The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful (2 Tim. 2:24).
The world is filled with opinions, and social media has expanded the opportunities for many persons to express theirs without fears about facing those their words buffet.
A lot of anger and criticism is aimed at Christians for beliefs that are rooted in God’s Word. But we, too, often join in the fray, justifying blunt and cutting words with the supposed sin or faithlessness of those on the receiving end of our critiques.
Some may argue that Christian obligations to act lovingly only apply to brothers and sisters in Christ. They may also point to inspired prophets who spoke to enemies of God with sharp-tongued zeal.
It is important for us to remember that speaking for God should humble us before we seek to humble others. An inspired apostle did not limit speaking Christianly to Christians. Paul commanded those who would serve the church to be kind to everyone and not to be quarrelsome or resentful with anyone.
We may quickly object that’s not the way others are treating us, but that is the point. The Christian community should display the alternative society the world cannot know apart from Christ. If we only echo the world, the message of grace cannot be heard.
Jesus could certainly speak with boldness, but his goal was to make the gospel plain. God’s truth without his gracious intent is not his will.
Lord, teach me to consider your love for persons with whom I disagree so that I will show the love and respect that make your grace known to all who need it.