Irreverent Babble

Notes from verse by verse teaching in the Bible book of 2nd Timothy.

“Charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers…

But avoid irreverent babble”

We live in an age if irreverent babble! Most of it is political in nature, but if you look around you’ll find people will argue about anything, some things important, others irrelevant. Be careful what you respond to. Seek wisdom from God. Don’t react emotionally and make a rash statement. Don’t automatically post a response to what you disagree with. Pray first. Seek guidance from the Holy Spirit. Look for what God says in his Word.

Practice selective apathy. You really don’t have to care about everything everyone says all the time! When people hold positions that are obviously ridiculous, don’t repost them in an effort to mock or show your like-minded friends how much wiser you all are. It doesn’t prove you are better, more moral or intelligent. All you are doing is helping promote their foolishness. IGNORE THEM. Move on. I’m copiously avoiding some of the silly things I’ve seen online and encountered with other people. My natural tendency is to attempt to argue intelligently. However, irreverent babble, and outrageous conspiracy theories generate heat and no light. It is impossible to argue intelligently with those who are so convinced that they ignore observable facts, or reject the clear teaching of the Word of God.

“which does no good”

In the Proverbs we are warned that arguing with a fool is fruitless. You lose if you do and you lose if you don’t.

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.” (Proverbs 26:4–5, ESV)

So, I would say, don’t make it a practice of responding to the fool because it will not do any good. However, you may need to respond truthfully, gently and in love for the sake of those who are being led astray by some persuasive lie, but only if you believe your response may lead others who are watching/listening toward the truth. If it gets personal, don’t react in kind. You need to be above that. Don’t get down on their level. Don’t wrestle in the mud with a pig: you’ll only get filthy and the pig will enjoy it. Remember who you represent. Always remember who is watching or overhearing you.

“ruin the hearers”

The Greek word translated ruin is the basis of our English word catastrophe. Don’t create a catasrophe for yourself or others by getting involved in useless strife with disrespectful, divisive people.

Repost and repeat what is meaningful, positive and edifying. “Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth (or out of your mobile device!), but only what is good for building others up according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to the listeners” (Eph. 4:29). Notice the contrast: quarreling about words ruins the hearers, wholesome words give grace to the hearers. Aim to offer grace to people, always.

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