avoid foolish controversies

Read Titus 3:9-11.

“But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn divisive people once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.”

A person really has to work at it to not get the three points Paul makes here.

  1. Some matters of religion that people commonly talk about are foolish, unprofitable and useless so a Christian should avoid such conversations.
  2. Some people who commonly talk about religion are warped, sinful and self-condemned so a Christian must have nothing to do with them.
  3. Sometimes these two – foolish talk and warped people – keep company with each other. When a Christian comes upon that mixture, they should warn people of the division they’re causing. If they don’t heed your warning (or two), back off from the situation and get away from those people.

Got it.

But my mind is filled with the memories of many Christians I’ve known through the years who ignored these clear words and have since, as a result, have become contentious people themselves or have long since burned out on faith altogether. The former think they’re doing the church a service while the later likely will never be persuaded to do Christ any service again. And I know, save for the grace of God, I would be one of them myself now, for there was I time years ago when I worked hard at not getting this text at all.

Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank you for delivering me from the ditches that border the walk on the way with you. I thank you for those with which you crossed my path time and again whom you sent to give me warning. You wanted me to become a better Christian, not a bitter one and so I thank you. You wanted me to remain sensitive and responsive to your call, not becoming insensitive and apathetic to your church. And so I thank you. You loved me enough to warn me. Thank you for giving me these clear words of guidance whereby I could, and still can, shield my heart and mind and save them for you. Ever bring them to my remembrance when I need to hear them and may courage always well up in me to always follow them. For my own good, for the good of those I influence and to the ultimate glory of your name. Amen.