But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.
A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention.
Seek peace and pursue it.
Two fire-raising issues burn in politics today: abortion and gay marriage. The majority of Christians believe in the sanctity of life and the biblical definition of marriage. The majority of liberals do not. Another spark plug is the question of Heaven or hell--and who is going where. Whatever your opinions, remember God's Word:
'Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand' (Romans 14:4).
Tough Question #10: How do you handle hot topics?
As for me and my house, we seek common ground and avoid arguments whenever possible. Enlightenment is a personal journey, and confrontation is seldom productive. But kindness opens barriers. When an outsider opens to your kindness, the door to God's Kingdom cracks open as well. And through that crack comes a ray of light. And through that light comes revelation.
Jesus puts it this way: 'Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven' (Matthew 5:16). On the other hand, harsh words can slam that door shut.
But what if you have strong convictions? What if an aggressive debater makes his case in front of an impressionable audience? What if he pins you down for an answer? Jesus' responses to the hot questions of His day were varied. Often He met them head on with irrefutable wisdom--like His work on the Sabbath (see Matthew 12:10-12), or paying tribute to Rome (see Mark 12:13-17).
Other times He told questioners what they needed to hear rather than what they wanted to know--like the disciples of John the Baptist (see Luke 7:22). Sometimes He answered a question with a question--like the lawyer who tested Him (see Luke 10:26).
Here's the bottom line: when you are confronted with hot topics, remember Who you serve and how; 'By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another' (John 13:35), because 'A soft answer turns away wrath' (Proverbs 15:1) and 'Love never fails' (1 Corinthians 13:8).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Tough Questions For Christian Performers series.