Wednesday, October 13, 2010
~ "Where there is smoke..."
Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. (Prov 13:10)
Did you ever get into an argument with a stubborn person? Even when they are wrong (and know they are wrong), they continue to hold on to their version of the truth and walk away rather arrogantly leaving you standing there shaking your head in disbelief. They are the kind of people who make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. They are "prideful" people (not "proud" people). They tend to believe they are superior and have no use for anyone "beneath" them. They are never wrong, always right and their opinion is the only one that matters. They become authorities in everything they do, and nothing you say is going to be of value to them, because they know it all.
Being open to the possibility that one may be wrong, asking for suggestions and opinions of others, not knowing everything calls for wisdom. People "who ask and take advice, that will consult their own consciences, their Bibles, their ministers, their friends, and will do nothing rashly, are wise, as in other things, so in this, that they will humble themselves, will stoop and yield, to preserve quietness and prevent quarrels." (Matthew Henry) .
This is not a bad thing. It's okay sometimes to be quietly right, especially if it's an argument you cannot win even if you are 100% right. The question we are told to ask ourselves in any given situation is "will it matter 5 years from now"? Some things, yes, are worth fighting for. Our belief in God is worth dying for. But the average "quarrel" is nothing more than an attempt by the enemy to bring about discontentment in your heart. Like the smoke of a fire, it has to somewhere, hopefully it will dissipate quickly but the more it smolders the worse it gets. Eventually the fire does go out and the air clears.
God calls us to be wise in his ways. He calls us to honor his word and believe that he has a plan for each of us. He reminds us that we are here for a short time and that we have work to do in spreading his word. His truth is the only truth that matters. The only argument worth getting involved in, the only one worth using oxygen on is the one that is about HIS existence, HIS love, and HIS glory! And even at that, you can state your case and be called a liar and told that God does not exist, that he's a fictional character in some book and none of it is real. If that is the case, you put on your "wisdom hat" and offer them this statement: "I want you to remember these words, because someday you WILL meet him face to face, and HE will remember them, I guarantee it."
Our task is to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. We don't have to convince them that it's the best deal around - after all, we aren't called to be car salesmen, only witnesses. Our eternity is not contingent on how many souls we bring to the Lord, it is determined only by the acceptance of him as our Savior. Don't waste precious time arguing with an idiot. Chances are, God will show them the error of their ways and one of two things will happen: they will come to know Jesus as their Savior and the gift of salvation will be theirs or they will hear those words "I never knew you". God's justice is forever, as is his love. Don't let the ignorance of others consume your thoughts or emotions - it's just not worth it. Don't count it as a loss, count it as a blessing and move on! God has something very special planned for you and he wants to give it to you, but if you're stuck in neutral, you won't get there! Walk "proudly" to your next adventure in life. Hold your head up high and know that you did the very best you could and you will see the beauty of the love that is God!
(Photo by Colleen Costello)