But avoid foolish and unlearned debates, knowing that they create strife. The servant of the Lord must not quarrel, but must be gentle toward all people, able to teach, patient. — 2 Timothy 2:23,24, MEV
Satan is constantly at work to divert the mind with earthly things, that the truth may lose its force upon the heart.
The special, deceptive work of Satan has been to provoke controversies, that there might be strivings about words to no profit. He well knows that this will occupy the mind and the time. It raises the combativeness, and quenches the spirit of conviction, in the minds of many, drawing them into diversity of opinions, accusation, and prejudice, which closes the door to the truth.
A noble, devoted, spiritual worker will see in the great testing truths that constitute the solemn message to be given to the world, sufficient reason for keeping all minor differences concealed, rather than to bring them forth to become subjects of contention. Let the mind dwell upon the great work of redemption, the soon-coming of Christ, and the commandments of God; and it will be found that there is enough food for thought in these subjects to take up the entire attention.
The burden of our message should be the mission and life of Jesus Christ. Let there be a dwelling upon the humiliation, self-denial, meekness, and lowliness of Christ, that proud and selfish hearts may see the difference between themselves and the Pattern, and may be humbled. Show to your hearers Jesus in his condescension to save fallen man.
The constant surrender of the will to God, brings conquests in the spiritual life. We must not be overcome with Satan’s specious temptations. We must war against them, if we would gain the prize of perfect peace. This peace is not the peace that the world giveth, but the peace of Christ. The most precious promises of God are to be claimed, and held fast, by the exercise of faith. The gifts of Him who has all power in heaven and in earth, are in store for the children of God. Gifts so precious that they come to us through the costly sacrifice of the Redeemer’s blood; gifts that will satisfy the deepest craving of the heart; gifts lasting as eternity, will be received and enjoyed by all who will come to God as little children. Take God’s promises as your own, plead them before him as his own words; and you will receive fullness of joy.
— The Review and Herald, September 11, 1888
Help me, O Lord, not to get caught up in the controversies of this world that end up creating strife. I surrender my worldly spirit to You, and as Your child I plead for Your Holy Spirit to fill me with the humble spirit of Christ. I hold fast to Your word that I may have strength to overcome every temptation. I claim Your promise as my own that instead of being quarrelsome, I will be kind to all, patient when wronged and accurately teach Your word of truth.