II TIMOTHY 2:14-15: “Remind others about these things, and warn them before God not to argue over words. Arguing does not do any good but only destroys those who are listening. Do your best to present yourself to God as an approved worker who has nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of truth with precision.” (ISV)
OBSERVATION: Am I argumentative? When I encounter someone who does not share my faith, or the same values that I hold, do I find myself pulled into arguments, or am I able to keep my cool and answer from God’s Word with love, respect, a calm spirit, and precision? In this second chapter of Timothy, Paul repeatedly warns young Timothy against entering into arguments with others. Where do arguments come from?
An argument is defined as an exchange of diverging or opposite opinions, usually marked by anger. All one has to do is watch the political debate in our country, or the 6 o’clock news to see this definition in full display. However, what is concerning is that this display is often found in the church, and in the lives of believers in the marketplace. I believe one of the key reasons we find ourselves in the heat of arguments is our personal insecurity.
In the early years of our marriage, Karen and I would have arguments over what to buy and what not to buy. In all honesty, I was the culprit. I justified my arguments, telling myself that she did not understand the importance of our finances. In reality, I was insecure about money. All my wife was doing was simply talking about things she would like to do. What I heard was the money she wanted to spend. It was my insecurity that ignited the arguments.
I think many believers today are insecure about what they believe. The root of this is a lack of Biblical understanding, and a juvenile relationship with the Lord. This may sound judgmental, but it is not. It is what I suffered from in my life for quite a while. I was a Bible School graduate, a pastor, and one who thought he had a handle on the Word of God. I had a lot of Biblical knowledge, but it was not anchored in a deeper relationship with the living God. I studied the Bible, but I was not meditating upon the Word. I worshipped the Lord, but I was not having intimate fellowship with Him.
When I began to meditate upon the Word, and made knowing God my first priority – everything changed!
When you know the truth – the truth sets you free! When you know God – His peace begins to undergird and guide your life. Think of this – does God need to argue with a sinner? Is God ever threatened by those who do not hold the values that He has established? How does He respond to such opposition?
- “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 NKJV
God responded in LOVE! Now think of the words of Paul to Timothy,
- “…and warn them before God not to argue over words. Arguing does not do any good but only destroys those who are listening.”
Love calls us to warn others, but never to argue. Arguing actually destroys the person who is listening, and this is the opposite of love. Love calls us to grow in our knowledge of God’s Word, and in our fellowship with the Father and Jesus Christ, through the Spirit. When you are rooted and grounded in Him, and when the Word of God is living and abiding in your heart, you have no reason to argue. You are secure in the truth, and in His presence. Now – you can speak the truth in love – even when the other person wants to argue. If you remove either the match or the kerosene from the equation, there is no argument!
This is the testimony of faith the world is longing to see, needs to see, and we are called to give!
Lord, forgive me for the many times I have been pulled into an argument. I know that it never benefits anyone, but actually hinders everyone from seeing Your love. Help me grow in the knowledge of Your Word, and in fellowship and intimacy with You through the Spirit. May I always be ready to give an answer to those who question the hope that is within me – WITH LOVE!
In Jesus Name!