Don't Let Debate Distract You
[Charge them] not to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculation rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. – 1 Timothy 1:4
Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussions, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions. – 1 Timothy 1:6-7
Some people love debate, whether it's for the sake of pride, being correct, or just for the sake of debate itself. To some degree, debate is healthy because it helps confirm our beliefs and expose us to new ideas.
However, too much debate harms us. Debate for the wrong reason also hurts us.
Paul issues a warning to the intellectual: do not get too caught up in debate that you start making foolish speculation.
If we spend too much effort in debate, we fall into the danger of losing sight of the purpose of our faith. Our faith is a saving faith in which we pledge ourselves to Jesus's Lordship over our lives. We are meant to be radically transformed by Christ's love and love on others.
I'm not saying we should ignore debate altogether–that would be equally dangerous, for we are commanded to test and discern what is the will of God, His good, pleasing, and perfect will (Romans 12:2). We would be blindly following if that were the case.
But our main focus should always be on love. All things should lead to love. Debate should also lead to love.
Every weekend I write about some thoughts, life lessons, and interesting things I came by for the week. I'd love for you to join.