This week I hopefully avoided wounding people with my crossbow. I say “hopefully” because I don’t want to be overly confident. I know that I have wounded people in my life before using my crossbow with the intent to wound deeply. This week was different for me and maybe I’ve grown up a bit. What am I talking about? I’m talking about engaging in spiritual debates and arguments; quarrels. I choose to drop my weapon.
Quarrel: 1) an angry argument or disagreement 2) the term for the ammunition used in a crossbow.
Titus 3 begins by reminding us to be people of peace. “1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.” …That sounds easy enough, right?
Then in the middle of Titus 3 are verses 9-11, “9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11 You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.” …There it is, the tough stuff; arguments and quarrels.
When I was in high school I loved to debate my beliefs especially on religion and politics. Unfortunately in my immaturity, I continued to stay on that path, obliterating anyone who disagreed with my self-proclaimed “superior” viewpoint and absolutely looked down upon the opposing side as inferior. –Can you say PRIDE?! In this passage the Bible is speaking of arguments and quarrels within the Body of Christ. More precisely it is speaking of the arguments over the little details of our faith verses the main staples such as salvation, loving God and loving others. When you read Titus 3:9-11, which side are you viewing yourself on? Do you engage in spiritual debates resulting in division amongst your fellow believers or do you choose to drop the matter?
In the Thayers Greek Lexicon the word Machē is the Greek word used for quarrel in Titus 3:9 and comes from the root word machomai which means to fight of those who engage in a war of words.
How many times do we find ourselves doing this with other followers of Christ? Can you think of a time when it has ever been profitable? Did you find that driving your point across resulted in unity or division?
I’m continuing to grow up spiritually since my high school days and the Holy Spirit has opened my eyes to the times I’ve been prideful and divisive and to when I’ve passed the test and dropped my weapon. I’m continuing to learn as I go but it’s not easy, but I’d much rather fight against my true enemy the devil than my brother and sister in Christ.
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Towards the end of Titus 3 is verse 14 which says,” Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.” I think that sums it up best; we are called to live productive lives not wasted on arguments on the little details of our faith. Let’s choose to drop our weapons that we are pointing at each other and choose unity in the Body of Christ.
Have you ever found yourself in a spiritual debate with another believer? How did you handle it? What was the outcome?