2 Timothy 2:23-26
23 “But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 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.”
I love the Apostle Paul’s directness as he writes his young protégé Timothy; instructing him how to effectively lead the flock of believers in Ephesus.
Even in the early days of the church there was a tendency to become distracted by personality conflicts and differences of opinions theologically to the point of dissention. One translation calls it “stupid”.
It is a frustrating thing to watch and experience as a believer the many “stupid” disputes occurring in the body of Christ today. The unforgiveness among fellow Christians is heart breaking and detracts us from “being about MY (our) Father’s business.” (Luke 2:49b)
I have found myself in recent days wracking my brain on how we can justify, as those who call Jesus Lord, bitterness, anger, and yes even hate.
Colossians 3:8-11 say,
“But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.”
As we read passages like these where is the confusion? It seems quite simple really. But, it does take effort. The problem is we are more concerned about our temporal emotional feeling of hurt or displeasure that we allow it to grow deep roots and choke out our spiritual vitality thus making us in effective. This is Satan’s greatest weapon.
You see, the devil’s first priority is not to make the believer backslide and turn his or her back on God, but rather to make that believer ineffective for the cause of Christ; keeping other’s from coming to faith in Jesus. These potential converts watch you and I as we act out our Christian walk.
If we continue to take pot shots at one another or hold on to bitterness and hate we allow the enemy to gain a foothold, weakening our offensive. The time is short friends. Put aside the“foolish and stupid arguments” and “fight the good fight”. (2 Timothy 4:7)
Remember the words of Jesus in--
John 13:35 (NKJV)
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
I love you all!