He has an unhealthy interest in controversies. (1 Tim. 6:4)

TWO WEEKS BEFORE a regional election, our local TV station hosted a political debate for leaders of the various parties. It began calmly, but once party platforms and respective governing histories emerged, the atmosphere heated up quickly.

Despite well-articulated and clever presentations, no leader was able to argue any other leader into changing their stance on even one issue. Each clung passionately to his particular viewpoint, hoping to persuade the public and reap the benefit on Election Day.

Dissensions and divisions have sadly formed part of church history for millennia and are still with us today. Boisterous debates are conducted among different religious and secular groups, and sometimes Christians will decide to support a particular social issue not to uphold God’s truth but because the matter is a popular one and they want the benefits of appearing flexible and tolerant. Controversies seem bound to arise with those who want to stand by God’s unchanging Word, and hard feelings and separations sometimes occur.

Jesus taught perfect spiritual truth without arrogance, bully tactics, arguing, entrapment, or political enticement. He gave himself freely for love’s sake and expected no reward from contentious humankind in return. Let’s be willing to follow Christ’s example by speaking His truth with gentleness and respect—and from a pure motive—not just to win a debate or appease others or net some future material gain.

Ask God to always enable you to speak His truth with integrity.

Carol Chase and her husband live in Surrey, British Columbia. She is a retired administrative supervisor, enjoys gardening, and loves to pray for others.