I've actually posted about this hadith before, but I'd like to revisit it.
Over the past few years that I have been Muslim (alhamdulilah), I have read numerous blogs and posted on quite a few forums. In the beginning, when I was still learning, I was a bit too harsh sometimes with the things that I said. Not that they weren't true, but the approach could have been better. After a while I learned that it was best to stay away from things that cause fitnah. I stopped reading blogs that drove me crazy, and I stopped posting on forums for the same reasons. I still enjoy reading blogs, but I have to keep away from the ones that frustrate me. I also still like reading forums, but I don't post or comment much... it just doesn't seem to make any difference or do any good. This brings me to the first part of the hadith I posted above. 'The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: I guarantee a house in the surroundings of Paradise for a man who avoids quarreling even if he were in the right'. I've had to implement this recently. I slipped back into some of the old bad habits of reading blogs that make me crazy and I've had to step back and let it go. Nothing I can so or do will change the problem, so I leave it. For the sake of Allah swt, I leave it and walk away.
Next we have the part of the hadith about lying. 'a house in the middle of Paradise for a man who avoids lying even if he were joking' I always make an effort not to lie... even if it is a joke or I'm kidding. It is a hard thing to do, as it becomes a part of human nature to kid with people, but we have to remember that a lie is a lie, and we have been warned of the consequences of lying.
And finally, the part about good character. 'and a house in the upper part of Paradise for a man who made his character good.' I think we all get tempted sometimes, when arguing, to go for the low blow. Many a time I have typed a response to someone on a blog or forum only to delete what I wrote, knowing that it is not something a good Muslim would do. Believe me, plenty of things go through my mind, but they don't leave it. I try my best not to resort to name calling, insults or outright lies to get my point across... even when I'm angry.
InshAllah we can all learn from this hadith and try to live by it.