22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. 24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
It’s generally hard for us to “stand down” isn’t it? Especially once we get some experience and head knowledge behind us, we tend to want to correct others when we think we have all the answers. Paul instructs, however, that it doesn’t matter if we are right or not, that there is a certain way to do things so that it actually benefits the person you are dealing with.
I’ve noticed many “quarrels” between people about theological views. I’ve seen people argue over the best way to fix a car or build a home. Have you ever noticed a child and mother argue about child raising? These types of discussions, while important, become pointless when it turns into an argument. Each side thinks they are right and nobody wins but the devil because the problem is not solved, nobody learned anything, and now a relationship is tarnished.
I like how Paul words verse 22. He is telling us that those who call on the Lord from a pure heart pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. How can we do so if we induce arguments and pursue our own agendas or try to boost our own ego and pride by proving ourselves more knowledgeable? I’m challenged today to be “patient when wronged”. How easy is it for us to continue being patient and kind when someone wrongs us? It’s easy for us to be nice to others who are nice to us. How do we react when someone confronts us and tells us we are wrong? Maybe the way we feel about that person is the same way they feel abou