But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. – 2 Timothy 2.23-26
I realise that this might be getting a little repetitive, or at least sounding like it. I am finally convinced that what Paul is talking about here really is a big deal. It is a big deal that I am afraid I have not taken seriously enough.
And from that I can see I am not the only one. It seems like there is a lot of what Paul is talking about going on in parts of the church today. In the interest of ‘iron sharpening iron’ and debate and discussion we end up doing a lot of what Paul writes against here.
Avoid foolish and ignorant disputes – they only lead to more trouble
Even if a brother is in biblical error the words sound the same:
Be ready to teach
Pray that God uses our teaching to bring repentance
Pray that they will know the truth
Pray they come to their senses
Pray they escape the devil’s trap
Me, most of the time when I have been in the wrong kinds of debates, I only have one goal in mind. I want to win the debate – at all costs. I am finally learning that there is no defence for that attitude.
We are going to disagree about all kinds of things. That is going to happen because we are people and we have our own opinions and ideas and thoughts. We have strong feelings. And people like me like to be right.
It is how we deal with disagreements that matters. Our goal ought to be to win a brother, not win an argument.
We are not always going to agree. It is how we choose to disagree that matters. If it is a not a matter of Biblical truth we really should just leave it alone. If it is a matter of Bible truth we need to deal with it lovingly with a desire to restore.