I like to agrue as much as anybody, but when it comes to my understanding of God, I have to be very careful.
Timothy must have been a real hardhead, because Paul saw it necessary to remind him at least four times to stay out of fruitless arguments about doctrine, which do no good, and "only ruin those who listen."
Christ's commandment to his disciples included "by this shall all men know that you are my disciples, that you love one another."
God promised that we would suffer for our faith. But if I suffer for doing evil, what good is that? I'm getting what I deserve. If we argue to win a point, or attack someone for their beliefs, and get into endless disputes about doctrine on an open forum, nobody wins. Everybody loses.
Salt is good, but too much can ruin the best steak.
Christ died, taking the punishment for our sins; the greatest act of love ever accomplished. LOVE ALWAYS INCLUDES PERSONAL LOSS!
If I'd rather win an argument than win someone's heart, I'm not doing God's work, but my own. And, those misguided efforts will only disappoint.
MAN that was a long sermon...
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and I would add you'll convert someone or gets someone's respect much faster if you don't preach and nag and lead by example. Once what one preaches is not in line with how one lives, one looses credibility.
You guys hit the nail right on the head!