“When Peter came to Antioch, I (Paul) had to oppose him to his face.” Galatians 2:11
Our recent election provided numerous opportunities for arguing. Many of these centered around the candidates themselves, while others took place at a philosophical level. Either way, arguing over politics can be a bitter experience, which is why many choose to avoid the subject.
The church can be a good place to argue. Christian couples will argue with one another. Ministry teams can argue amongst themselves. Personalities will clash. Peter and Paul argued (Galatians 2:11-13), Paul and Barnabas argued (Acts 15:36-41).
How can we argue in a way that honors Jesus?
On the TV series The Amazing Race, couples race against other couples to reach a certain destination. Sometimes couples lose ground, argue with each other and lose the race.
When we look at our Christian lives like a race (Hebrews 12:1), we realize that we are here to seek God’s kingdom. Arguing with each other can distract us from God’s mission, which is to make disciples. So when you argue at home, church or anywhere else, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I treating the other as a fellow heir of God’s grace, or as an opponent? (1 Peter 3:7)
- Am I speaking with humility, or with pride? (Titus 3:2)
- Am I building others up, or tearing them down? (Romans 14:19)
- Is my goal to win the argument, or become more like Jesus? (Hebrews 12:1)
Arguments will arise in the healthiest of relationships, and they can be a source of growth. How we argue can be a powerful witness for Christ.