Thursday – March 15, 2018 – Demanding Your Rights.
2 Timothy 2:14 (NIV) 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 2:23-26 (NIV) Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
The Holy Spirit, as the giver and sustainer of life, is very much concerned about the quality of life that you experience. Satan is aware of that and does everything that he can to diminish the vitality of your life. Instigating quarrels and arguments is one of his primary strategies. He uses your pride to influence you to prove that you are right, especially as it relates to heated conversations.
The goal of strengthening relationships is not to prove you are right or to prove how much you know, it is to be right in the eyes of God. That means that you must learn to prefer others over yourself.
Regarding matters of faith, not everyone is going to have the same opinion or see things the same way that you do. If you are correct, and the matter is vital, your goal should be for others to see the same truth. That will not happen if you are harsh, grating and resentful in the treatment of your opponents. There must be gentleness in your instruction. That is a good rule of thumb for all your relationships. Gentleness is much more convincing than coercion or pride. After all, if you must always be proven right you will come off as arrogant and prideful. In that case no one will listen to you. If that is the case, I am certain that the Spirit of truth will be grieved.
The Holy Spirit as the divine teacher, looks for people who are teachable, which requires you to admit that you have a lot to learn and even a small child can teach you from his/her innocence. How can you be taught if you already know everything and close yourself off from the input of others?
Prayer: Thank You, Holy Spirit, that You are the Spirit of truth and Your desire is for people to come to the truth. Use me effectively to get the truth into the heart of others.