to dispute.
  Synonyms for arguing include feuding, quarreling, wrangling, squabbling and bickering.

“Many cannot reconcile the law of agreeing and adjusting—agree with God that this is good, adjust to man, and never argue.”–Edna Lister

  Arguing is a soul taint and easily can be a sin. Only the self desires to argue, and does so to domineer, to assert self and to be proven right. Arguing is the use of verbal force.

Edna Lister on Arguing

Why do you bicker like children?–Edna Lister, January 19, 1939.

If anyone wants the last word, give him the first word too. Keep your full golden silence when you can’t use golden speech, and it isn’t golden when you argue about it.–Edna Lister, September 3, 1941

Such inner conflicts as arguing with yourself and hating the world, use more energy than one day’s supply of breath and food can furnish.–Edna Lister, Conflict Causes Aging, Life in a Nutshell, 1943

One soul, completely surrendered to Christ’s service is far mightier than the many who bicker, find fault with one with another, or let self dictate.–Edna Lister, September 14, 1944

Agree with God and never argue. Agree with thine adversary quickly whiles thou art in the way with him.–Matthew 5:25. The most important word in this law of agreeing and adjusting is quickly. It means to respond instantly to another’s demand for an argument. Quickly does not mean next week, tomorrow or even an hour from now, but right now. To agree quickly is seeking first the kingdom of heaven, to make sure you are in complete contact with your I AM center of consciousness, the only place from which you can hear the still, small voice when it directs you in any situation.
  Vain arguments are but a waste of God’s time, since those who desire to argue have made up their minds, with no intention of changing. They want to be thought right, they want the last word, so give them the first word and save all your words and time. As you smile, reach up quickly, grasp your own rod of Power (counterpoise) and hold fast to it while you smilingly wait for the arguer to run down. It is worth the effort to be silent and smile when you see the facial expression of one who realizes there is no opposition or reason for more speech. This law always works.–Edna Lister, Five Keys of the Kingdom, 1945

Do not offend with your views. Argument is permissible for the masses, but the Master never argues. Give a law or statement of truth, just drop a seed where it will bear fruit and harvest. Speak the law, but do not argue to further offense. Drop the seed when you can, and let the Master see that it will grow. Don’t argue people away from it.–Edna Lister, August 18, 1945

Until you cleanse the impulsive appetitive soul of self, you will always want to argue. To argue is unbecoming behavior.–Edna Lister, September 5, 1945

Never argue for or against, but declare that both sides are of the Light.–Edna Lister, December 13, 1945

Three quarters of the average person’s life is a mess because they argue with self. Your faith, love and joy weaken if you give in to argument.–Edna Lister, An Encompassing Faith, May 4, 1947

The force of a quarrel disturbs both parties’ lines of responsibility and Light.–Edna Lister, June 13, 1947

Surrender all personal feuds. Ascend until no feud exists between the little self’s demands for recognition and the soul’s great responsibility.–Edna Lister, February 26, 1949

Agree with God that this is good, adjust to your fellow man, and never argue.–Edna Lister, Pentecost: The Way of Ascension, May 7, 1950

Most arguments result from people being afraid to lie to their families and friends about their opinions. Seek agreement in the kingdom of heaven, then you cannot lie, because the Father puts the words of love on your lips.–Edna Lister, I Remember, October 8, 1950

The world’s agnostic escape artists freely interpret law while seeking to modify principle into intellectual arguments to suit their self-centered desires.–Edna Lister, June 7, 1951

Intellectuals argue between opinions and prejudices; they chain their souls to the mundane, and so cannot spread their soul wings and soar. Never bind yourself between the covers of a book.–Edna Lister, Prove Me Now, October 28, 1951

Many cannot reconcile the law of agreeing and adjusting—agree with God that this is good, adjust to man, and never argue.–Edna Lister, Prove Me Now, October 28, 1951

Gossip grows from an argument that goes on within you when you mentally tell someone off.–Edna Lister, Open Miracles, June 16, 1953

An insincere person will argue with anyone at any time.–Edna Lister, December 10, 1953

All arguments are about opinions and prejudices. Do not dictate. The way is to let the other fellow have his say.–Edna Lister, June 25, 1956

You cannot argue anyone into anything, let alone into belief in God.–Edna Lister, Numbers and Names: Twelve Cosmic Magnitudes, July 10, 1956

Confusion reigns in the bickering and quarreling among the diverse desires to dominate.–Edna Lister, January 3, 1958

Giving an adversary the first and last words is easier than to argue or persuade. Say, That’s right! You’re wonderful! How did you think of it? He forgets his plan to criticize or blame.–Edna Lister, Constancy in Obedience, October 26, 1958

The exoteric seeker will always argue the rightness of his interpretation, while the esoteric student remains silent, knowing better than to speak. To use force as argument to change another’s opinion is useless, a waste of time and energy. Dale Carnegie said, Convince a man against his will, and he’ll be of the same opinion still. You cannot convince another against his will. He’ll hold the same opinion when you are finished, and you will have created a debt to pay for forcing your opinion on him.–Edna Lister, What Is Symbolism? October 6, 1959

