Friday, January 28, 2011

You Don't ALWAYS Have To Correct Them

I am person who holds very strongly to certain convictions (especially those of a theological nature).  Beyond this, I have always been of such a personality that I truly enjoy a good debate.  If you are anything like me, then Michael Patton has some really good advice for us both.

In this blog post, he wisely points out that there is no biblical mandate to ALWAYS correct people when they are wrong.  Sometimes we are far better off to let others' theological errors go uncontested (at the very least for the time being) and simply listen to what they have to say.
Isn’t this the apologist’s mandate? Be ready . . . to give an answer . . . to everyone . . . who asks you. . . with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15). Many of us lack the gentleness and respect part, but I am beginning to think that what we lack even more is the waiting for someone to ask!
Ninety-five percent of the time, people don’t really care what you have to say. It is during this time that we sit, listen, and love the person. If we do, then the five percent of the time that opportunity is truly present, we will be ready.
This is why I tell young theologians who are so passionate about theology to be passionate, yet calm down. Let about ninety-five percent of what you hear roll off your back.
Is it any coincidence that on the same day that I am preparing a Sunday school lesson on Jesus' words from Matthew 5:7, ("Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."), I came across this blog entry? Perhaps the Lord is trying to teach me something.

1 comment:

Jeff B. said...

I have already learned quite a bit from Michael Patten and his partner Rome Dyke. Being a natural born know it all myself I will add this lesson to that debt and pray The Holy Spirit continues to chip away at all my natural born vices. Thanks Pete for another great post.