‘The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome.’2 Timothy 2:24 NIV
Defending the faith is called ‘apologetics’. And it gets a lot of stick because it can get pretty heated. But there are plenty of people/organisations that do it really, really right. So how do we do it *that* way? Well, there’s a huge difference between disagreeing with someone and outright attacking someone for thinking differently. The latter is A: not only something that God calls us away from but B: it’s also never going to be an effective way of getting people to re-think their opinion. Yes, when we’re comfortable that our stance is godly, we can have confidence. But taking care with *how* we share our message is so important, because when we leave someone with a nasty memory of whatever-conversation-it-was, we won’t have helped. Verse 25 explains how we should approach disagreements by telling us that ‘opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth’ (NIV). Take notice of the words ‘gently instructed’. That’s a task and a half, when the person in question has some very strong, questionable beliefs. But. A discussion will only go God’s way when we invite Him into it, let Him call the shots, and do our best to act like He would in that situation. Gentleness it is, then. Let’s face it. It’s not our clever arguments that will change someone’s mind. It’s God’s work in their hearts and thoughts, and His words on our lips.
Struggling to let God have His way in your conversations? Time to pray. And, check out Jim’s article.