Prudence is agreeing first with God that all that comes to you is good, then adjusting to others without arguing.–Edna Lister, What Is Symbolism? October 6, 1959

Agree with God that this is good, and adjust to others without arguing.–Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1960

A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.—Proverbs 18:16. If he has only the gift of arguing, it brings him to greatly quarrelsome people.–Edna Lister, May 12, 1960

Don’t argue about what you cannot accept. Put it on a shelf of Light and it will be resolved at the right time.–Edna Lister, Here and Hereafter, October 9, 1960

Never argue when another is off, but quote the Bible whenever you can.–Edna Lister, September 16, 1961

Noah was the first builder who didn’t argue with the Architect. Job was the only man in the Bible who had the temerity to argue with his Creator.–Edna Lister, December 7, 1961

You can’t argue anyone into the kingdom of heaven, or argue to hold someone. Your ego must not intrude.–Edna Lister, January 10, 1963

When another wants to argue, drop a seed of truth and run!–Edna Lister, January 10, 1963

Do not argue to change people’s minds. The truth will be unveiled for them at the right time.–Edna Lister, Shekinah Splendor, December 15, 1963

If you quarrel, you lose that wonderful power of cool, abstract logic. If you are agreeing with God and adjusting to man, you are not quarreling.–Edna Lister, God as Principle Applied Under Logic and Reason, November 5, 1963

You must not contaminate the air with the pollution of taints or arguments.–Edna Lister, October 27, 1964

Mental-intellectual love always knows best and compels the loved one to accept and knuckle under to avoid an argument.–Edna Lister, Eternity Is Now Mine, May 9, 1965

You must defend the truth in you, but not by arguing.– Edna Lister, Appreciation Is a Love Affair With God, May 16, 1965

Arguing is a dictatorial attitude, a sign of an insecurity and inferiority complex that bolsters itself by fostering its opinions and prejudices. A discussion requires a listening attitude, an exchange of ideas while one seeks information from the other fellow.–Edna Lister, December 6, 1965

Just do the next thing next with no argument or force.–Edna Lister, July 19, 1966

Arguing represents insincerity; if one argues from pride or to bait another, it affects the liver.–Edna Lister, December 15, 1966

Some people will argue with a signpost!–Edna Lister, 1967

Anyone who argues does not want to live by laws of Spirit.–Edna Lister, Comprehension and Nonresistance, June 25, 1967

Your opinions are not interesting to any adversary. To want to argue to convince another is only being a showoff.–Edna Lister, Five Important Steps In Ascension, 1968

The inner conflict between self-will and divine will surely will manifest as arguing and confrontation, leading to outer conflict among the parties involved.–Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1933-1971

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Treatment for Arguing

Stop in the middle of what might develop into an argument and say, This is good! Let there be Light, and listen. Wait and listen! You will know whether or not you are to speak.–Edna Lister, July 19, 1966

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New Testament on Arguing

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.–1 Timothy 3:2-6

[To shepherd the flock, you must be blameless, monogamous, temperate, sober‑minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules your own house well, whose children are well mannered (for if you do not know how to rule your own house, how will you take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride — you fall into condemnation.]–See 1 Timothy 3:2-6

The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.–2 Timothy 2:24-26

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Old Testament on Arguing

A wrathful man stirs up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeases strife.–Proverbs 15:18

The beginning of strife is as when one lets out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.–Proverbs 17:14

A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calls for strokes. A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.–Proverbs 18:6-7

It is an honor for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.–Proverbs 20:3

Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.–Proverbs 22:10

He that passes by, and meddles with strife belonging not to him, is like one that takes a dog by the ears.–Proverbs 26:17

As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.–Proverbs 26:21

If a wise man contends with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.–Proverbs 29:9

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A hasty contention kindles a fire: and an hasty fighting sheds blood. If you blow the spark, it shall burn: if you spit upon it, it shall be quenched: and both these come out of your mouth.–Wisdom of Ben Sirach 28:11-12

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of argue: Latin argutare, to babble, chatter; from arguere, to make clear.

Arguing is a law of doing under the principle of the Logos Emanation.

Arguing is a soul taint.

Arguing can be a sin.


I will name you the degrees. The first, the Retort Courteous; the second, the Quip Modest; the third, the Reply Churlish; the fourth, the Reproof Valiant; the fifth, the Countercheck Quarrelsome; the sixth, the Lie with Circumstance; the seventh, the Lie Direct.–William Shakespeare

Those disputing, contradicting, and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their affairs. They get victory, sometimes, but they never get good will, which would be of more use to them.–Benjamin Franklin


Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. London: George Bell & Sons, 1884, p. 124.

Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Nag Hammadi Library. James M. Robinson, editor. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1981.

Shakespeare, William. As You Like It, Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Touchstone in Act 5, Scene 4, 56-59. W.J. Craig, editor. London: Oxford University Press, 1914.

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Ed., 2 vols. Oxford University Press, 1971.

Related Topic

See Agreeing and Adjusting