by Leigh Ann Dilley on July 21, 2021
Recently, I came very close to having an argument with someone close to me. It could have gotten ugly, but I took a breath and luckily, I remembered a scripture I read earlier in the week. 2 Timothy 2:23-26 Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.
When I read these words, I made a note of them, because they spoke to me. It is my belief God showed them to me to prepare me, so I would know how to respond when this moment occurred. These words from scripture are strong words and the message is clear: “Don’t argue over foolish, stupid things.” What surprised me, is how hard it was to control myself even after I remembered these words! My pride wanted to take over. I wanted to argue my point and express my opinion; even though I knew deep inside, it wouldn’t do any good. Arguing would only escalate the situation, not to mention have the potential to harm the relationship. It was a struggle to remain silent and let it drop because pride is a powerful motivator, especially when coupled with conviction. Paul says in Roman’s 14:1 b (TPT) Refuse to engage in debates with them concerning nothing more than opinions.
As our country continues to struggle with things that divide us, this is great instruction. The evil one thrives on dividing us. He is clever and will feed on our pride, in order to lure us into stupid arguments, wounding our relationships and driving us away from God because of the sin in it. On the other hand, strong relationships unite us and give us strength, like a 3 threaded cord. Knowing this, it make sense the evil one would want to destroy relationships. By not quarrelling and remaining kind, as the Bible says, the door remains open for instruction in the truth. Pray that God will do His work in others. It’s not up to you!
One of the primary ways God speaks to us is through the Bible, another way is through promptings of the Holy Spirit. Some of God’s words are difficult to hear; either because we don’t understand the full meaning of His words, or we simply don’t agree with what God said. God’s instructions can be even harder to “live out” and apply to our lives, but we don’t get to pick and choose which instructions to follow based on our opinions. Pray to develop spiritual ears to hear God’s instruction and pray for discipline to practice the Bible’s instructions. Spend time meditating on passages that resonate with you. Ask for clarity on the passages you do not understand. Meditation and prayer prepare us for the times we will need to apply God’s instructions to our circumstances.
Do you follow Jesus only when it is agreeable and easy? Try trusting Him enough to follow Him and apply His lessons to your life even when you don’t understand, or are afraid. In the case of anger, practice self-control.
Jesus says He is the truth. Truth gets us farther in life than deceit. Relationships are easier when they are unified than divided. Truth can be difficult to hear and apply to our lives at times but the more we practice the obedience offered in God’s word, the easier it becomes to hear God’s voice.