But avoid stupid and foolish controversies and genealogies and dissensions and wrangling about the Law, for they are unprofitable and futile.
Titus 3:9 AMP
I am often faced with the temptation to argue. I come by it quite naturally, as do most people, I suppose. In fact, as I look back at my life, the majority of words that I have ever spoken were part of an argument. The Love of God that lets be and lets go and doesn’t contend with another’s will or defend against accusation confounds me on every level.
The Temptation to Argue for God
In truth, sometimes I really LIKE arguing. So when I say that I’m faced with the temptation to argue, I truly mean temptation. It can be a real wrestling match to set my will to obey God and shut my yap. I am no stranger to Titus 3:9! It’s a correction and warning that I may receive for the rest of my life, and if that’s what it takes, I say thank you.
Lately I’ve seen that argumentation is as prevalent in Christendom as it is in the world, maybe even more so. But it isn’t called arguing; it’s called discussion. Nearly all of what I hear and read is well defined by Titus 3:9, unmistakably so. Yet no one involved in these “controversies and genealogies and dissensions and wrangling about the Law” would consider them to be “stupid and foolish” – certainly not! Trying to squeeze the divine paradox of the Most High God into mere human reason and logic seems to me the very definition of “unprofitable and futile.”
The Temptation to Argue Out of Pride
I do not mention this as judgment. I am on my knees over the temptation to argue, and I remit the sin of Titus 3:9 in my own life right along with all my fellow talkers and squawkers out there. As I said in my last post, it’s not terribly comfortable to live bewildered. I know this very well! But the difference between engaging with someone as the Spirit leads and engaging with someone simply because you can is Life and death.
The temptation to argue is sent by Satan again and again and again, because it’s awfully successful. Our pride can justify it a thousand ways. I’m defending the Truth! I’m opening their blind eyes! I’m correcting their wrong thinking! I’M SAVING THEM!
A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear excellent fruit [worthy of admiration].
Matthew 7:18 AMP
There is no exception in this passage of Scripture for having a good reason or at least being right, even if you weren’t in the Spirit. In fact, this verse leads into Jesus’ warning for those who call themselves His, yet are not. “‘Lord, Lord, have we not…?’ ‘…I never knew you; depart from Me…!’” Being right means nothing if you’re not in the Spirit. If that doesn’t take you to the fear of the Lord, I don’t know what will!
Learning to live bewildered involves a lot of learning to keep quiet, at least it does for me. But I’m rewarded each time I bow with a new, deeper knowledge of Jesus Christ in each situation – who He loves, how He loves, what He sees, and what actually matters to HIM. And that is the irresistible incentive to embrace the next Cross that comes to kill my desire to be heard or to be thought intelligent or even relevant. “What is that to thee? Follow thou Me!”