We are living in strange days. When viewed from the perspective of history, this may go down as one of the most confusing periods in recent memory. The corona virus pandemic; racial tensions; riots and looting will undoubtedly be the things that characterize this period of history.
For Christians, the situation has become even more pronounced because there are some of us on each side of many issues. Some are for opening up our society, some aren’t. Some side with the police, some don’t. Some see race as a systemic issue in our culture, some don’t. To compound matters, everyone believes that they have taken a biblical position. Jesus would agree with ME.
So, what do the rest of us do when good, godly, well-meaning Christians disagree on profound, life-changing issues and they backup their position with Bible verses?
Here are a few random thoughts.
Act is Love. The Great Commandment (Matthew 22:34f), 1 Corinthians 13, the Evidence of Discipleship (John 13:35), and God’s own character (John 3:16) all have one thing in common, love. Love is to be the supporting structure of the Christian life. Listen for those Christians who know how to express themselves in love. If they can’t or don’t, move on.
Don’t let Pride Rule the day. Too often disagreements turn into contests of pride. People want to prove that they are right. God routinely condemns pride because He knows that nothing good comes from a proud heart (Proverbs 13:10). Watch out for anyone who is motivated by pride.
Reject Contentiousness. The Bible has more to say about being quarrelsome than it does about disagreeing. God is concerned not only with what we believe, but with how we present what we believe (2 Timothy 2:14). Don’t be swayed by fire, look for light.
Social Media presents Barriers. Conversation is about more than the words we speak or hear. It’s about our body language, including eye rolls, shrugs, snorts and more. Social media allows each of us to impose our own interpretation on what another person says because we can’t hear or see them, and our interpretation might be totally different than what was intended. Take anything said on social media with a lot of salt.
Trusting God means You don’t have to Correct Everyone. One writer said, “There seems to be this urgency, where we think that we need to straighten things out now. If I’m so wrapped up in convincing someone right now, it really reveals my lack of trust that God can do this work.” Watch out for people who try to play the role of the Holy Spirit. Let God be God.
Remember that a Godly Testimony is more Important than a Win-Loss Record. Some people like to quarrel so they can keep track of how many arguments they win. For the Christian, it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about a testimony before the world. Those who like to quarrel won’t have a godly testimony. Stay away from them.
Any Worthwhile Discussion will take more than 280 Characters and 3 minutes. Serious engagement over issues, require more than most social media platforms allow for. Genuine conversation takes an investment of time and thoughtfulness. Those who only have time to post sound bites are probably not the ones you want to listen to.
Exercise Discernment. Discernment is held up in scripture as commendable (Proverbs 28:7). Ultimately, what you accept as truth is not up to the persuasiveness of the people arguing one side of an issue or the other – it is up to you. So, study to show yourself approved to God, a workman/woman who has nothing to be ashamed of rightly understanding the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
Stay in the Word,