Many times when I engage in drama, it’s because I feel that myself or my values have been attacked or misunderstood. And I need to defend myself. The truth is—it doesn’t matter if Susie thinks that I’m depriving my kids of their childhood because we don’t do Santa, or if Jane thinks that we’re permanently damaging them if they wear hand-me-down shoes, or if random commenter thinks I must be forsaking my children’s spiritual health by allowing to play with the neighbor kids, when she doesn’t even know the details.
It just doesn’t matter. It’s not worth the argument. And, it doesn’t in any way affect my life, unless I allow it to through engaging in the drama..
And so we need to examine our hearts and motivation. I love Paul’s steps through this in 2 Timothy 2:23-26.
Avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.
Father, forgive me for the strife that I have helped create through these disputes. Just don’t do it. Nothing good comes from it.
But then Paul takes it a step further, reminding us in verse 24 what a Christian should be.
A servant of the Lord must not quarrel, but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, humble.
Am I exhibiting any of those qualities when I engage in useless drama on facebook, blogs, twitter, or in person? No.
I’m an insecure person, and maybe that is what drives me to defend myself and my family’s choices. It’s born of a need to be validated, to be seen as right, or even just to have the other party understand my point of view. But it serves no kingdom purpose. In fact, it tears people down, including myself. I repeat: Nothing good comes from it.
Finally, in verses 25-26, Paul tells us what we should do instead:
in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
This verse gives me a heavy heart. I’ve already told you what my motivation usually is in these discussions—to be right, to be validated, to be understood, or to expose what I believe is erroneous thinking. But at the end of the day, it’s all selfish. The only acceptable motivation is to save someone’s soul.
A great question to ask yourself before engaging in a debate or heated discussion—is what I’m about to say going to lead this person closer to Christ? More times than not, the answer is no. And in that case, I believe we’d be better off to follow Paul’s advice in 2 Thess 4:11 and lead a quiet life, working with our hands and minding our own business. I am so thankful for the Lord’s gentle tugging in my spirit lately—nudging me to release the anger, give it over to Him, and focus on my own life and not the strife around me.
Is what I’m about to say going to lead someone closer to Christ? (<–Tweet This)
Being “right” in an argument serves no kingdom purpose (<–Tweet This)