Don't Be Quarrelsome

William C. Brownson

READ : 2 Timothy 2:23-26

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. (vv. 24-25)

In proclaiming the message of the gospel, Timothy is to be bold and forthright, unafraid to confront error with revealed truth. But in manner, he is never to be quarrelsome or contentious. He must especially avoid controversies about fringe issues, matters on which the Scriptures do not clearly speak.

As a servant of the Lord, he is to deal kindly with everyone, to teach with skill and patience. When he must correct others, it must always be with gentleness. Sounds like the Suffering Servant, doesn’t it? “He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench” (Isa. 42:2-3).

A quarrelsome tone usually provokes anger and resistance. We may win the argument but lose the person. There is truth in the ditty, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” But a gentle spirit can sometimes have blessed effects on others. Paul writes: “God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and that they may escape from the snare of the devil” (2 Tim. 2:26).

PRAYER

Lord, help us to commend the truth of your Word with a humble, gentle spirit.