But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.
2 Timothy 2:23
Focus on Christ
Do you have a Facebook account? If you do, then how many times have you threatened to delete your account? How many times have you gone on a Facebook fast? Why? Social media is rampant. If you have a Facebook account, then you know the amount of arguing and disputing that takes place in that arena. While reading through such posts, you can clearly see that some disputes are based completely upon false information. Many Christians take a stand in regard to sinful political issues. The major issue with some of these is that often Christians are just as argumentative as everyone else. It is important to understand that to be a servant of the Lord means more than just knowing the truth. It requires the Spirit of Truth residing in your heart. While a Christian can speak truth, the application and wisdom to know how to use truth is only provided through a relationship with God.
Is there ever an instance in Scripture in which you see Jesus arguing? Jesus was placed in many circumstances in which He was challenged in regard to His identity, but He responded in a gentle way. Jesus’ Spirit did not give in to argumentation or disputes. It is important to understand that it not only matters that spoken words be true, but it also matters that the intent be pure. It seems this is a big issue in the life of many Christians. Those who know the truth of God’s Word yet do not have a close relationship with God, tend to use the Word of God to protect and promote self or to win an argument. Maybe the goal is to look more intelligent, but the purpose of the truth should be to edify and build up another person in the hope of helping them become more like Christ. As you read the Scriptures, you will see a few occasions in which the Pharisees worked at tricking Jesus using the law. Take a moment and think about the purpose of God’s law. Do you believe that God intended for the law to trick and catch His Son in wrongdoing?
While God’s spoken Word can break through a person’s heart to produce holiness, generating strife works against this. Striving will only create conflict in your relationship with God. It will not help you grow in your development as a Christian. Many times in the church, you will find strife among men and women who use the Word of God in such a way that is not the intended purpose. Winning an argument will not provide help and support to the opposing side. In fact, truth used incorrectly does the opposite. It pushes a person away from God.
For these reasons avoid foolish and ignorant disputes. They are emotion-based, not truth-oriented. The evil one uses argumentation to cause strife between individuals and God. God uses truth to build unity between individuals and Himself.
Focus on Self
Self always wants to win. If you let it, then self will convince you that being better than others is a worthy goal. God convinces you that to esteem others better than yourself is strong character. When you love someone, you want the best for them. Wanting the best for them is not concerned with winning an argument. Love is concerned with doing good toward them and praying for them with a sincere heart. If you have generated strife with someone, then you have weakened your prayer life. Don’t let anything hinder your relationship with others and with God. Arguments are not worth the results they bring.
*Taken from Gifts from God by Kerry Skinner and Alison Veazey. Click here for your copy.