With the political climate surrounding the impeachment proceedings there’s lots of opinions out there these days. Have you gotten into the fray? Have you gotten into (or followed) arguments on social media where you and the other person exchange opinions lobbing verbal grenades at one another? Have you or the other person ever been convinced of the other persons point of view? Typically, these end in stalemates and only accomplish divisiveness.
In 2 Timothy 2: 24, 25a Paul writes:
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 to a knowledge of the truth
There’s a lot of 21st Century wisdom in this first Century scripture. I think God anticipated the internet.
The Greek word interpreted here for “quarrel” is literally: “a war of words”. A servant of Christ is not to get into a war of words. Instead a servant of Christ is “kind to everyone”. So getting into a war of words is equated to not being kind, and to do so is disobedient.
The alternative is to first be “gentle” (typically not an internet volley tactic), and “able” to teach, and “not resentful”. This does not say we teach the person right then and there. Rather we are “able” to. Typically, one volunteers to be taught. So this says one is able to teach the other when there’s a willingness and opportunity. And the attitude is to not be “resentful”.
Then notice that the Christ follower is to operate “in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth”. So, it is God who convinces the person. Not the one involved in the teaching.
This does not say that we don’t engage in dialogue or stand for the truth. It just says how. AMEN!