Avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient.
Be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
A punk is a bully: 'a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people' (Random House Dictionary).
I was a punk without peace. I wasn't a Christian, but I was argumentative and overbearing. I was a word bully. It's never good to be any kind of bully, but it's far worse to be a bully in the Name of Christ.
Frankly, it's impossible. Because argumentative Christians do not follow Christ. If they don't follow Christ, are they Christians?* Unfortunately, 'bullies' bearing His Name send outsiders running in the wrong direction. Knowingly or unknowingly, they work for the enemy.
Actors, models and talent for Christ rarely commit this game-ending error, but do they take advantage of the opportunity for a save?
Here it is: When you witness a punk without peace waving a flag for Christ, denounce him as a phony. But do it nicely--with humor or kindness. Set the record straight so that Christ's Image is not tarnished by argumentative or arrogant mouths.
The result? You've defended Christ and furthered His witness. You have fulfilled the Word of God to 'Seek peace and pursue it' (Psalm 34:14).
Here's your second opportunity for a save: If you can take the loudmouth to a private place and correct him with compassion, you may score a life-saving run: 'Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently' (Galatians 6:1).
'He who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins' (James 5:20). 'Because love covers a multitude of sins' (1 Peter 4:8).
'Love never fails' (1 Corinthians 13:8) to bring home the victory.
To Be Continued...
*Before reaching Heaven, Christians make mistakes. However the 'practice of sin' (repeatedly and deliberately sinning with consciousness of the sin) must be replaced by the practice of righteousness.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Little League Games series.