“…Command [everyone] in God’s presence to stop fighting over words. Such arguments are useless, and they can ruin those who hear them.”“Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.” (2 Tim. 2:14, 23-24).
Though the letters of Paul to the young pastors, Timothy and Titus, were written almost 2,000 years ago, this discussion feels thoroughly present day. We are a society easily sucked into many “useless arguments” over “words.” Furthermore, though endless amounts of information are available in an instant online search, a few minutes on Wikipedia does not necessarily make our arguments less “foolish” or “ignorant.” Often, we know the tree of our “knowledge” by the fruit (or the frequent fights) it produces.
Servants of God move in a different direction. It’s not that we lack passion or conviction. It’s not that we stay silent regarding important matters. But who during conflict doesn’t think what matters to them is important? So, we are guided by a desire for peace. We are not quick to quarrel. And when we cross the line, we work to make amends. We aim to be self-aware and apologize.
The potential for conflict is all around us because it’s also always within us. But the peace of Christ will go with us too if we choose. Ask God to help you be a peacemaker this holiday season.