Disagreements are unavoidable. If you have lived more than a few years on this earth you know that disagreements with people are going to occur. As Christians it isn’t about avoiding disagreements, but how we interact with whom we disagree.
It is too easy to become obsessed with winning the argument instead of coming to a biblical understanding. It is too easy to become obsessed with winning the argument instead of winning souls. I’ve been there so I can say this—this does not please God.
When we become obsessed with winning arguments we do a few things.
We make it about us.
Our passion to serve God and obey him in all aspects of our lives should be genuine. We know we are to seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33) and we should. However, when we engage in arguments, start fights, and speak in unwholesome ways in order to prove our point or win the argument that passion is no longer with God. That passion has shifted from a passion to serve God to an obsession with being right.
I can remember a time when that’s all I cared about. I knew I was right (which turned out to not always be true) and I was going to make sure you realized how wrong YOU were. The issue no longer mattered. I was more concerned about ME than the issue. Paul reminds us that “the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil” (2 Timothy 2:24).
We discourage the lost from joining the family of God.
This obsession of self disguised as passion to serve God is repulsive and will drive away the lost from God’s people. Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
If we love others should we teach the truth and correct wrong doings? Absolutely. However, when we make it about us by wanting to win the argument we aren’t showing love—at least not toward them. We’re showing our love for self that is misguided. Our love for being right.
As I have stated, I used to have this obsession, and from time to time I still struggle with it. Trust me with I say this will not help you reach the lost. People see right through this charade. If we want to reach the lost we need to have a true passion for God’s commandments and truths found in the Bible. We need to have a true passion for being kind to everyone, teaching them, and patiently enduring evil (2 Timothy 2:24). This is not saying we should tolerate evil, but we need to patiently help others come to the knowledge of the truth. This may even mean we have to admit that we’re wrong, not the other way around.
The goal isn’t to win arguments. The goal is to point others to Christ. We can win the argument but still lose. If our passion has moved from serving and obeying God to an obsession with being right and winning, we lose—plain and simple.
I hope we all take a moment to examine ourselves and ask what it is I really care about. How do I conduct myself with people I disagree with. Have I shown grace? Have I shown humility? Have I shown Christ?
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