(May 8th) Dealing with disagreement

2Ti 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

Getting into arguments is not the way God would have His people know and teach the Truth.

As servants of God we must not “strive” (literally, to go to war). Though there are some brethren who think it is their personal mission to write and say evil words about people with whom they disagree, Paul is very clear that the work of God’s people is to use the Truth to build others up, not tear others down.

There is a time and place for naming names (Paul called out a couple people earlier in this chapter) but that is not the primary aim of a Christian. Our aim should be edification, not destruction. Paul says we should be three things when dealing with others…

First we should be gentle. As opposed to shouting and talking down to those with whom we disagree, we should be gentle with them. They may be willful false teachers, and in that case may need a sterner approach, but they also may simply be misinformed seekers of truth. Gentleness should always be our default approach.

Second we should be apt to teach. If we start out angry with the person with whom we disagree we’re going to find it hard to reach them with the Truth. They will see and feel our anger at them, limiting our effectiveness in presenting them with what the Bible says. We must be mentally and emotionally able to teach them, because if we’re not then how can we help them?

Third we should be patient. Above all we must remember that some people are not as spiritually mature as we are. And we must remember that there was a time when we were spiritually immature as well. We’re thankful that older Christians were patient with us, now we must be likewise to new children we encounter.

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