Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.
Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes. Proverbs 26:4-5
Have you ever been in a heated and tense argument with someone? We all have. Sometimes, especially when we’re losing the argument, we resort to personal (ad hominem) attacks. Or perhaps you were the recipient of those attacks. These verses speak to our reaction to those attacks.
It’s tempting to “go there” with our reaction, to muddle in the mire, but it puts us on the same level as that person. One we’re on that level, it usually gets worse. It’s one thing to disagree and even argue, but it’s quite another thing to verbally attack the person when you run out of rational arguments.
The best thing to do is to “stay classy.” How do you do that? The most important thing is to recognize potential attacks mounting on the near horizon. After that, it may just be a matter of walking away from the discussion. Obviously it may not be possible to do in many circumstances but we need to find ways of staying classy.