a great day to practice artful avoidance.
“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.” 2 Timothy 2:23 NIV
As Christians, we have a responsibility to others to help them see the truth that God has shown us exists in our hearts. Sometimes we don’t consider ourselves to be equal to the task of demonstrating or teaching about the love, peace and joy that we have discovered in ourselves through our reading of the Word of God. Maybe we don’t think we are ‘qualified’ to speak with authority on the subjects of salvation, redemption, forgiveness, grace, and mercy.
Perhaps if we look at it differently we can find it easier to set aside whatever feelings of inadequacy we may have. We are, after all, talking about teaching others about the Creator of everything that we can see, hear, touch, taste or smell. We need to just look at it as giving others a glimpse of what is in our soul by opening up and sharing the contentment we derive from our relationship with Christ.
And once we overcome our hesitation and actually do start to share with others, not everyone is going to be quick to respond in a positive manner. Some may, in fact, respond in a particularly negative manner. We have all known individuals who seem to want to take discussion to an elevated level. Some will refer to this as “spirited discussion,” and that is well and good, but it is important to avoid allowing ourselves to be drawn into such discussions where anger threatens to erupt.
Some of us may have the ability to remain calm, quiet, subdued and in control at all times. Then there are those of us who need to practice “artful avoidance” because it is not a natural part of our personality. This does not mean that we should be afraid or embarrassed to speak of our love of God and our belief that Jesus was sent here to offer us all salvation and the promise of an everlasting life with God.
Quite the contrary.
What this means is that when we encounter an individual who is not ready to accept the Good News that we are to share, it may be necessary to artfully and respectfully end the conversation before the conversation becomes a confrontation that escalates to anger.
We may be excited about the Lord and care deeply for the souls around us. We may bubble with enthusiasm for sharing the love and joy God has placed in our hearts. But we must be respectful of others and accepting of their right to not be as enthusiastic as we are.
So remember: Don’t allow your bubbling enthusiasm to boil over into the anger of confrontation. Artfully avoid the quarrel and demonstrate the peace that God gives you.
Your actions of control and contentment will speak just as loudly as your words.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson