Arguments always involve two participants, one on each side. There can never be an argument with only one participant. There are certain disagreements that can lead to a constructive exchange of ideas; however, there are others that have the potential to cause a rift between the parties involved. Where do we draw the line and say that a debate has reached the point where it is no longer healthy and has become negative? What does the Bible say about engaging in an argument with someone foolish?
The Bible cautions us against arguing with a fool since doing so could lead to us behaving in the same foolish manner. You should not respond to the ridiculous arguments they present, lest a fool perceive themselves as wiser in their eyes (Proverbs 26:4-5).
People who are foolish have a comparatively high opinion of themselves and believe that they are intellectually superior to others, particularly those who hold opinions that are in direct opposition to their own. In the course of our decisions, if we indulge them and oppose their view, which they justifiably consider to be true, then you can never be right in the eyes of a fool. The dispute will not be resolved because, in a fool’s mind, there is no way you could ever convince them that they are wrong.
On the other hand, the Bible tells us to caution the foolish man’s argument if it is incorrect and to tell him what is truly correct. This is so that he will not go about believing that what he is thinking is indeed the right thing. However, the Lord wants us to avoid these situations altogether. Foolish arguments are a waste of time because they accomplish nothing useful and will only lead to the downfall of those listening. We should heed the warning not to engage in it (2 Timothy 2:14). Arguing about things that don’t matter will only result in quarrels, and as Christians, we are not supposed to be argumentative. Instead, we are commanded to be kind to everyone, including those who are foolish. We need to be able to educate others without engaging in petty arguments, and we shouldn’t hold grudges toward those who think differently from us simply because we don’t agree with them (2 Timothy 2:23-24).
Remember, the love of God is not limited to one group of people, but rather, it is for everyone who has accepted Him and His love for us. We are reminded that as Christians, we are required to follow after the heart of Christ in our everyday dealings with other people, regardless of whether those other people are foolish. This is because the love of God is for anyone who has accepted Him and loves Him. In our Christian walk, let us therefore be quick to listen to others, compassionate, slow to anger, and considerate of one another’s feelings. It is impossible for man’s anger to bring about the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).
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