My Argumentative Side
Wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them. Luke 9:5
I can, on occasion, be more than a little argumentative. Particularly when it comes to faith and recovery, I’m convinced I’m right and I want everyone to agree with me. I tell myself that I’m arguing for God, but deep down, I’m often just indulging in that part of me that needs to be right and that wants everyone to acknowledge it.
This is a common pitfall for Christians who are prone to instigating or propagating conflict with those who disagree with us. We often feel called to debate for God, hoping for a big win. In arguing, we’re usually not sharing Christ’s love and the story of what he’s done for us. Instead, we’re just trying to prove we’re right. This is often more about our ego than God’s transforming power.
In today’s passage, Jesus gave some insight into our approach to those who reject him. In the story, Jesus sent the disciples out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal (Luke 9:2). Whenever they encountered rejection, they were to simply move on, shaking the dust from their feet. Wherever they were accepted, they were to stay and teach, but when spurned, the disciples had no further responsibility. Jesus didn’t ask them to waste time debating. The disciples were instructed to simply wash their hands of the situation and move on.
Jesus didn’t say that we shouldn’t be able to provide a reasonable, intelligent answer for our faith. He was however, giving us permission to simply let go of any responsibility for those who express no interest in him. We must share the story of what he’s done for us with those who need him. Where that message is accepted, we should invest ourselves. Wherever he is rejected, we’ve done what God asked of us and we can move on.
In the history of the world, it’s possible that someone has been argued into heaven or recovery, but usually, that’s not how it works. Our greatest impact on others is made by sharing Christ’s love and telling of the truth of what he’s done for us. Arguing and debating most likely involves our ego and pride. Authentic sharing of faith and recovery probably doesn’t look like fighting.