“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” — 2 Timothy 2:23-24
Coaches often speak about keeping a singular focus — one play or one assignment — and avoiding distractions. If a left tackle and tight end argue about their blocking assignments after the center told them who to block, the quarterback might be sacked and the play dies.
When strife takes over a team, it becomes like a sinking ship. If a ship was starting to sink, it wouldn’t help to sweep and mop the floors. The captain would certainly command every crew member to work quickly to make sure every passenger had a life jacket and to get as many people as possible into the lifeboats.
These examples remind us to set our priorities based upon what God — our Captain — considers most important. Since our time on earth is brief, we need to focus on what matters most and avoid all the distractions that can take us off course.
When Paul described the proper organization for churches in the New Testament, he instructed us to concentrate on our main task and avoid distractions. Our main priority is to share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our biggest distractions often come in the form of arguments about silly things. Paul explained in 2 Timothy 2:23-26 that we need to avoid foolish arguments and understand many people are in the clutches of the devil. So we help them most by approaching them with compassion and leading them to Christ, who is able to deliver them from their faulty thinking and bad habits.
As Paul ministered to people, he wasn’t concerned about having the last word or winning arguments. He simply sought to bring people to the Savior. And he commanded us to do the same.
Though Paul didn’t approve of Caesar’s lifestyle, he sought to bring government officials and all people to the foot of the cross where the chains of sin could be broken. Paul avoided wrestling matches over moral matters because he knew that when people became believers, they would be more likely to be honest, pure, good, kind and faithful. So he spent almost every waking moment telling others about Jesus: “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Are you getting distracted by division in our society and churches, or engaging in foolish arguments? What has your attention? Shift your focus to God’s main priorities: loving Him and others, and sharing the Gospel. You can’t go wrong with that kind of focus.
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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