“Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument an exchange of ignorance.” -Robert Quillen
As you can probably gather from the lesson title and quote above, today we are going to be talking about something many of us LOVE to do: Argue!!
For some of us, arguing may be such a normal part of everyday life that we fail to see any error in it. I daresay most of us, even those that claim to have the Spirit of Christ, can hardly go a day without engaging in an argument with someone. If this is true of your life, hold on to your seat, because this might be a little uncomfortable!
Maybe you are thinking: “So, what’s so bad about arguing anyway? We all do it, and it seems harmless enough. In fact, it can be almost enjoyable at times!”
In everything we do, we need to be asking ourselves this important question: What does the Bible have to say? So let us find out…. Is arguing always acceptable? Is arguing sometimes acceptable? Is arguing ever acceptable? Let us look to God’s Word together for the answer.
“Is it ever okay to argue with a brother? What if he is in sin and I am trying to help him?”
Job 6:24-25 reads: “24 Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred. 25 How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove?”
This passage is very clear that while it is sometimes needful to rebuke a brother who is in sin, it is never appropriate to argue with him about the matter. There are right and wrong ways to reprove. If we need to show our fellow Christian that they are in error, it must be in the spirit of love, never in a spirit of arguing and strife.
Also, we always need to make sure that we are using the Word of God as our source of judgment, never our own personal opinions!
2 Timothy 2: 14: “Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.”
Amos 3: “3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed? 4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?”
“What about arguing with a non-Christian? After all, it could save his soul, right?”
Scripture tells us not to argue with a fool, lest we become like him (Proverbs 26:4) Keep in mind, the Bible’s usage of the word “fool” is different from the definition we use today. The term has nothing to do with one’s worldly intelligence, but rather their intelligence on spiritual matters. Therefore, a non-Christian = “fool”. Furthermore, we are instructed not to “cast our pearls before swine” or “give that which is holy unto the dogs”. (Matthew 7:6) Also, In 2 Timothy 2 we read: 23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
1 Timothy 6 says: 3 “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: FROM SUCH WITHDRAW THYSELF.”(emphasis added)
If we are trying to lead a non-Christian toward God, arguing with them is not going to do the trick. It always drives a fool away because they CAN not – WILL not understand, where they are at right now. I have found it much more effective to timely lay the truth out on the table, take-it-or-leave-it style. Then stop there. If they want to have a heated debate, politely back out. You will not win a soul by arguing. What you will end up doing is making yourself look foolish. “The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)
Here are a couple of secular quotes that I find most suitable:
“Never argue with a fool – an onlooker may not be able to tell the difference” – Mark Twain
“With fools forbear to argue–better strive to wake the dead.” – BHARTRHARI
“What do I do if someone is pressing me to argue? If I give in, it is wrong. On the other hand, if I don’t, won’t it make me look like a coward? That could put a bad light on Christianity!”
We should note that before Jesus’ death, when He was being tried before the Sanhedrin, He never made argument against their many false accusations. To some questions He replied with a simple, straightforward answer; to other questions He remained completely silent, causing them to marvel! I hope you will read some of the verses I have compiled here – they are very convicting!
(Matthew 26:59-64; Matthew 27:11-14; Mark 14:60-62; Mark 15:1-5; Luke 22:66-71; Luke 23:3-4; John 18:33-38)
Pay close attention to Jesus’ words in Luke 22:67-68:
“67 Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: 68 And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go.”
Jesus was no coward, and He was not afraid to stand up for truth. What He did know was when to hold His peace. Following our Lord’s example, we should be well aware that there are many out there who are not truly seeking answers, but who sincerely want to argue. That sort would love nothing more than for you to join them in their unhealthy, ungodly habits. Remember, misery loves company!
Decide for yourselves, Sisters. What kind of woman is it that engages in arguing: a spiritual woman, or a carnal woman? Let us put away fleshly arguing, and rather begin speaking the truth in love!
Please feel free to leave a comment! I would love to hear your thoughts. Perhaps you have a word of encouragement, or a tip on overcoming the addiction of arguing. Share with us!