I’ve been on a three day high school reunion- our 50th, but now I am back and ready to preach!
We all know the Bible…well, actually, we all THINK we know the Bible.
We think we know what God wants, but in reality most people only know what they have been told God wants.
If you prefer to watch a video, click on this link: Watch the video.
I am not going to discuss what God wants, but rather what happens when people start to talk to each other about what God wants.
My experience, after some 25 plus years of being a Believer, is that people start out easily talking about God, and soon they find there are some things in which they have a slightly different understanding.
This then becomes a discussion that turns into a bit of a debate, in that each side wants to explain their side and challenge the other side to disprove them.
And this is the place where one of two things happen: the two people respectfully agree to disagree, or the conversation takes a nosedive from nice to nasty, and I have identified this change from edifying each other to demeaning each other happening in four, distinct stages.
Stage 1: we start by talking about God and begin to discuss a specific topic about God, or what God wants.
Stage 2: as we continue with the discussion, a different understanding of that topic emerges, and now we debate what God really said or what he really meant.
Stage 3: we realize that we actually disagree.
Stage 4: one or both stop attacking the argument and begin to attack the person.
This is not the result of a godly call to help someone know God better: it is nothing more than pridefulness rearing itself up and changing the dynamic from trying to determine God’s truth to working for the Enemy of God to cause dissension.
If the people involved are spiritually and/or emotionally mature, they can respect each other’s right to their opinion and agree to disagree.
However, way too often, one or more of those involved begin demeaning the other because they will not change their mind.
There is no reason or justification, EVER, for demeaning or insulting anyone just because they disagree with you.
When you find yourself in a discussion that has turned the corner from mature argumentation to personal insult, you have only one option: get out of it.
No matter how passionate you may be about helping someone to know God better, when the talk has gone from explaining to insulting, it is time to go home.
They say the three topics you should never bring up in a conversation are family, politics, and religion. I think there is a lot of truth to that, but it should not stop you from trying.
The trick is knowing when to stop; it is as simple as that, and that is all I wanted to talk about today.
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So, until next time, l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!