A Warning Against Quarreling About Words – 2 Timothy 2:14

Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.

2 Timothy 2:14 NIV

As Christians we are called to be of one heart, mind, spirit, and love. To be brothers and sisters, one body in Christ. But one does not have to look very far to find that idea for the church has not been met. At least not across the church as a whole. And sometimes not even within local assemblies of believers. Why is that?

I think this verse answers that, at least in part. Quarreling about words, Does it ever really accomplish anything? I suppose sometimes it is necessary when defending the faith against heresy. But more often is seems to accomplish nothing other than to divide us into distinct camps. Camps that fight over what a word means, or the correct understanding of something that is not clear in the Scripture. And oftentimes the argument is over something that is really pretty insignificant.

Paul goes on to tell us to work for God’s approval, correctly handling the word of God. Faithfully treat it as it really is, the inspired word of God. We should seek to correctly understand the word of God. Talk about it with others. Read the thoughts of others. And, most of all, allow the Holy Spirit to guide your understanding.

But when you find yourself arguing about words or Scriptural interpretation, you should probably just walk away. I know that for myself, when argument starts, listening and learning ends. Stop the argument before division occurs.

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