This blog has been a bit of an argumentative place over the past week, as me and Pedro have debated some stuff. He and I are very good mates, and that's not going to be shaken by a disagreement, but at the same time, it tends to take it's toll on me, and not in a very positive way. It got me thinking about how far we are to push these things. When does loving persuasion cross a line into an arrogant desire to be proven right? And if you are prone to not be able to not get personal, is it wisest to just refrain altogether and leave it to the more cool-headed?
Here's a couple of passages that I've found interesting when considering all this. The bits I've made bold are the bits that got to me.
'By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! 2 I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
7 You are judging by appearances.If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do. 8 So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it. 9 I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. 10 For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.” 11 Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.'
(from 2 Corinthians 10)
(from 2 Timothy 2)
There's a lot in there to chew on. I'm always surprised at Paul's words- how relevant, honest and practical they seem. Anyway, no great resolve to this post, but I'll end with this quote by A.W. Tozer-