The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.2 Timothy 2:24–26
Sometimes I want to pick fights. Sometimes I want to lash out when I feel like I’ve been wronged. And in many cases I have done these things, but these aren’t the qualities of a follower of God.
When you’re faith is always on display because you work with a church, teach classes, write a blog, or maybe just have difficult discussions when family who know where you stand, you will inevitably be approached by someone who disagrees with you. These times can be extremely fun and enlightening, especially if you have a good relationship with them, but it can also be discouraging and downright infuriating if it’s one of those people.
So those who put themselves out there have to learn to have thick skin. To know that disagreements will come. To clothe themselves in kindness, wisdom, patience, and gentleness.
It’s possible that the attitude you portray when dealing with controversy will do more to persuade your opponents than clever arguments will.
So whether you are a leader at a church or an aspiring blogger, prepare yourself to deal with naysayers. There will be times when you want to pull your hair out, but always try to approach the situation from their perspective if you can. You may be challenging a long held belief or even their entire worldview. That’s not an easy change to make.
At the same time, you need to remember that using the block button isn’t a bad thing. It isn’t your job to convince everyone of what you believe. If someone is ugly to you or kills your motivation to write, you don’t have to deal with them online. You can block them.
After Paul told Timothy to be gentle and kind to all, he basically said, “Look, I get it. There will be people who love themselves, love money, are arrogant, ungrateful, and malicious gossips. Avoid people like that.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
As tough as it might be, sometimes you just have to turn someone over to God for your own spiritual and mental well-being. As far you can, work with them, pray for them, and be kind to them, but there may come a time where you just have to avoid them, and that’s okay.
These are some things I’ve been thinking about because of situations I’ve had to deal with in the past as a blogger, writer, and minister, so I thought I would pass them onto you!