“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone,
able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.”
2 Tim 2:24-25a
“The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome.” These words jumped out at me this week as someone read them during D-Group. So what do they mean? At the very least they mean that those who serve God’s people must not be the kind who go around stirring up controversy and picking fights. Instead, they must be kind to all, “patient” in the face of evil, “correcting opponents with gentleness.”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t see a lot of “gentleness” displayed in many of our online debates today. Even within the professing church, I often see the opposite. Not “gentleness”, but “harshness.” Not “kindness” but “viciousness.” So what does Paul mean by “gentleness?” The word he uses means speaking and acting from a place of meekness and humility. It pictures being considerate of others, treating them with kindness, courtesy and compassion, even when we must disagree with them. Refusing to attack them personally as we seek to correct them patiently, especially when they are brothers or sisters in Christ! Paul urges us in Eph 4:1-3 “ to walk in a manner worthy of [our] calling . . . with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
With that in mind, brothers and sisters, let me urge us, Beware of the “attack blogs” so popular today. Beware of those who in the name of Christ are quick to slander fellow believers, calling them names, hurling accusations against them based on hearsay or out of context video clips (as I’ve seen recently). We owe it to one another in the body of Christ to be slow to jump on bandwagons or pass along accusations against others we really know very little about. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve done so in times past. But I know that my Lord demands better!
Lord, teach us to treat even our opponents with kindness and grace