The downside to being a professional communicator is that you are generally really good at communicating. Nothing has gotten me into more misfortune than my own tongue. Twitter is especially troublesome for people like me because we can virtually always deliver a snappy comeback to any other person’s misguided tweet in 140 characters or less. Nothing will provide more opportunities to practice restraint than social media. Can you relate?
The apostle Paul’s timeless words to his friend Titus couldn’t be timelier for us: “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless (Titus 3:9).”
This is not to say that Paul was teaching against ever disagreeing with someone on important issues or of making a strong case for truth, indeed, Paul did both for the entirety of his ministry. He was merely pointing out to Titus that there are discussions worth having and those that aren’t. There are arenas in which debate is appropriate, and places where it isn’t. Our tone and heart in an argument makes a difference.
There are certain people who sincerely desire to get at the truth of a matter. There are also those who just like to argue to hear themselves speak. Paul warned Titus against engaging with these types of individuals. “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them (vs. 10).”
As a leader, Titus would need to be a wise manager of his church. This necessitated wisdom in deciding when, where and with whom he would spend his time debating. You and I have to practice this same restraint also, or we will cease being effective communicators of the gospel.
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Reading Plan- Week Forty-One
Day One- Titus 1
Day Two- Titus 2
Day Three- Titus 3
Day Four- Philemon
Day Five- Hebrews 1