Not Quarrelsome but Kind, Patient and Gentle
This morning in the Treasury of Daily Prayer's readings the Holy Spirit hit me with a two-by-four right square between the eyes with this exhortation from St. Paul's words to St. Timothy:
I believe that this is something I struggle with mightily. I find myself sometimes so eager to defend the truth and reject error that I do not "correct with gentleness" and am not always kind to everyone.
Now, in today's climate, people will automatically assume that any correction of any error, let alone the assertion that there is absolute truth, is reason enough to accuse somebody of being quarrelsome who speaks the truth. Any attempt to correct, no matter how gentle, will be received as being unkind.
How easily though it is for this reality to become an excuse for us to not take care on both points, and how much more must we, now more than ever, strive to avoid adding to already strongly held perceptions by praying for God to help us avoid doing anything on our part that is unkind or lacking in gentleness?
Let us pray for one another that the Holy Spirit so guide us that we are kind to everyone and gentle in correcting our opponents.
Does anyone else feel that perhaps this is a particular challenge
for those who wish to strive to maintain, defend and extend the truth
of God's Word? I welcome your insights!