My heart is so burdened today about all the arguing going on within the body of Christ, and even with the world. John 13:35 ESV says
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
I’m not saying we can’t ever disagree, but arguing is fruitless. Who has ever been won over in an argument? Most times people just dig their heels in deeper in their own position and argue from a place of pride, self-righteousness or self-justification.
We would be far more likely to change lives by letting our lives present our convictions and letting our fruit bear witness of their truth. This brings to mind 1 Peter 3:15 AMP
But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy [and acknowledge Him] as Lord. Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully.
Courteousness and respect are not reflected in arguing. And again, I’m not talking about healthy debate where individuals are speaking with respect and genuinely exploring ideas. Too often we see exchanges where individuals just want to show their “rightness”.
On the other end of the spectrum, I am not saying we should not ever disagree with people’s positions; however, when we do the primary position of our heart should be one of love. As 1 Corinthians 13:1 (ESV) says
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
When we share our convictions, our love for the other person and our desire to see them right with the Father motivate our tone and words. If we intentionally challenge their pride, what end will that bring? Repentance? Or rather rebellion and a stronger conviction they can live how they please?
And when we are arguing with our siblings in Christ, we are causing discord in the body, which according to Proverbs 6:16-19 (ESV) is an abomination to God!
There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
All this to encourage you to above all walk in love that reflects His love, which was long-suffering, sacrificial and unconditional. To love doesn’t mean to accept someone else’s beliefs, but to hold their heart above any beliefs.
Remember love draws to itself…
Father, help us to be living examples of Your heart. Let us love like You love. Help us to be light and salt.