DIFFERENCES: How to resolve?

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”  – John 16:13

OUR BATTLE IS SPIRITUAL -  PRAY HARD

Critical differences are resolved through discernment and wisdom.  Such matters are not physical, but spiritual in nature, involving prayer, sometimes rebuke, and GOD’s Word, but leaving aside endless contentions.

“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment”  – John 16:7-8

The critical issues that our world and GOD’s people are facing today will not be solved through intelligence, logic, research, and evidence, although such things are needed. Our greatest arguments against the blind and foolish ways of the world and the church today are prayer, the Spirit, and a godly example.  Remember the prayer that Jesus prayed on the cross? Did He ask His Father why the Sanhedrin with all of their scholarship just didn’t “get it”?  No.  Did He try to convince them of their evil? No.  He prayed:

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” – Luke 23:34a

Arguing with others in an effort to convince them is useless.  Have you ever known the proper Scripture verses, but the Spirit still had to enlighten you as to your own failures? Sometimes we can be willing to obey Scripture, but unable to discern how to obey Scripture. Isn’t that what others are struggling to do as well?  How can we deal with this dilemma?

My father once shared a small booklet on prayer with me. Somewhere in the midst of the commentary and verses on prayer, it offered a great piece of advice.  It encouraged the reader to pray the following prayer from Scripture.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”  – Psalm 139:23-24

NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED

Not much has changed since Jesus’ day

After praying that prayer as a young teen, I began to notice all types of sin in my life that were previously indiscernible to me. It was quite miraculous indeed.  In my view of Scripture, praying for others is much wiser than arguing.  

“But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.”   – Titus 3:9

I have found writing articles is a great way to present your beliefs using Biblical research.  If someone really wants to learn, they can read. Most argumentative people usually won’t read or research. This helps you avoid most arguments.

“Do all things without grumbling or arguing that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” – Philippians 2:14-15

Arguing is a waste of your time.  Convincing others is not your job.  It’s GOD’s job and most don’t listen to Him. Foolish people don’t want help.  Two of the wisest people in human history, Jesus and Solomon, both made it clear in the following Scripture verses that you are doing yourself a disservice by trying to help such people.

“Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarreling and abuse will cease.”  – Solomon in Proverbs 22:10

“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”  – Jesus in Matthew 7:6

“A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.” – Proverbs 13:1
“A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.” – Proverbs 17:10

AngerWe may need to rebuke people at times, but we should not waste our time arguing with them. After all, we should be quoting and applying GOD’s Word, and His Word is not up for debate. However, we must expect to suffer injury from doing the right thing, although a special blessing is ours as well. John the Baptist’s rebuke of Herod and his adultery is a great example of this truth.

“Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,” will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations, but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.” – Proverbs 24:24-25

“Better is open rebuke than hidden love.”  – Proverbs 27:5

“Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.”  – Proverbs 9:7

Rebuke as needed, avoid arguing, pray, and move onward and upward. Be an example and let the Spirit work in your life and other’s lives. 

“They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God hears not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”  – 1 John 4:5-6

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