Text: Titus 3:9-11
You know the people who yap endlessly about things that don’t really matter? They bicker back and forth about issues that do not have a lot of weight in the grand scheme of things. Do you ever find yourself participating? Titus makes sure we know how off-base those people are, and it’s probably wise that we check our hearts and motives in our desire to pursue controversy.
In my own life, I know that I often seek out controversy and dissent when I’m bored. When I feel like my own life isn’t interesting enough or there isn’t enough new information coming at me, I can seek out entertainment in latest article or most recent Christian issue going around Facebook. It’s entirely likely that I’ll immediately look for the rebuttal article as well, because what is an argument without two sides? There must be some biological “quick hit” that comes from engaging in this kind of back-and-forth, or even just following it from the sidelines like me.
I think sometimes arguing a point makes us feel we are doing important work, and maybe sometimes we are. But, the majority of the time when I’m apt to do so, it’s because my mind is idle and my hands aren’t busy actively loving and serving others. Are we making a big deal out of grey areas because we’d rather debate in the intellectual sphere than engage and serve in the physical one?
When I find over and over again that someone is contentious and loves the drama of an argument, I tend not to take them very seriously anymore. And, interestingly, that’s what Paul tells us to do. Go to them the first time, and then after that let it go and avoid them. Don’t waste your words on arguments that don’t ultimately matter.
Does this convict you like it does me? It pushes me to see how Scripture is working itself out in the lives of those in my community. It makes me long to use Truth to build others up rather than use my pride to tear them down.
I don’t want to have heady debates more than I have heart-to-hearts.
I don’t want to convince more than I pursue.
I don’t want to love my opinions more than my neighbor.
Lord, make us more like you. Amen.