Thursday, May 8, 2014

Coffee Time #4: Got Your Dukes Up?

"But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him." Titus 3:9-10, NIV

If we all took this to heart, there would be absolutely no comments section on most of Facebook's Pages.

Have you ever scrolled through the comments of USA Today's Facebook page? A musician or actor's Facebook page? A YouTube video? Have you ever followed the conversation of some Tweets?

Who knows how many countless hours have been lost to people arguing back and forth on social media. Who knows how many enemies have been created by hot tempers and furious typing behind an iPad or laptop screen.

How many family battles are waged in Status Updates?

Surely we've all experienced the urge to weigh in on petty disagreements and hot-button issues?

Am I the only one who has spent 15 precious minutes creating a profile just to argue with someone on a message board??

Please, anyone?

It doesn't just happen on social media, though.

I see this happen within churches, Christian circles and other ministries as well.

I see heated, passionate arguments surrounding an issue that clearly is not integral to salvation.

I have seen people leave the church over songs that were sung in service.

Embarrassingly, I stopped attending my church for several months once because of a disagreement about volunteering in the nursery.

(It seems I'm unveiling a bunch of my dirty laundry today...)

What is it you may need to avoid?

What foolish controversies to do you buy into?

And...uh oh...what foolish controversies might you start?

I am guilty of this myself. I read a blog post this week that immediately set me on the defensive. I read the post and then I read the comments and I was angered and upset.

But when I sat back and looked at it, I realized that Christ still died for me. He still rose again and God is still on His throne.

If it is not something that calls into question who Jesus is and what He has done, I am not going to allow dissension in my relationships because of it.

Most of us know someone who likes to make waves just to make waves. This person is desperately in need of something productive to do because much of their time is spent causing trouble.

Let's not be those people.

Let's not die on a hill that isn't meant to be died upon.

Is there something on your mind that you're unsure if it's a hill to die on? Consult the Word. Titus is a short book of the Bible that is loaded with Paul's wisdom on how a successful church should run, and on what constitutes being worthy of "quarreling".

Many issues require discussion, especially when there are differences of opinion. However, not all need to break down into a battle that does more to harm our cause than to further it.

So, the next time we are poised with our hands over the keyboard, ready to blast someone with our thoughts and give them "what for", let's take a moment to decide if that's the best way to go about it.

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