Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. – 2 Timothy 2:22,23 (NIV)
When earth’s life is over and we meet our Lord Jesus face-to-face, we will be asked to give an account of our lives. Some questions could be: What have we done with the gifts and talents that He has given us? How have we lived our daily lives? What kind of conversations and companionship did we enjoy? This may sound like a lot and too hot to handle. It really boils down to living the moments each day making the right choices as we engage in activities or with people in conversations at home, at the workplace or in social settings.
If we want to keep our hearts pure and untainted by the world, we need to make deliberate efforts to zone out of conversations and situations that do not edify ourselves and others. More importantly, we are to fulfil our role to be the salt and light in a world of sin and darkness to point God’s creation back to Him.
What does God say about this?
But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.
Titus 3:9 (NIV)
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law, day and night.
Psalm 1: 1,2 (NIV)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Ephesians 4:30,31 (NIV)
What does this mean for practical living?
As God’s children, we are in the world but not of the world. We are to live by a set of kingdom values that God has decreed through His Word and exemplified in the life of our Lord Jesus. We are to keep our hearts and spirits pure to avoid being polluted by the world.
Often times, we find ourselves caught in situations and conversations that neither honour God nor edify those involved. This may involve words that are said, ideas that are suggested or even acts and behaviours that we know in our hearts to be displeasing in God’s sight. We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as we keep in step with Him. He will guide us if we tune in and listen. He may give you words to speak with boldness to put right a situation or He may simply ask you to leave and walk away. Be prepared to act as He leads. As we keep in step with the Holy Spirit, we must take the initiative to glorify God.
Reflect and respond to God’s Word
- Identify the types of conversations in your social interactions that are not pleasing to God.
- Choose relevant scriptures that you can use to remind yourself to zone out of unedifying situations and conversations.
- Why do you find it difficult to extract yourself from these situations?