2 Timothy 2:24-25 And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.
Paul was not one of the 12 who walked with Jesus physically, but He had walked with Jesus long enough spiritually by the time he wrote this to have really caught Jesus’ heart. This is perfectly in line with what Jesus said about leaders not lording it over those they lead. (Luke 22:25-26) A servant of God is not to be argumentative, even when they are right. I am reminded of Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms, on trial before the Church hierarchy for seeking to bring the Church back to Biblical principles instead of human traditions. He was in danger of being burned at the stake, but rather than railing against those who opposed him, he stated his position clearly and ended with, “Here I stand. I can do no other.” The servant of God is not weak! However, argument for the sake of argument rarely if ever advances the cause of truth. It is God who grants understanding, and we must never forget that. Things are getting pretty dicey even in the US these days, with people being taken to court for holding to Biblical principles. We aren’t to back down, but neither are we to be belligerent. I have been quite encouraged by some of the interviews I have seen of Christians involved in such struggles, because in general their attitude and demeanor have been very much in line with this passage. We’ve got to remember that God is our Defender, and not get all worked up getting defensive for ourselves, even if in the eyes of the world we lose. Our victory is eternal!
I’ve never been on trial for my faith, but I can’t say I’ve never been argumentative! However, I do try to live as this passage describes, so as not to get in the way of the Truth. It is too easy to make me the issue, when I’m never that important! Pride is generally the problem here, and human pride never brings God’s best. On my own, I want to squash people with my superior knowledge and logic, but that’s no way to win people into God’s kingdom. Instead, I need to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) without backing down, either from the truth or from the love. I’ve got to remember that I don’t in fact know it all, whatever I may think!
Father, thank You yet again for Your patience with me. I am very, very aware that I’m not where I could be in virtually every area of my life. Help me indeed walk in humility and ever-growing obedience, so that I may not get in the way of people seeing Christ and being drawn to Him, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!