Earl Weaver, Lou Pinella, Bobby Cox, and Billy Martin. These are my all-time favorite Major League managers, but not for reasons you might first think. Sure, they alll had success on the field, with Weaver and Cox winning their way to Cooperstown. But the reason I love these guys is because of the video footage of their legendary arguments with umpires. Seriously, Google it.

“You are a liar, Earl.” Pinella’s base toss in Cincinnati (among others). Cox’s sheer number of ejections. Martin’s kicking dirt everywhere and on everyone. Classic moments.

In the era before replay, managers took up their case with the umpire, pleading for the call to be changed.

Now, in the age of instant replay, we can see whether a manager’s argument holds water or whether he’s just making a fool of himself.

Proverbs 25:8–Do not go out hastily to argue your case; otherwise, what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame?

If Weaver, Pinella, Cox, and Martin ran out to argue a call, only to have replay show they were wrong, they would appear to be foolish, and rightfully so.

The key word in Proverbs 25:8 is “hastily.” Of course, there are times when you need to make a case for something or someone in life. Yet, just like a manager running out to argue with an umpire, be sure you have your facts straight and know what you’re talking about. Otherwise, as the verse and life show us, you’ll wind up looking foolish when someone else comes along with the truth.

How can you avoid making a foolish argument?

1. Take a look at how Jesus made his case. Bold, yes. But never hastily, never irrationally, never sinful.
2. Listen.
3. Keep your mouth shut until it’s 100% necessary to speak.
4. Say only what is necessary and true.
5. Trust God with your reputation and your defense.

Lord Jesus, when I have an argument to make, help me do so in a way that is pleasing to you. Give me patience, wisdom, and keep me from foolishness. Grow me up to be like you. Amen.