Gospel Links for Gospel Culture (6/14)
Quarrels don’t just happen. People make them happen.
Of course, there are honest disagreements and agree-to-disagree propositions, but that’s not what the Bible means by quarreling. Quarrels, at least in Proverbs, are unnecessary arguments, the kind that honorable men stay away from (Prov. 17:14; 20:3). And elders too (1 Tim. 3). These fights aren’t the product of a loving rebuke or a principled conviction. These quarrels arise because people are quarrelsome.
So what does a quarrelsome person look like? What are his (or her) distinguishing marks? Here are twelve possibilities.
The frustration with the methods and motives of others in ministry did not remain in my college days. There is a constant temptation to criticize the methods of other church’s efforts to get people in the door. I am bombarded with aggravation when people take to Twitter to stir up trouble or fan the Facebook flames of controversy just to get more reads. Of course, I can never know for sure the motives of others, but often times there is little room for doubt. It leaves me feeling like my 20-year-old self, angry and frustrated with the portrait it paints of the people of Christ.
But even in the tears, the promise of resurrection remains solid—a foundation for our lives that will not be shaken, something that can help our hearts remain steady and firm no matter how much we grieve. We can take comfort in knowing that no matter what happens, no matter how much death haunts our life, the day is coming when we will sneer at death as a pitiful, shriveled up, old defeated enemy when seen in the everlasting light of resurrection life.
My wife and I sometimes joke about what our kids will tell their counselors someday, particularly after we lose our tempers, handle a conversation wrongly, or execute discipline poorly. “Just another things on his or her counseling list,” we will say. And of course, it is a joke. Mostly. We joke because it’s terrifying when you start considering how much you are shaping the hearts and minds of your children as a parent. It becomes even more terrifying when you realize you are shaping them even when you’re not doing it on purpose.