Thursday, August 6, 2015

Foolish Arguments

Chuckle: Visitor: "Wow, you have a lot of flies buzzing around your horses and cows. Do you ever shoo them?" Cowboy: "Naw, we just let them go barefoot."
Quote: "All that is good in you comes from God, all that is bad, spoilt and corrupt comes from yourself." --Jean-Pierre de Caussade
"Again I say, don't get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start (quarrels) fights. The Lord's servants must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone. They must be able to teach effectively and be patient with difficult people" (2 Timothy 2:23-24 NLT).
We live in a culture where people seem to become more angry and vindictive each day. Some display the attitude that "if you don't agree with me, you are my enemy and I have every right to destroy you." When we become angry with someone, the issues of disagreement often become no longer important -- then we begin to attack his or her character.
I've heard politicians use the expression, "the politics of personal destruction." We seem to be losing the ability to have civil discussions of differing points of view while respecting the value and dignity of the person who disagrees with us. Unfortunately, this problem is not limited to the political arena; it is alive and well among "God's people" in the church.
No doubt, there are people who are difficult to get along with -- those who think their points of view are the only ones that matter. They seem to say, "don't bother me with the facts, my mind is made up. As he was instructing young Timothy on the finer points of teaching, Paul saw arguments and quarrels with difficult people as a significant and destructive issue for Timothy and all Christians. Paul says patience and kindness are key to effective teaching and interaction with other people.
Isn't it interesting that patience and kindness are among the fruits of the Spirit along with love, joy, peace, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22 NIV). If you find yourself leading a Bible study, preaching, or having a one-on-one theological discussion, remember to respectively listen to questions and opposing points of view and avoid foolish debates and arguments. If you project an attitude of love and kindness, those who oppose you will be much more likely to listen to what you have to say and perhaps be persuaded by the truth of God's Word.
Finally, as we think and pray about dealing with difficult people, we must be careful that we do not appear as difficult in the eyes to those we are trying to teach and influence for our Lord. Common courtesy goes a long way. . .
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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