Argue with Patience and Humility
This isn’t something I like to witness. I prefer to avoid heated discussion. Yet Christians aren’t to run away from conflict. Proverbs 27:17 tells me one man sharpens another as iron sharpens iron. Two hard surfaces have the ability to improve one another.
If my kitchen knife is never put to a stone or sharpening tool, it eventually becomes dull and ineffective. The friction between the sharpener and blade smooths out imperfections. Similarly, if I confine myself to discussions where everyone is in agreement, if I avoid conflict, I become dull and ineffective. However, when I’m forced to defend my views, I grow.
God uses conflict to sharpen and perfect—when I follow his guidance. Conflicting ideas allow me to solidify my testimony. I’m told to be prepared to give a reason for the hope I have. (1Peter 3:15) The second part of that verse says I am to defend that hope with gentleness and respect.
When my beliefs are questioned, my reflex reaction is to hit back. There isn’t anything in the Bible showing hostility as an effective defense. As a Christian, I’m to solidify my testimony—I’m to know why I believe—and defend it in a Christian manner. As God sharpens me in the discussion, he will be smoothing out imperfections and teaching me to react with patience, humility, and compassion.
Lively discussions have their benefits, especially for those who like a good debate. There is an exchange of thoughts, thinking through and critiquing issues.
- Will I give up my right to win the argument?
- Will I patiently and humbly express my belief while I acknowledge theirs?
- Will I remain calm when others lose their cool?
- Will I overlook an offence?
- Will I exhibit the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? (Galatians 5:22-23)
- Will I make my Christian belief attractive by the way I behave?
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