Posted by Rod Neufeld on September 1, 2015
Lately, I’ve been stressed out. We all tend to get a bit more sensitive when we get stressed out. I don’t nor have I ever claimed to be perfect (maybe jokingly). On top of my somewhat short fuse I come from a stock of never wrong people. Well at least all think we are never wrong. It leads to arguments and hurt feelings especially when stressed out and frustrated.
We are told many times in the Bible that this behaviour, however alluring it can be, is never a good thing.
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21 KJV
Many things listed above are forms of arguing, ranting etc….
Personally, I am more upset with myself for allowing things to control me than I ever am at the person I’ve allowed to upset me. You will notice I said “I’ve allowed”. It really is our choice whether to be upset or not in most arguments. Let’s face it, most of us make that choice too easily, without thinking of the consequences. As a Christian we need to be honest with ourselves instead of picking out some scripture and using it to justify our actions.
For example, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” Matthew 7:6 KJV
Pay special attentionto the “pearls before swine” reference. Many of us have used that when referring to someone that disagreed with us or argued etc. Sometimes it’s true but I am sure that it is quite often used out of context and incorrectly. We just want to be right. But, to what length will we go to be right?
Will we drag the name of Jesus through the mud to prove ourselves correct and infallible? Sadly, we will often make that choice. We know it’s wrong but we give in to the tempter! I love the saying, and I don’t know who first used it so I can’t give credit, “Jesus knows our sin but calls us by name. Satan knows our name and calls us by our sin.”
It is always a difficult situation when emotions get involved. We bypass logical thinking and often take the low road instead of the high road. So often we enter into a direct relationship with sin just so we can tell ourselves we are correct. Is this not what the world teaches us? I get into debates or discussions all the time. When it is with people who either don’t believe in God or are mad at Him and claim to not believe in Him, the usual response is they try and talk over me, not let me answer the questions they ask and then run away while I am talking claiming victory! It is a foolish practice and quite sad, which brings me to my next bit of scripture.
You see there comes a time to not engage and to walk away from a discussion gracefully to avoid an argument and of course the hurt that can come along with it.
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 KJV
“Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.” Proverbs 26:4-5 KJV
If we are already past this point then sometimes one of these should be our guide.
I used to get frustrated with these 2 verses because of the apparent contradiction. Do you and I know which one is right and when? I think we do know which is which, we just don’t want to always admit it. Sometimes you need to just back off before you become the fool. Not always, but most likely the lion’s share of the time.
We really need to ask the question, “If I continue in this discussion will the other person benefit from it or am I just feeding my ego?”
Paul said something very much in line with my final thought here. “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the
testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-2 KJV
Paul understood that it is not we who must persuade or convince men of the truth. We are just to speak the truth in faith. It is to lift up Christ and share good news with all men. We cannot do this if we are arguing and angry. All that accomplishes is to prove to the one that denies God that he was right all along about we arrogant Christians.
This cannot, and will not ever, become a good witness or testimony. It drags Christ and His church through the mud. So, when we speak, of which I am most guilty of the above behaviour,
we must ask the question, does this lift up the name of Christ and will it glorify our Father in heaven?
My final words are not my own:
“Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought
to answer every man.” Colossians 4:3-6 KJV