Don’t Wrangle Wrongly

June 1st, 2021 – Tuesday Afternoon

“Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.” ~2 Timothy 2:14

Have you ever been hung up on a trivial matter or word? I know that I have. We expend so much energy at times on such things, only to find in the end that they are really not as important as we thought; in fact, rather than being helpful and right, they end up being harmful to relationships, hindrances to our own growth, and certainly not glorifying to the Lord.

Now, it is important to make a distinction between trivial and non-trivial words and matters (especially in today’s culture), but that distinction is impossible if we are focused on ourselves and each other instead of on Christ. Paul commands Timothy to remind the believers of the things he has already relayed in this passage; if we look back over them, the emphasis is on the single-minded focus that we ought to have in following Christ and living for His glory. That involves suffering, witness, endurance, denial of self, reward, and glory. When we look at what we are contending for (and we most certainly ought to be contending for something!), we must filter it through this Christ-focused lens or we will end up spending our passion both on what does not last and on what is not good.

The cost of disobedience is high, not only to those who participate in the actually wrangling [over words and trifling matters], but also to those who are listening in. The word “ruin” used in this passage is literally the word “katastrophe” in Greek; it means overthrow, destruction (think Sodom and Gomorrah), and is used metaphorically “of the extinction of a spirit of consecration to Christ” (subverting). Diverting the energy and passion that ought to be used exclusively towards and for Christ to some other, useless, purpose is detrimental to faith and it leads to further subversion.

In other words, BE VERY CAREFUL to keep your perspective rooted in truth, focused on Christ, and humbly faithful to His cause. Guard your mind, your heart, and your mouth from pursuing things that may seem very gratifying to the flesh in a “godly” way, but are actually entirely contrary to the Gospel and to the practice of true godliness. Christ is worthy of so much more than our foolish arguments and ideas; He is worthy of our praise and adoration – seen in good works, humble submission to His Spirit, and faithful adherence to His Word.

Be careful, be obedient, and be true to Him. Soli Deo Gloria!