These are confusing days we are living in, especially if you are trying to figure out how a Christian is suppose to think and act. So many voices. So many opinions. And that is just in the Church. Let's add in the pressure from the media and special interest groups. There is also the mounting opinion of a changing society, calling wrong right and right wrong. But no one can dictate to you what God has or has not said. You have it right there in your hand, the Word of God, and you are possessed by the great teacher, the Holy Spirit. As a Christian you are not into opinions; yours or anyone else's. All that matters is the Father's will.
Paul has given us a good idea of what we should look like when we are possessed by the Spirit and bent on doing the Father's will:
- running from temptation
- doing what is right (God's definition, not society's)
- being faithful
- being loving
- easy to get along with
And then we hit our Achilles heal:
Stay away from stupid and senseless arguments. (2 Timothy 2:23)
How many times have you been pulled into stupid and senseless arguments over disputable matters? We didn't mean to go there but we just wanted to correct their thinking or understanding on something. Before we know it we are in a huge argument and people are being hurt.Was it worth it? Did we make our point? Will that person ever be open to talking with us again?
Stay away from stupid and senseless arguments. These only lead to trouble, and God’s servants must not be troublemakers. (2 Timothy 2:23-24)
True, so very true. Often times we are not to teach but simply to share our testimony. We tell people what Jesus has done for us or maybe something that happened this week that shows his great grace. Not everyone is a teacher. I am a teacher and I still avoid senseless arguments.
Sometimes arguments are senseless because the person is not yet ready to receive. I am having an ongoing discussion with one gentleman who has been influenced by some Mormon teaching. He actually believes that only 144,000 people will get into heaven. I discussed the truth of this with him but his reply was "It all depends on interpretation". I could see that this discussion was only going to do more damage than good so I changed the subject. We will re-visit this topic again but at that particular moment he was closed to anything I had to say. It became a stupid and senseless argument.
Paul says that we are not to be troublemakers. We are not here to force anything on anyone. Like Jesus, we make ourselves available, we talk about Jesus to everyone and spend time with those who want to know more. It is their choice if they do not want to receive the good news we have to share. But that doesn't stop us from loving them or showing them compassion. Paul says of us:
They must be kind to everyone, and they must be good teachers and very patient. (v. 24b)
Of being teachers and correctors I will write more tomorrow but for today, drink in this image that Paul has given to us of what a servant of Jesus Christ looks like. The most important things are, study the Word and listen to the Spirit. Know the difference between your voice and that of the Spirit's. After God, people are the most important thing in your life. Learn how to treat people according to the Father's will and you will be a faithful servant of the King.