We usually have a choice in whether we get into an argument or not. There is a tipping point, a line that we cross. If we are alert we can sense that moment coming and head it off. Proverbs is telling us that we are to want to avoid the crash, not enjoy the ride.
We are to “leave off": (abandon NASB) (5203) any “contention" (quarrel NASB) (7379) that develops. I think of how I want to react to attacks and slams on my person. I am clever. I can win. No, drop it. This is an OT version of turning the other cheek. We must take the responsibility to stop the escalation.
You might ask, “What about important issues?” Good question. This does not mean to sit like a shrinking violet and never raise a voice. Remember the words of Peter,
(1 Peter 3:15 KJV) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:Our attitude is key. We can discuss things, share our reasons. At the same time realize that human beings rarely change their mind on important issues in one moment. Somewhere I remember reading that if you can change a person’s mind quickly someone else can change it back just as easily.
So? Be sensitive to the tension in others. When it rises, it is probably time for you to back off. Turn the other cheek in your discussion. This page will come again.