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August 27, 2023 · Bob Gass

Don’t quarrel about it

“Stop before a dispute breaks out.” Proverbs 17:14 NLT

Have you seen the bumper sticker that reads, “People who think they know it all are especially annoying to those of us who do”? You will find know-it-alls everywhere. Older people afraid of uselessness struggle to prove they still have some superior amount of knowledge. Religious people use their convictions like a club to beat others over the head. The Bible says, “Earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude v. 3). But there is a difference between contending and being contentious. Paul wrote, “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful” (2 Timothy 2:23-24 NIV). Note these four phrases: (1) “Must not be quarrelsome.” Don’t argue, just plant the seeds of God’s Word and trust the Holy Spirit to work in people’s hearts. (2) “Be kind to everyone.” There is no need to be hostile, demeaning, or disagreeable with someone who doesn’t share your viewpoint. What’s driving you toward such unkindness? Must you prove people mistaken to validate your self-worth? (3) “Able to teach.” Instead of trying to force your opinions on someone, simply say, “Here is what I have discovered in God’s Word, and here is the difference it has made in my life.” Your experience is never at the mercy of someone else’s argument. (4) “Not resentful.” Only when your own hurts have been healed can God use you to heal the hurts of others. So pray, “Father, make me an instrument of peace so that people will be open to the truths You reveal to them through me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

Bible in a year: Ezekiel 1-4

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