Saturday June 18th
Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone… 2 Timothy 2:23,24
I have been quite guilty of being a quarrelsome/hypercritical Christian (only long ago of course). I have (OK, I still do sometimes) accepted the deception that more knowledge means more faith. This immature, insecure view is seductive as it allows me to focus on the errors of others and distracts from self-scrutiny. If I know a bunch of stuff, then I can focus on teaching others where they are going wrong. I don’t really have to worry about how I’m living my life, because I know/believe all the right stuff.
So instead of focusing on my own behavior, I focus on how others are wrong in their beliefs. The more arguments I get into, the more mature I am right? It is easy of course to see how foolish this is when we see others do it, but the challenge is to ask, Am I concerned with my own behavior and faith, or am I consumed with the criticism of others? I don’t have to actually be engaging in fights with others to be living in a hypercritical state. Many of us keep our condescending thoughts to ourselves, but secret thoughts, never seen by the world, are no less destructive to us.
If I am living in a state of criticizing/quarreling with others (even if its just in my head), I am focused on self, sowing the seeds of my own flesh. In this state, I am not able to keep my eyes on God. Many of us have been and continue to be spiritually paralyzed by hypercritical thinking.
We are to be kind to everyone, in our actions, our talk and in the secret thoughts that only we see.