Have you ever been involved in an online quarrel? Maybe the temperature of your conversation heated up a chat room. Or a series of comments on a blog post got warmer with each reply. Did someone ever get “in your face” on Facebook?
The Bible has some advice for us in 2 Timothy 2: 23 – 26 (NLT):
Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.
The words that strike me are, “a servant of the Lord must not quarrel.” It’s just not an option!
We need to recognize when an argument is based on ignorance and is inflammatory. Paul advises Timothy, “don’t touch it! This will only result in a fight.” Instead, we are to love people, showing them kindness and patience.
Assuming we’re presenting biblical truth, we also need to know what we’re talking about and how best to present it. Pray about your “opponent” and see them in a new light as a prisoner. As you pray for them, ask God to help them understand. Perhaps, God will use you to gently instruct them and lead them into a relationship with Him or a new understanding of His truth.
Quarrels in Cyberspace by Sus Schmitt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.